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While the allure of buying new can be hard to resist, many experts agree that the advantages of buying pre-owned items far outweigh the disadvantages. We will discuss the many perks of buying used and pre-owned items.

When buying pre-owned goods there is a range of advantages over buying new. The advantages may have to do with some inherent aspect of the product itself, or it may have to do with special offers which the retailer makes available to second-hand shoppers. There is also, of course, one disadvantage—the fact that your purchase item may have endured some wear. But, as you will see, when you shop smart, seek bargains, and do a little research, the advantages of buying pre-owned can far outweigh the one disadvantage.

Automobiles

Buying a car is always a risk on top of being a major investment. Few people can afford to pay for repairs on a vehicle that’s always breaking down. What few people consider, however, is that even new cars can have serious mechanical problems. How to avoid the problem of surprise mechanical defects? Easy, buy a car that has been on the market for a few years. This gives the market time to observe the vehicle in action. Mechanics will be familiar with a car that has been out for a while. They will understand its mechanical strengths and weaknesses. You will be able to perform research that will tell you what the average cost of ownership for a given model is.

But the benefits don’t stop there. Many dealerships offer attractive deals for used vehicles, and reputable sellers will have the whole history of the car you buy available for your perusal before you sign on the dotted line. Best of all, many quality brands and dealerships offer certified pre-owned vehicles. These cars and trucks are used, but they bear the special distinction of having met certain standards that the brand reserves for the finest cars they have produced. How is this possible? Well, even finely machined metal parts have small amounts of variation in their proportions from one pressing to the next. Over the course of manufacturing the thousands of parts that go into a single automobile, this means that sometimes a car can be especially well made. Certified pre-owned vehicles come with special warranties, are cheaper to buy, and their certification means that they will be unusually reliable.

Household Appliances

Buying pre-owned appliances is a very cost-effective way to stretch your household budget. Today’s appliance consumers are different from those of the past. It used to be that people only got rid of their appliances when they no longer worked. Old appliances were traded in or sold as scrap and the money would be used to buy a replacement.

Today’s appliance buyers will often sell a perfectly good appliance simply because a newer model comes in a color that better suits their décor or preference. The huge variety available to today’s appliance consumer makes it much easier to find high-quality appliances at a great price.

Another enormous benefit to buying used appliances is it eases the burden on our already over-crowded landfills. The simple act of recycling your used appliances by reselling them can help to alleviate the burden on the environment.

But when it comes to the economic benefits, buying used appliances is a lot like buying pre-owned cars and trucks. There’s more research material available on a model that’s been on the market for a while. Some come with special guarantees that help to reduce the cost of ownership. Best of all, older models are easier to repair -so if you’re mechanically inclined- an older washer or dryer can last virtually forever if you’re willing to do some DIY work.

Refurbished Electronics

Buying pre-owned electronics can be tricky, but if you buy from a reputable vendor, the advantages can be just as great as with appliances and vehicles in that there are certain guarantees to buying used. More often than not, it’s best to buy a refurbished item when shopping for second-hand electronics. This affords you the opportunity to research the reseller/refurbisher as well as the brand and model of the item that you wish to buy.

Naturally, if you’re looking for the most advanced computer, camera, or other electronic items, buying a pre-owned product is probably not the way to go. However, suppose you just want a laptop that can handle word processing reliably for the office. Or if you want a very solid camera for taking product photos, for example, a refurbished DSLR camera from Canon or Nikon will do nicely. Or suppose you have a favorite operating system, (I’m looking at you Windows 7), and it can only be had on used and refurbished computers- now you’re starting to get the picture.

There are risks, of course. That’s why you’ll want to go through a reputable refurbisher/reseller. Do your research, read reviews and chances are you’ll get a very solid piece of equipment at a nice price.

Second Hand Clothes

Okay, we’re not breaking any ground here. A lot of people are already keen to the bargains and classic/retro fashions that can be had by shopping at your second-hand clothing store. Some of these types of shops are really boutiques where you’re not likely to find any bargains. But, if you’re willing to hunt around at a number of different Salvation Army, Goodwill, and other charity-related second-hand clothing shops, there’s a very good chance that you will find clothes that are lightly-used, suit your personal style, and that come with prices that will feel like a light breeze moving gently through your bank account.

For conscientious shoppers, you can buy second-hand clothes knowing that you’re not giving your money to a predatory manufacturer that runs cruel sweat shops in third world countries. In fact, the second-hand revolution that got started in the late 90s has forced many major manufacturers to reconsider their exploitative business practices. Now, that’s a bargain that pays it forward!

Other Second Hand Items

Since we’re on the topic of second-hand clothes, you’re probably also aware that many second-hand clothing stores also have perfectly good household items like silverware, dishware, toys, bicycles and lots more. Buying items like these from your local thrift shop is socially responsible and easy on your wallet.

If you’re up for a full weekend of bargain hunting adventure, searching out garage sales can be a super fun way to find all manner of exciting and useful things that you just won’t find in a retail outlet. Plus, it’s a great way to get out of the house and have a lot of fun with friends, meet people, and learn a lot about antiques, bygone fashions, rare vinyl records and any number of things!

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