Things Never to Buy Used – Not everything that is used is a better deal! Everything you need to know to protect your investments.
I’m a cheapskate through and through. I love to save money and pinch pennies as much as possible! But sometimes the savings aren’t worth the risks.
Yes, there are risks to buying used!
It is so easy to get those money saving blinders turned on: where all you can see is the money that you saved. But when you do this, you are actually putting yourself in some more risk.
BUT at the same time…
There are some things that you should always buy used. There are plenty of things that you can definitely eliminate buying new from your mind. (Don’t even think about buying these things new! I mean it!)
Things to never buy used!
There are exceptions to every rule! But for the most part, these are the items that are on the “no buy” list when it comes to buying used. The assumption for our purposes with these items is that you saw an ad in the paper or on Craigslist, or were driving down the road and saw someone with a “for sale” sign.
Underwear and Bathing Suits.
Do I really need to explain this one? If you’re looking to pay less for these things, get them on sale. I’m an avid Victoria’s Secret shopper, but the only time I’ll shop there is during their Semi-Annual Sales in January and June. Totally worth it for a $12 bra that used to be $60.
Bathing suits are even worse! If you need a new suit, get them in September or the end of August when summer is “over” and they start bringing out the fall clothes. You can find great suits for sale on the Target clearance racks!
It also helps to stick with a color that can go with anything. Black, white, navy, brown… any color that can be easily matched with another color. Getting a pink floral top if you only have a purple striped set on bottoms doesn’t help you much!
Did you know that once you’ve fallen with a helmet, you need to buy a new one? The same thing goes for knee pads and other safety gear. Safety gear is almost all one-time-use.
If you buy a helmet off of Craigslist (whether it’s for a bicycle helmet or a motorcycle helmet), you run the risk of getting a compromised piece of gear. It’s always safest to buy new when you’re talking about safety for yourself and your family.
The same can be said for infant car seats! Plastics break down over time and instead of being flexible to protect your precious cargo, they get brittle. That’s why car seats have an expiration date (I thought it was a marketing ploy at first too). Only use a used car seat if you know that it hasn’t been in an accident or is expired.
The same logic that says that buying used safety gear is questionable is the same with used tires. Plastics and rubber break down over time and will eventually fail as they get older. You also have no way of knowing what kind of condition they were kept in by someone else.
If you see a great deal on tires from someone on the side of the road or on Craigslist, I’d pass it by if I were you. You also have no way of knowing what kind of condition they were kept in by someone else. They could have been left outside in the sun for years, making the damage that much worse. They could have dry rot. Or a slow leak that you might not notice for a while.
If you have a mechanic that you know and trust, he can get you a great deal on tires but only if he views you and your car the same way he would his own family. Our mechanic knows how cheap I am and will only offer me tires if he knows that it’s worth it. He also views all of his customers (not just me) like he would his own kids. If he wouldn’t let his kids drive a car, he wouldn’t let me drive it either.
Software and Computers.
This one’s a hard “NO” for buying from someone random. Don’t buy used computers or software. They could very easily be broken beyond repair, have a virus, have spyware installed, or just not work (sometimes, software can only be downloaded once, but they will try to sell it again saying it’s never been used).
If you are buying directly from a refurbished retailer or a friend, these are ok. I’ve only bought my Apply products from the Apple refurbished store. My iPads and Macbook Pro are all refurbished and working great!
Just don’t go buying a laptop from Joe Shmo on Craigslist thinking it’s a great deal.
Never, never, never buy a used humidifier. Germs, bacteria, viruses, and mold all thrive in humidifiers if they aren’t well taken care of. And even if they are well-maintained, it’s just dangerous to be bringing in mold from someone else’s house.
Coming from someone who dealt with mold and knows how awful and dangerous it can be, just trust me. Spend the $30 and get a new humidifier.
Ever hear of moissanite or cubic zirconium? They both look just like the real deal, and you might think that you’re getting a great deal with a 1-carat diamond for $600, but really you just paid $600 for a piece of glass.
This rule doesn’t apply to heirloom jewelry! But don’t go buying a ring without going with the seller to a jeweler to test the diamond.
There are many other things that some people won’t buy used.
Each person has some things that they just don’t feel comfortable buying used. And that’s fine! Different people have different limits.
But these are the definite things to never buy used. There are, of course, exceptions to every rule. But just always use caution when you’re buying anything used. Being an informed consumer is very important!
What won’t you buy used?
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(PS - NONE of them have to do with sales!)