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Things You're Better Off Buying Second Hand


GenY_SecondHand_vs_NewBy Will From Holland

We all know the car example, right? Buy a brand new (regular) car off the dealership parking lot, and it loses about 20% of its value right away. how can that possibly be a good investment?

But young people these days spend most of their cash on smaller items like clothing, electronics and entertainment. Why not try buying those items used, too? It's cheaper, and the selection can be just as good.

You know about websites such as Craigslist, eBay or, but think outside the proverbial box. What about buying from friends? Everybody has something they don't need. Then check out thrift shops, garage sales and flea markets.

Here are just a few items that can be much cheaper second hand:

  • Really nice clothes. Find a clothing thrift shop in an expensive neighborhood and check out the threads. Shops affiliated with religious groups or hospitals can be particularly good too.
  • Household appliances. Think blenders, toasters and ovens. Whatever you need for your pad. As a tip, just like with any electronic device you'd buy second hand, make sure the item works before you agree to buy it.
  • Computers and smart phones. Save up to 50% on rebuilt items and potentially more on purchases from a previous owner.
  • Bicycles. Just like cars, bicycles generally cost a good chunk of money to buy new (and devaluate quickly). Find a solid used bike using the methods above and you will be able to save yourself a chunk of cash.
  • Textbooks and books. Books can, at times, be bought for 20 cents on the dollar, or even less.
  • Furniture. If you're young, it probably makes sense to get second hand furniture anyway. But beware of bedding. Never buy a used mattress!
  • DVDs, CDs, games. People may be bored with the movie, album, or game that you still really want or like. Swap stuff like that between your friends. (This goes for clothes, too!)

Much More:
Those are just some obvious items to get you started in the "used is better" club. Need a pet? Want a skateboard? Baby stuff, perhaps?

Virtually everything is available second-hand these days. But whatever it is you want, slow down and do your homework before you make any purchases!

Big Tip:
Don't be shy about negotiating! Most people who sell used goods usually expect you to negotiate, so they'll start with a higher asking price, but are willing to accept a lesser amount.

Before you head off to classified sites such as Craigslist, be aware of scams and other unethical practices that happen on these sites. Here's a quick 1, 2, 3:

  1. If a deal sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
  2. Be careful with sellers that are abroad. Nigerian scams come to mind. Deal with people locally that you can meet and you'll avoid 99% of the hassle. An important rule to follow: only meet to complete the transaction in public places.
  3. Never give out sensitive personal or financial information. Think ID Theft or Phishing.
  4. Avoid deals involving shipping or escrow services and don't wire money with money wiring services.
  5. Do a background check on the seller or buyer to see if they are legit.
  6. Check other scam or safe surfing articles on this website that can keep you safe!

Buying used is the smartest, easiest way to stretch your money while adding to your collection of necessities and goodies. Give it a try!

Cheers, Will.

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