Things You Shouldn’t Buy New

Posted on 15. Jun, 2006 by in Saving & Investing

used_tools.jpgThe good people over at MSN Money posted an article on 10 things that you shouldn’t buy new. I don’t agree with a few of the items they posted – such as jewelry (since the average joe would have a tough time determining authenticity at a pawn shop) and kids’ toys (too many safety and hygenic issues). But the article got me thinking… so here’s my own list of what I wouldn’t buy new:

  • Cars – as everyone knows, the markup on new cars is high and the value drops by thousands just as you drive it off the lot. When you can get used cars in pristine condition WITH great warranties there’s no reason to buy new (except so that I can buy it from you used)
  • Books – as far back as I can remember I’ve used Amazon and Half.com to purchase books. I can’t justify spending full price for a book that I’ll probably only read once and then resell online anyway.
  • CDs and DVDs – to be honest, I can’t remember the last time I purchased a CD which perhaps says volumes as to why I wouldn’t ever purchase a CD new – I’d just rip it into iTunes and never see the disk again. Used DVDs are such a bargain as long as you buy them at a reputable place. Most stores (even Blockbuster and Hollywood Video) sell used DVDs that have been gently used but are still useable – and unless you plan on using the DVDs for coasters, they should stay that way. Many of these stores, however, also have a policy that if the DVD is damaged beyond viewing that you can simply exchange it for another copy!
  • Time Shares – I’m not a big fan of timeshares to begin with, but I do have many friends that have purchased timeshares and regretted it ever since. So if you’re looking for a vacation spot look no further than your neighbor who would be more than willing to unload his timeshare for pennies on the dollar. With a lot of time shares, you can save 50% to 70% by buying from an owner rather than the developer.
  • Software – you need to be careful with this category so that you a)don’t break any laws, b)don’t get scammed by people selling pirated software on eBay, and c)get the full version of the software you’re looking for (as opposed to the educational or even trial version). I have bought and sold used software successfuly for many years though, saving thousands of dollars.
  • Hand Tools – this is one that I had never thought of before reading MSN Money’s article. But if you’ve ever walked into Sears looking for a set of tools, or even one “specialty” tool that you need for a project and will never use again, consider purchasing it used or even borrowing from a friend. With very few, if any, moving parts many tools will last a lifetime and will make a great used purchase.
  • Children’s Clothes – as a father of twin girls I have seen firsthand how long children last in a clothing size – and it isn’t long. When children grow up and out of clothes so fast it doesn’t make much financial sense to spend $45 on a pair of Baby Gap pants that you’ll have to give to Goodwill in a week. Instead, shop at Goodwill or other thrift stores, or even ask friends and family to borrow children’s clothes. Most used children’s clothes are very gently worn and can save you some real cash over the first few years of a child’s life!
  • Cell Phones (and Contracts) – as I list this item I would also like to extend an invitation for anyone associated with cell phone manufacturers to explain the cost structure that results in a new cell phone costing $400. I just don’t get it. And apparently I’m not the only one. There are many services available, such as CellTrade, which offers a place where people can buy, sell, and trade cell phone and contracts in order to avoid high prices and $200 cancellation fees.
  • Tickets – I included this eventhough I frequently purchase tickets at full price to events I really want to go to. However, I have also found some of the best deals on “used” tickets for concerts that people have purchased but then are unable to attend.

So what would you never buy new?

4 Responses to “Things You Shouldn’t Buy New”

  1. Jason

    15. Jun, 2006

    You’re definitely right about the books (and the cars!). Actually, I’ve been selling books online for awhile now and I’m about to publish a book on how to do it well for extra cash. Let me know if you’re interested.

    Cool blog, by the way… I’ll be sure to add you to my google reader. Check me out when you can…

  2. AJ

    16. Jun, 2006

    Software is an interesting thing. I usually buy games new since I don’t trust others to take care of them as well as I do, seeing how consoles access the discs much more than applications on a PC.

  3. We're In Debt

    20. Jun, 2006

    I agee with you on cars. I think that for us to purchase a used car though, a good warranty must be included.

  4. Marc Cohen

    22. Jun, 2006

    Just thought I would through in my 2 cents about celltradeusa 🙂 I was referred to celltradeusa.com by a manager in the customer retention dept at Verizon Wireless. I used the service about 5 weeks ago and it did work. I went through a couple people before I found someone credit worthy to Verizon’s standards. Total time took about 1 week “lol” but I would say I was very happy with the service. I also used the site to get into T-mobile contract that someone else had that only had 4 months left ” boo yah ” plus he gave me blk razor,blue tooth,belt clip and car charger. The transfer process took about 30 minutes and was really easy with T-mobile.

    So I would say I`m a fan for life 🙂

    Thx,
    MC

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