11 October 2013

How To Buy Used Like A Pro

October is Buy Nothing New month. So what’s your opinion on buying used items?

Most people are split. Some love the idea of buying used while others abhor it.

I have to say that I am often undecided. I do like to buy used for some things and for others I prefer to buy new. Of course, there’s the financial and environmentally friendly reward when you buy used. And admittedly a bit of ego enters into the process because it just feels like a major accomplishment when you find a good used item for a low price.

Here’s what I like to buy used:

Cars – Love buying used cars because you save thousands of dollars!

Clothes - Why pay $150 for jeans when you can get them from the op shop for $5? Clothes are used the minute you hand over the money. And chances are they've been tried on in the store, so they've been worn before too. Make op shopping a habit and you'll always be fashionably dressed for a fraction of the retail price.

Furniture – There’s nothing quite so rewarding as buying a thousand dollar table for $100 and having it make your home more comfortable.

Books – Used books are a good idea when you absolutely need to have a book on your book shelf and the library or an ebook just won’t do.

Before you buy “used” however, it’s important to follow a few steps:

1. Do you NEED the item? Shopping is addictive and it’s easier to justify a “used” item because you’re spending less, right? Wrong. If you don’t need the item then you’re busting your budget for no good reason.

2. Be a discerning shopper. Whether you’re buying a used car or a used book it’s important to make sure you’re buying from a reputable seller. It’s also important to make sure you’re legally supported should anything go wrong. For example, if you buy a lemon from a car dealer what recourse do you have?

3. Shop like you would if it were new.  Whether you’re buying used or new there are a few important questions you should always ask:

    · Is it in my budget?
    · What value will this purchase provide?
    · Is there a less expensive option I’d be happy with?

Shopping “used” instead of always buying new helps keep items out of the landfills. It also helps you stick to a budget. However, buying used isn’t just an excuse to spend money. You still want to stick to the basic buying guidelines that help you stay in control of your money.

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1 comment:

  1. I bought a second hand car from a reputable dealer and it turned out to have a couple of major problems. It took six months of them prevaricating and a complaint to Office of Fair Trading before it was repaired but had I not persisted repairs would have cost me upwards of $3500. Remember when you buy from a dealer you are protected but they will try and put you off. That's where OFT will help. I don't know if you get that protection when buying privately.



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