In most instances, it is cheaper and greener to buy second-hand. Despite those facts, there are certain things that are actually better and more cost-effective to buy new. In fact, there are some things that you simply shouldn’t buy used. Let’s go through a few examples:
10 Things You Should Buy New
Photo by I Like Spoons
1. Lingerie, Socks and Footwear
For obvious hygienic reasons, I don’t recommend buying used socks or lingerie, for these items are in contact with moist parts of the body. Footwear is also tricky because it conforms to the foot shape of the original owner, making it uncomfortable for anyone else to wear. Instead of buying used, shop around for deals. You can purchase discount lingerie and socks at dollar stores, such as the Dollar Tree. If you require certain sizes, you can find a full range at One Hanes Place, the online Hanes outlet. To get fantastic footwear for less, try Payless or Famous Footwear to find great deals.
Unless you have a tight budget or have the misfortune of facing a broken down appliance, pick up new appliances from the store. The cost of a new refrigerator is not much more than purchasing a used one. You can get good prices by using coupons and hunting for discounts. Often, when you sign up at Home Depot, they send you a coupon for 10% off. If you’re moving, you can also register with Home Depot to get that 10% off coupon as well. In general, washers and dryers take a beating so you may not get much mileage out of used ones (unless they are truly gently used). If you do need to buy used, try to get refurbished appliances with a limited warranty.
Struggling college students on a shoestring budget often try to cut corners by buying used textbooks. I actually prefer to buy new when it comes to school books. It’s often the case that used books have notes, marks and highlighting on their pages that can often be distracting. While in college, I remember occasions when I’d be completely frustrated with the scribbling on a used book I’d purchase. I would then wind up buying a new textbook for the course, which would cost me more money.
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Buying a computer, used laptop, or video gaming system can be quite tricky. You can wind up with a system that crashes, which may end up costing you more to deal with and replace than if you simply bought a brand new one in the first place. If you need to buy a used model, get a refurbished computer with a warranty. I found a great one a few years ago at Heartland America. During back-to-school and holiday periods, you can catch terrific sales at Office Depot and Staples. I picked up a laptop at Office Depot three years ago for only $300 and it still works well. Or you can check out specific computer hardware brands at online sites such as HP Home and Home Office Store.
5. Power Hand Tools
Second-hand power hand tools have already gone through a rough existence. If you decide to go second-hand with these tools, you may find that they’re not such bargains after all, particularly if they give out or prove to be dangerous in the middle of a job. Why not find brand new marked down merchandise at hardware stores like True Value? These stores offer weekly fliers that contain discounts and sales offerings, so you won’t have to buy used to get what you need for an affordable price. You can also visit tried and true online sites such as Northerntool, Tool King and Home Depot for your home projects and construction needs.
6. Baby and Child Car Seats
Buy baby and child car seats in tip top condition (e.g. new or very gently used), and ensure that they haven’t been through an accident or have been previously recalled. An unsuitable car seat won’t be able to protect your precious cargo if the need arises. Also, be cautious about taking that old car seat out of storage for a second child. To find out whether an old car seat has been recalled, check out safercar.gov for your peace of mind.
Photo by johannesfreund
7. High Tech Electronics
Plasma televisions and DVD recorders are best purchased brand new with warranty coverage. The cost to repair these items can be hundreds of dollars, equaling or exceeding the price to purchase new ones. Save up for these high tech gadgets or choose more affordable options and models rather than buying used. Here’s where to buy electronics on discount.
Think about all the things you’d like to do in your bed. Now think about sleeping on a used mattress where someone else did all that stuff. I think you can understand why it isn’t exactly the most pleasant experience to imagine sleeping on a used mattress. Beware of buying a new mattress that is suspiciously cheap; sometimes retailers refurbish or recycle a used mattress and fail to mention it to the consumer. Look for a mattress with a tag specifying “all-new materials” in accordance with Federal Trade Commission recommendations. Have the sales clerk write “new” on your purchase receipt to ensure that your mattress has never been used by anyone else.
9. Vacuum Cleaners
You can just imagine what kind of dirt a vacuum cleaner picks up (think: pets, floors, indoor and outdoor spaces). With prices as low as $100 for a new model, it makes little sense to purchase a used vacuum filled with unknown materials. Can you trust that a used vacuum has been properly and thoroughly cleaned?
10. Sporting Equipment
Sporting equipment needs to be properly cushioned to serve its purpose. And don’t forget that such equipment is worn close to the body during physical activity and is therefore exposed to someone’s sweat and grime. For these reasons, I’d purchase items such as helmets, wet suits, knee pads and uniforms brand new rather than used. To get these items for a great price, register for online updates from retailers such as Sports Authority and you’ll be able to receive their latest coupons and discounts.
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