We all want to keep up with the Joneses’ (I think that’s how you spell it🤪). Once we see our neighbor, colleague, or classmate with the newest iPhone, bigger television, latest sound system… we want need it, too. And while there’s nothing inherently wrong with a little consumerist lust, you should always be keeping a watchful eye on your bank account if you want to stay in the green and avoid falling into debt.
One of the best ways you can save money on items that keep you up all night is to shop used. Purchasing used goods could provide you with hundreds to thousands of dollars in savings — which you could then, in turn, spend on more stuff!
So what’s worth buying secondhand and what should you pull the trigger on fresh out of the box? Spoiler alert: a lot. We’re here to discuss three items that will be happy to find a second home (and that will make your wallet happy, too!).
Computer, Laptop, and Tablet
Whether you’re a student, freelance writer, hobbyist blogger, fan-fiction aficionado, or just need a device to pay bills and surf the web at home, one thing remains the same: a re-sold model will get the job done just fine.
You’ll be able to find plenty of “Open Box” computers, laptops, and tablets from stores like Best Buy and Fry’s Electronics that were never defective but rather returned for various reasons. Maybe someone received it as a gift and they wanted a slate gray HP laptop rather than the bright silver model. Maybe a student learned that 8GB will certainly not be enough storage demanded by such a rigorous class on the first day of school.
The point is, there are plenty of reasons why someone might return a perfectly good device with minimal usage, if any. And that’s to your benefit! Retailers will resell an “Open Box” product back to you at a fraction of the price.
You can also shop refurbished devices – but that may come at a risk. These are usually items that have gone through insurance claims and have been brought back to life after accidents gone wrong. They tend to be a little glitchy, so be careful when you buy one.
It doesn’t matter how or where you commute – unless you’re walking up to a red carpet, you don’t need to get there like a celebrity. Buy a used car, pick up a bicycle on Craigslist, or grab a skateboard from Play it Again Sports. As long as you can take them for a spin and confirm that they work fine, there’s no harm in buying these second-hand.
Why buy a $250 bike when your neighbor’s garage sale has a beach cruiser for $15? New cars, especially, depreciate incredibly fast, meaning you can save thousands of dollars by staying off the car lot and shopping elsewhere.
Many of us have (at least a slight) penchant for buying new clothes. There’s always some reason for why you need to get a new garment… the seasons change, you rip your favorite jeans, you lose weight, or maybe it’s back-to-school season and time for some annual revamping. Whatever the reason may be, we often find ourselves on the way to the mall or navigating to our favorite online retailer.
But hold it right there! You might have bad memories from the amount of hand-me-downs you inherited as a kid but that shouldn’t interfere with being a frugal adult. There are plenty of outlets where you can purchase pre-owned, gently-worn apparel. Here are a few different options:
- Buffalo Exchange
- Garage sale
Okay, the last option might not be the cleanliest, but all the others offer sanitary (and cute!) clothes that are in good condition. Do a bit of window shopping then search for your desired item online! You can also filter many of these sites by your favorite brand, whether that’s American Eagle or Hot Topic.
If you absolutely can’t bear the thought of wearing someone else’s clothes, shop bargain outlets like Ross, Marshalls, or Nordstrom Rack to score significant discounts. Just whatever you do, don’t pay full price for a pair of Levi’s – save it for your Christmas list.
Shop used, shop wisely. Happy savings!