Buying “Used” – When Is It Really a Money-Saver? –
Written by Shannon Flynn
People buy used items for lots of different reasons. Most of the time, it’s to help them save money. Other times, the item could be of higher quality than newly manufactured items.
However, purchasing second-hand items is only worthwhile when it makes sense practically and financially. Let’s take a further look at why and when one should buy used and which items are worth purchasing new vs. used.
The Benefits of Buying Used Items vs. New
When people buy used, they get the same product at a lower price. This is especially helpful for furniture, as new pieces can be expensive.
Buying used items is also better for the environment because it eliminates waste, such as packaging or excess plastic that comes with new items. It also means less energy consumption during manufacturing, contributing to environmental responsibility and sustainability.
Even though used items may not be the latest style or gadget, one can reap plenty of benefits from them.
What Are the Risks of Buying Refurbished Items?
While buying used can offer huge savings for one’s bank account and the planet, certain risks are sometimes associated with it. If you’re not careful, you could end up paying more than you should and potentially purchase a damaged or stolen item.
Here’s how people can be sure they don’t fall victim:
● When shopping online, only buy from trusted sellers. Check the reviews and ratings on eBay, Amazon, or Craigslist before making a purchase.
● Avoid buying refurbished items that are broken or have signs of deterioration. If the item has a discount because of cosmetic defects, ensure there aren’t any major operational issues that could compromise the item’s usefulness or value.
Items That Are OK to Buy Used
Find out more below about which items are often perfectly fine to buy used, along with some factors to watch for before making a final decision.
Electronics – computers, TVs, mobile phones, gaming consoles, and more – are among the most expensive items to buy new. That’s why many people would rather save money and look for used electronics in like-new or gently-used condition.
Before purchasing any used electronic device, ensure all its parts are in working condition. Check for damage and make sure there aren’t any signs of hasty or unprofessional repairs.
New mattresses are expensive – and some people justify spending thousands on a new bed. Though some can cost as little as $250, they are hardly high-quality, making getting a good night’s sleep difficult.
However, many people buy them used for a lot less and still get a high-end selection. For example, they might find one at a second-hand store or one the seller has never used. But it all depends on how old it is and the state of the mattress. Here are some things to consider before buying a used mattress:
● Ensure it’s clean and in good condition. Avoid buying it if it has stains or smells like those from cigarettes or pets.
● Purchase one from a reputable source or someone you know. One can pick up a mattress anywhere, only to find out later that the previous owner had bedbugs.
If there’s room in your apartment for exercise equipment, consider buying these items used. Whether it’s a treadmill or an exercise bike, the previous owner likely intended to use it for a while, only to quickly lose interest in their latest regimen.
Used art can be a great way to decorate an apartment on the cheap. Oftentimes, people find these items at garage sales or second-hand stores. Before buying any artwork, it’s best to check for stains or damage on the product.
People purchase furniture used all the time. However, inspect the item carefully before committing to buy it. If it has a stain or an odor, it may not be worth it unless you have interest or possibly experience in restoring furniture.
What Not to Buy Used
Buying used isn’t advisable in every situation. Here are some items to consider purchasing new.
Used tires don’t offer the same surefootedness as new ones. Even if the tires are slightly used and still in decent condition, they probably won’t last very long. You’ll have to replace your used tires much sooner than new ones, which probably won’t actually save you money in the long run.
People are better off buying new mops, dusters, and other cleaning supplies. One exception may be a vacuum, but remember that the previous owner may have used it in their household with pets. Buying a used vacuum may not be a good idea for anyone with allergies.
Purchasing a big-ticket item like a refrigerator or oven can be expensive. However, it’s best to buy them new, as it can be hard to tell whether the appliance is in good working condition. If the goal is to save money, try purchasing open-box appliances with warranties to save a lot of money.
Purchasing new stainless-steel or cast-iron cookware is far better than buying used nonstick cookware. The nonstick coating could have chips or scratches that shorten its life or threaten your wellness. Some of the more harmful nonstick coatings aren’t in use any longer, but used pots and pans may still contain those with recognized impacts on human health.
Consider the Factors When Buying Used Items
Buying used items is an excellent way to save money and still get the items you need. However, it’s not always a good idea to buy used goods. Before making any final decisions, ask yourself whether the purchase will be worth it in the long run.
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About the author
Shannon Flynn is a technology writer who covers lifestyle and IT trends. Shannon is a staff writer at MakeUseOf, Lifehacker, and is the managing editor of ReHack.com.
Image by luxstorm from Pixabay