Buying anything used is always a risk. There is no way of knowing how the previous owner treated it and if you could be sacrificing long term reliability to save in the short term. There are some items that you can more confidently buy used than others, below is a list of things that make the most sense to buy used.
Cars are one of the most common items to buy used, likely because they are so expensive. You can save tons of money buying a used car as opposed to buying a brand new one, especially if you don’t mind a little interior damage. If you buy a new car, it loses thousands of dollars in value the second you leave the lot. You can save on this big loss by buying a used car that is only a year or two old. Another reason buying used cars make sense is that you can often find out a lot of information about what has happened to the vehicle. Resources like carfax.com can give you a full report on the history of the vehicle, including accidents and previous damage. This can make the process of buying a used car a lot more comforting. If you don’t mind missing out on the true new car smell, buying a used car is always a good idea.
There are a lot of reasons that getting a previously owned pet makes sense. For starters, it helps keep animals out of shelters. As you probably know, shelters are full and pets all over are in need of a home. Beyond this reason, getting a previously owned pet is almost always cheaper. Buying a pet from a breeder or pet store can cost hundreds, even thousands, while adopting from a shelter can be under $100 or even free. Pets who have previously been owned usually require less training and are potty trained, well most of the time. There are all kinds personal benefits to adopting a pet, but at the end of the day it is guaranteed to save you a few hundred dollars.
When it is time to buy a house, you will almost definitely buy used. You may not think of it, but almost every home is technically a used home. Some one has likely lived in the house you will be moving into, unless you have it built. Getting a brand new house is one of the most expensive investments you can make. The price difference between buying a used house and having one built can be hundreds of thousands of dollars. Buying a used house is almost always the right move, unless you are in a unique situation.
If you have multiple kids, you are likely already taking advantage of used items. Hammy-downs are always a parents’ best friend. Your child will outgrow things at an alarming rate, so having to buy new clothes and toys every few months will get very expensive. Often times, there will be no difference in the quality of the kid’s items that you are buying used. Of course, you will want to still buy some things new, like bottles, bibs, pacifiers, etc. Even if you don’t plan on having another child, it is a good idea to hold onto those outgrown baby items for at least a few years, just in case. You can save yourself thousands of dollars by reusing baby items and kids gear.
Buying used is a risk, but you can confidently buy the above items and know you are getting quality. Make sure you do your research before buying any item, especially used, to be sure that you will not be a horror story like a person who buys a car only to have it die a few weeks later.