Slightly Used Is Just As Good
By Michelle Sharrow, MBA
Family Budget and Finance
Checking out slightly used items is a great way to get the items that are on your growing wish list. From cars to clothes and electronics, most of the items that are available at full price can be purchased at deep discounts on the second hand market by savvy savers.
According to Bankrate.com, once you drive a new car from the dealership, it loses from 15 to 20 percent of its value. This can be particularly problematic for someone who doesn’t have a hefty down payment and who has to get the car financed. This will likely leave the buyer owing more than the car is worth commonly known as being upside down. It could take many years before the outstanding balance is the same or equal to the market value.
To ensure that you don’t purchase a lemon or overpay, perform some research. If you find a car that you like, use the VIN number to check the Carfax Report to review the car’s history including the number of previous owners which can be an indication of whether a car has been through the ringer. The higher the number of owners, the more likely the car has had its fair share of wear and tear. The report will also list any reported accidents. Additionally, check Kelly Blue Book to see if the price that you are being offered is within the range of the current market value given the year, mileage, features, and overall condition.
Local and online consignment shops and yard sales are great sources for affordable clothing. This is true for children’s dress clothes including suits for boys and dresses for girls. Because these items aren’t worn nearly as much as regular clothing, their condition can be like new. Spring and summer are the best seasons for scoring deals at yard sales. Experienced shoppers plan their Saturday mornings by targeting certain neighborhoods including estates, mapping out their routes, and waking up early to get first dibs on the best items. Additionally, there are several online consignment shops that specialize in high quality luxury goods. You can save a tremendous amount of money by searching the internet using keywords such as the name of the item and the words consignment or resale. Just like traditional stores with websites, many online consignment shops send out weekly and monthly sales alerts and offer free shipping to subscribers of their mailing list.
It seems everyone has an Apple device these days. From iPods to iPads and MacBooks, there is a way to get a good deal on tech gadgets as well. Apple has a resale program where you can save a few hundred dollars by purchasing a slightly used device. Additionally, some devices come with limited warranties.
There are many avenues for obtaining good quality items at great prices. Chances are if you can find an item for sale brand new, you can also find a slightly used one online for significantly less. By taking your time and conducting research, you can easily reward yourself with items from your wish list without veering too far from your financial goals.
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