Why Buy it New When You Can Buy it Used?

by John L. White


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Why should you buy anything new when in many cases, you can buy the same thing used at less than half the price?

In the twenty-four years my wife and I have been married, there have only been a handful of times we bought a new piece of furniture. After we first got married, we purchased a beautiful used Ethan Allen dining room set from a private person. If memory serves me right, we paid $200 for it. We also bought our china cabinet used for $75 at an estate sale many years ago. The king-size bed we have is used; we traded our old personal computer to a couple who had just purchased a waterbed. The Steelcase desk we have was purchased used at a furniture outlet. It's as sturdy as a battleship.

I think our favorite purchase is the antique dresser and mirror we bought many years ago from an older couple. After we saw it for the first time, we told the couple that we liked it, but it was the first one we had looked at, and we wanted to check out a few others. When we left, we told them we might be back. As it turns out, that first one was the one we liked most. When we returned, without any prompting from us, the old couple told us they had discussed it while we were gone and had decided if we returned they would reduce the price $10 because we were such a nice young couple.

Even when we have bought items like appliances new, we try to purchase scratch-and-dent items. Our washing machine is a top of the line Maytag that had a fairly large scratch on the front. We got it for about half the normal price. After we brought it home, I spray painted the scratch with almond paint, and now you can hardly tell the difference. We have also purchased a scratch-and-dent dryer and dishwasher. The dryer had a small dent on the side and one of the legs on the dishwasher was a little bent. Both were purchased at a large discount from the new price.

Consider shopping online at amazon.com and half.com. I have bought video games, books, and even a toaster oven online. Many of these items can be purchased for less than half their normal price. Another bonus of online shopping is no tax. However, you need to be sensitive to shipping costs. But even considering shipping, most of the items are less expensive. You also have to factor in shopping online requires less time, less hassle, less wear and tear on your vehicle, and less gas.

Here's the cardinal rule for buying anything used. Never pay the asking price. Always make an offer. You have nothing to lose by making an offer.


John L. White is the author of I'm in Debt, Over 40, With No Retirement Savings! HELP! and My Job Sucks and I Can't Take it Anymore! HELP! (The Real-Life Job Survival Guide). He also works full-time as an IT professional for a large International Company. To order I'm in Debt or My Job Sucks visit Amazon.com or call 813-907-2511.

Take the Next Step:

  • Buy Scratch-n-Dent! Our readers help find scratch-n-dent outlets
  • Consider shopping online at amazon.com and half.com
  • Obey the cardinal rule for buying anything used. Always make an offer and never pay full price.
  • Send in your favorite tips on buying appliances and furniture to Tips@stretcher.com

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