Some things really are better the second time around.
In fact, many used items can be every bit as good as those purchased new. Plus, buying used is almost guaranteed to save you cash.
So, without further ado, following is our list of the top 10 things you should never buy new.
This had to be No. 1 on the list, right? After all, we’ve talked about it time and time again: The value of a new car drops like a rock as soon as you drive it off the lot.
Rather than be upside-down on your car loan five minutes after signing the paperwork, look for a quality used car that has already taken the huge depreciation hit.
2. Big toys like boats, motorcycles and RVs
That advice about buying a used car can apply to any type of vehicle.
Virtually anything with an engine — from off-road vehicles to yachts — will depreciate in value over time. So, in most cases, you’ll get more bang for your buck by purchasing used.
New boats, for example, depreciate quickly. So, even if you buy a vessel that’s just 1 year old, you stand to save a boatload.
Your house is another big-ticket item that it makes sense to buy used rather than new. Not only can you save money, but older homes also may have better “bones” than some new construction.
If you love the idea of new construction, remember that an existing home doesn’t necessarily have to be 50 years old. If you want an energy-efficient home with new amenities, you can probably find it at a lower price if you’re willing to be owner No. 2 or 3.
Don’t ever pay full price for a timeshare. Some people are practically giving them away because they’re so desperate to get out from under the annual fees.
As Money Talks News founder Stacy Johnson puts it in “Ask Stacy: How Can I Sell My Timeshare?“:
“I’d chop off my own foot with a dull ax before buying a timeshare, especially a new one from a developer.”
We could take this category one step further and say you shouldn’t buy books at all. Many of us live near a public library system that can meet most of our reading needs.
However, we won’t go quite to that extreme. I personally enjoy having a well-stocked home library. I also realize that some books, such as college textbooks, have to be purchased. But that doesn’t mean you have to pay full price.
6. Movies and CDs
Many of the same places that sell used books also sell used DVDs, Blu-ray discs and CDs. No need to spend money for a new disc when you can get a used one for less money online, at a garage sale or in the thrift shop.
Of course, there’s also your public library, where movies and music are free for the (temporary) taking and cheap when the library holds a sale.
7. Sports gear
Raise your hand if your kids have ever started a sport and quit after one season. I’m right there with you.
Instead of spending tons for new equipment, go to a specialty store like Play It Again Sports and buy used items. You can also scour garage sales, thrift stores and Craigslist for bargain finds.
Don’t forget to look for fitness equipment for yourself, too. Buying new weights and kettlebells, for example, doesn’t make sense if you can get used ones for a fraction of the price.
8. Musical instruments
Musical instruments are another parental purchase that could be money down the drain.
To avoid purchasing something overpriced or broken when buying used, consider spending a few dollars to have it appraised by a local music store. Or, better yet, buy a used item directly from a shop.
Renting an instrument is another option. However, keep in mind that renting a clarinet for three years could ending up costing you more than if you purchased a used one in the first place.
Jewelry is also better bought used than new. Before buying off Craigslist or from a private seller, however, be sure to get an appraisal, particularly if a significant amount of money is involved.
You can also find quality used baubles by shopping for estate jewelry from jewelers or reputable pawn shops. If you want to buy online, eBay may be a good way to go so long as you keep your eyes open for scams and use a safe payment method. (No wire transfers, people.)
Some of you might disagree, but there really is no reason to spend a lot of money on a brand-new pet from a breeder when plenty of preloved (or not so loved) animals need homes.
My local animal shelter and Humane Society regularly have free or almost-free adoption days, during which you can bring home everything from dogs and cats to bunnies and birds. Your local shelter might offer the same.
Unless you’re planning to show your pet, spending hundreds or even thousands on a purebred animal is probably not money well-spent. The $50 puppy from the pound is just as likely to smother you with wet kisses and stare at you with unbridled adoration.
Do you have suggestions for things you should never buy new? Share with us in comments below or on our Facebook page.
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