Todd Christensen Profile Picture
Staff Writer at Debt Reduction Services

Waiting to buy things used can save hundreds of dollars a year.

Use these tips for the best results when buying used

Patience may be virtue, but when it comes to our spending habits, patience can also be a money saver. Check out the following list of things you can usually find for less money if you’ll either be patient and wait a while or find it used. Read the “Think Twice Factor” for cautions or considerations.

1. Cars: Luxury Cars, Sports Cars, Trucks, SUV’s…they all lose value – usually in a big way – during their first year. Looking at values at N.A.D.A. (National Auto Dealers Association), it’s clear that new vehicles lose 10-15% of their value in the first year. During their first two years, a car’s retail value can drop 20-35%.

Think Twice Factor: Look for more than just low mileage. Consider the remaining factory warranty as well as the driving habits and conditions of the previous owner. Lots of city driving or short distance driving is harder on the engine and clutch than highway driving. Also look at the resale value of the particular make and model you’re purchasing.

2. Jewelry: The retail markup on jewelery can be astonishing. Watch for pieces for sale on consignment. Even after paying for an appraisal, your savings can be equally astonishing.

Think Twice Factor: If it’s a gift, consider the recipient and how they might feel if they new it was “previously owned.”

3. Movies and Music: DVDs and CDs can last for decades with no loss in quality. Look for stores that buy and sell them used.

Think Twice Factor: Look for major scratches and ask about the exchange policy. Make sure you can return it if your DVD/CD player at home can’t read it.

4. Children’s Toys: Quite often, young children enjoy playing in the box the toy came in more than playing with the toy itself. Watch garage sales and consignment stores for great deals.

Think Twice Factor: Consider the condition and safety of the toy. Look up the manufacturer’s website for any recall notices. Also, where feasible, give it a good washing.

5. Books: If you can live with a few dog-eared pages and some notes in the margin, you’ll enjoy the story in the used book as much as the story in the new and more expensive version.

Think Twice Factor: If shopping online, factor in the shipping and delivery costs.

Do You Have Questions About Smart Moves for Buying Used?

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