The secondary market is a really wonderful place to save money. Think about it. If you let someone else pay retail for a brand-new product, you benefit when they’ve decided to get rid of it! You can save up to 50% (or more!) if you never buy these 11 things new. Let someone else pay the markup. You’ll reap the benefits, and for the most part, people will never be able to tell that you’ve scored a deal on the secondary market.
What counts as the Secondary Market?
Thrift shops, charity shops, garage sales, pawn shops, used car lots, Craigslist, and estate sales. Look in the newspaper for locations of garage sales, and get there early. Bring cash and your bargaining skills. Be on the lookout for the following things you should never buy new!
11 Things You Should Never Buy New 1 of 11
1. Cars 2 of 11
A new car depreciates the moment you drive it off the lot, but if you buy a used car, you're letting someone else absorb that. If you buy a car that is known to hold its value, you can get 5-10 years out of a car that will cost about two-thirds the price it was when it was new. A friend of mine bought his used Jetta for $6,000, and four years later, sold it on Craigslist for $6,500. I'm not saying you can get that lucky, but there is value in buying used. Especially if you're planning on driving it for the rest of its life.
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2. Jeans 3 of 11
Finding jeans at thrift stores takes a little patience. Remember, the jeans are there because they stopped fitting their original owner correctly, so you have to try on a variety of sizes. My strategy is to go in knowing the brand of jeans I want (at least the top two or three) and try on six or seven pairs. Even if I bought all six pairs I tried on (which is highly unlikely), I wouldn't even approach the price of one pair at Nordstrom.
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3. Plastic Kid Toys 4 of 11
Anything you can fully disinfect, you should be buying used. This is especially true for toys you think will only hold your child's interest for a short period of time. Once they're no longer interested in that toy, donate it to the thrift shop and continue its life cycle.
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4. Books 5 of 11
Used book stores are a musty treasure trove for interesting books. So are thrift stores. But also? Go to the library — that's what they're for! Did you know you can get any book you want at the library? Make sure to keep it out of reach of your dog, though. Library fees are expensive.
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5. Kitchen Fad Items 6 of 11
I drink a lot of seltzer, and I think I'd really enjoy a Soda Stream. But it has been pointed out to me that a) we have limited counter space, and b) I might not actually like to have one and it's probably not worth the $99 gamble. So I'll be looking for one of those when it's garage sale season. If you've ever wanted to try a bread maker, a rice cooker, or a waffle iron, check out the thrift store.
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6. Single-Use Items (Like Wedding Dresses!) 7 of 11
Think about all the things you buy that you only use once. I'm getting married this fall, and I can't even believe that there are wedding dresses that cost (way) more than the value of my car! It's very likely that I'll buy mine used. This goes for all kinds of things, especially formal attire. Need a cocktail dress? I just saw the cutest one over at the local thrift shop.
Image by jdurham
8. Costume Jewelry 8 of 11
Save your cash for real jewelry, and snag some real bargains at the second hand shops! The costume jewelry at some department stores are designed for single use — great necklace for a night out, doesn't cost much, breaks on the first time you wear it. What's the point? That same money could buy you something better used.
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9. CDs/DVDs 9 of 11
I actually think these things shouldn't be purchased at all, since we live in the digital age where I can listen to all kinds of music, and I'm not really the kind of person to watch a movie more than once, but if you're going to buy these? Don't buy them new.
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10. Glassware 10 of 11
Did you know that all glasses break, regardless of how much you paid for them? And did you also know that you feel significantly less guilty about breaking a $1 wine glass than you do if that same glass cost $20? I wholeheartedly refuse to pay retail for glasses. But make sure your glasses don't have any chips or cracks.
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11. Cheap Furniture 11 of 11
You know what's better than cheap furniture? Cheap furniture you don't have to put together yourself. So, scour Craigslist, look for good deals, and save your money for the really good stuff you'll buy... eventually.
Image by Penywise