I recently bought a brand new tennis racket for $2.00 at a local thrift store. The equivalent tennis racket could have cost upwards of fifty or sixty-dollars new from a local sporting goods store. Do you know what I observed while shopping at the consignment store? The parking lot was full of luxury cars and the shoppers were well-dressed, leading me to believe that many of the consignment store shoppers were upper-middle class consumers who simply love saving a buck buying second hand just like me.
And maybe the rich are onto something. While the “lower income” buy new hoping to “keep up with the Jones,” the Jones are stealthily perusing consignment stores and Goodwill to save a few bucks on readily available second hand products. So if the rich are doing it, shouldn’t the rest of us try it too? Maybe that’s how the wealthy have acquired their wealth and manage to stay wealthy.
Cutting your expenses and staving off bankruptcy may be as simple as buying used or second hand. So here is a list of the top items that you should NOT be buying new:
1. Sporting goods equipment
Looking for a treadmill or weights? Look no further than Play it Again Sports or Craigslist. For every would be athlete looking to tone their abs and get their beach body back there is another person who is looking to scale back and get rid of the treadmill in the corner of their room that has become a clothing rack.
Whether it is a large consignment sale, Goodwill, Plato’s Closet or a local second-hand store there are name brand clothes, many with the tags still attached, that could make a nice addition to your wardrobe at a fraction of the full retail price.
3. Movies, Books and Video Games
Look no further than Half-Priced Books or an online retail store for cheap books at a fraction of the cost. New video games can cost more than $50. Wait a few months and Game Stop might sell the same game for half the price.
Every large metropolitan city hosts consignment sales several times per year. These sales boast thousands of gently used or second hand toys at a fraction of the retail price. If you can’t wait for the sale you can also go to a consignment shop such as Kid to Kid or a local garage sale. So now when the toy ends up at the bottom of the toy box you are not thinking about the cost.
Did your father ever talk about the depreciation of a new car the minute you drove it off the lot? Mine did and he was right, according to estimates a new car can depreciate 20-30% during the first 2 years of ownership. Why not save your own money and let someone else take the loss instead?
What else have I noticed about the wealthy? Many of them use coupons and shop second hand for items that they do not especially care about, which allows them to save their money and spend it on items that they do really want. These tips become even more critical for shoppers who have high credit card debt and who need to substantially reduce their debts and lower their costs of living.
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