I’m sure you’ve heard this a lot, but it bears repeating.
Buying secondhand is something I’ve been used to since I was a kid (not that I knew it).
I got all of my roller skates, hats, mittens and winter jackets from secondhand stores.
My mom would bring them home, wash them thoroughly, and ta da! New clothing.
Thrift stores are not just for clothing either. You can find glass plates, cups and electronics.
5 Reasons why buying secondhand rocks:
- You save money. Retail prices especially on clothing is usually jacked up 100% – 300%.
- You can find more unique pieces, not what everyone is all wearing RIGHT NOW.
- It can be a fun adventure or a challenge.
- It helps the environment because you’re reusing.
- If you don’t manage to find exactly what you want, you bring less stuff into the home
Secondhand doesn’t have to be from a thrift store, or cost any money either.
You can find people giving away free stuff on Craig’s List under “Buying Stuff > Free”, or just wandering around the neighbourhood, you may find good, wood furniture that families have just simply replaced.
Items I am squeamish about purchasing secondhand:
- Underwear of any sort
10 Tips to Score Gems from Thrifting
- Go regularly and go on off-hours to preserve your sanity and get the good stuff
- Inquire about restocking days
- Go to “Last Chance”, “Outlet” or “As-Is” named shops.
- Make a list of what you need and avoid buying what you don’t
- Racks of cheap shirts at $3 is not an excuse to throw your money away
- Shop off season, like buying winter coats during the summer
- Wear a comfortable thrifting uniform you can change in public with & bring socks
- Approach the process with an open mind and not an exact requirement
- Things can be shortened, re-sized, and altered, and is still cheaper even with a tailor
- Find shops off the beaten path, not close college students & near richer senior citizen
Best return of value is buying a car secondhand:
Many (like my brother) hate this:
“If I buy it new, then anything I do to it is my doing and my fault. You don’t know what other people have done to that car!“
I agree with that statement for the most part.
But there are too many benefits to buying secondhand that outweigh buying new.
But did you know…
- A brand new car depreciates very quickly in the first few years
- After three years, it is worth about 60-70% of the original price
- After the 3 years, the depreciation value is not as steep
- Driving off the dealership lot drops your car’s worth by $1000-$2000
- A new car is not always perfect
- A used car may come with already repaired design problems covered by warranty
- A used car may still have the new car warranty on it, depending on how used it is
- Car insurance is DEFINITELY cheaper on a used car (I pay $300/year)
- A used car may came with bonus extras you could not have afforded to add before
- It helps the environment by NOT buying another new item, especially a car!
10 TIPS TO BUYING A SECONDHAND CAR
- Do some quick research on what kind of car you’d like. 4-door, automatic, etc.
- Don’t be intimidated by an aggressive sales person. Insist on dealing with someone else, or leave the car lot.
- Never buy your car on your first visit to a secondhand car yard.
- Watch out for sales tactics like “the big sale ends tomorrow” or “someone else is interested in this car too”.
- Choose the car you want, and go home to do extensive research on that particular brand, make and model.
- Look up and print proof of the value of your vehicle before negotiating to buy it. Try Kelly Blue Book (KBB) or Nada, used by the secondhand car industry, so the results cannot be disputed.
- Don’t buy a car until the end of the year when they are scrambling to make their targets.
- Know the vehicle’s history, and ask for a carfax report to check the VIN (serial number), so you can check the list of owners and to see if its ever been in an accident for example
- Take it for a test drive and bring it to your mechanic for a checkup. If they don’t let you allow a mechanic to look at it, then walk away from the dealership.