8 Purchases and Whether to Buy them New or Used

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Let’s face it, we all want NICE things. From a nice car to a nice house to dinner at a really nice restaurant where you don’t have the option of coloring the menus. Problem is, the nicer things in life tend to be a lot more expensive than the not-so-nice things.

What’s great now is that because we live smack in the middle of the digital age, everything we could ever hope or want to buy for ourselves can be researched, purchased, and sent to your house in a matter of hours, or minutes with the help of those instant food-dash services.

There is so much selection out there, and all of it is available for us to purchase and call or own, but what about the purchases that we can make that tend to be more extravagantly priced? How can we possibly hope to afford some of these purchases without breaking the bank?

You probably knew this already, but thanks to the internet you can pick up pretty much anything in the condition of either “new” or “used”, but how do you know what purchases can be bought “used” instead of “new” and own them without buyer’s remorse?

Below is a roundup of the top products and commodities available to be purchased and whether or not you should buy “new” or “used”.


Laptop – New

A laptop computer is something that needs to be guaranteed as reliable, because chances are that you are using it outside of the home, and out there in the field is when you need your equipment to be reliable.

Yes, there are those places that can refurbish the defective computers and then resell them, but many people still don’t trust the idea of a “used” computer, even if it’s been refurbished by the manufacturer. Truth is, I don’t blame them –the stigma of “this thing was totally broken and unusable at some point” is hard to break away from.

Unless you really are strapped for cash, pick up a laptop in brand new condition. The most updated and current bells-and-whistles coming preloaded will also be worth the purchase. Chances are that you’re going to be using this thing every day, so might as well splurge a little and get a workhorse that is reliable and fully up to your desired specifications.


Television – New

This one might get some flack. I say that buying a television “new” is the way to go, but like all of the other placements on this roundup –it’s subjective and up to you.

A brand new television is recommended because like many households around the world, the TV is often the focal point of the room. The trend with living room televisions is Bigger, Brighter, and Smarter, and if those marks are not hit completely, it is deemed a bad TV. If you buy a TV for the living room and it is an older model with scuffs and scratches and other details that your mom would describe as “character”, it’s probably the last thing you want to serve as the focal point of the living room. For rooms that have the big screen as the center of attention, it is recommended to get a new one because the way they make ‘em now, they look amazing even then they aren’t even turned on yet.

However, if you are purchasing a TV for the sake of just having one and you really don’t care how it looks, but still want a reliable brand name, but are also not trying to impress people, then “used” is for you. Didn’t see that flip-flop coming did ya?

So really, it depends on what you want – a real looker (buy new), or just another screen (buy used/refurbished).


Car – Used

There is nothing wrong by any means with buying a used car, contrary to what your high school self may be telling you.

Used cars can be great because they take the added stress of getting a knick or a scratch on a door every time you pull into the supermarket (the trick is telling yourself that the scratch got there before you bought it). On top of that, any problem you may encounter can be fixed with a trip into the mechanics. Of course, you always want to get the prospective vehicle inspected before you buy first.

If you can afford to drop a bundle of the car of your dreams brand new, then by all means treat yo’self. If you need a new set of wheels but don’t want to break the bank as well as several other banks, then buy it used.


External Hard Drive – New

For those of us who have not fully accepted cloud storage and everything digital like that, we still love having our data stored in one place that we physically can see, and that physical storage unit is a device known as an external hard drive.

You want to pick this purchase up in “new” condition because why risk your precious, precious data to a device that may be faulty in some way? All it takes is one malfunction to cause an error that could potentially corrupt your data content on the device. Risk it? No thank you.


House – Used

This really is a question of whether or not you want to be the first person to call the place “home” versus being the eighth family to move in. Truth is, it doesn’t matter, because that previous family is not going to still be living there when you move in…most likely.

If you can afford the cost of being the first to move into a brand new and freshly built house, great! But chances are that you want to save some money on your purchase (which is the point of this article btw). Buying an older place that has been standing for a while in an older neighborhood and has seen a few families come and go will more than likely save you some cash on your move-in cost as compared to one freshly built.

Be warned –older homes may require repairs due to wear and tear, which will cost you a bit, so be advised, friends.


Cookware – New

Can you buy used cookware? Yes. Should you go out and buy used cookware? Maybe not as a go-to.

Disclaimer, this one is a little biased. Nothing against all the cookware I inherited from my grandmother, but I’m a sucker for going into Williams–Sonoma and picking out my own cookware. Pots, pans, ladles and big forks –I love handpicking my gear that is soon to be used in the kitchen.

That being said, buying new pots and utensils can be expensive. Like, I can’t afford ingredients because I spent all my money on this pot expensive.

Although it is costly to own all new cookware, the feeling of not knowing who-cooked-what off of this thing last still bugs me (yes I KNOW that that is how exactly restaurants work, thank you). Although I did inherit a good portion of my cookware from family, I still prefer to be the first and primary user of my own cookware. Call it fussy, I like to know the history of my pots and pans and prefer to christen them myself.


Books – Used

New books are great, but used books are far cheaper, which means that you can pick up more at the local book store than just one —we’re talking six used books for the price of one new book, people. That’s a big difference.


Tablet – Used

A tablet is a great tool typically for activities you would rather not squint into your cell phone screen for. Things like streaming video (Netflix, YouTube, Hulu and your friends HBO GO account), games (Is Angry Birds still a thing?), and of course those ever so helpful social media apps (Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, Tinder…you get it). The tablet is a much needed relief to your eyeballs due to the larger screen, but due to everything streaming all the time and not really creating and saving much new data, you really just need something to work as a terminal for retrieving your online profiles and viewable content –which is why you shouldn’t pay for a brand new tablet.

Of course everybody wants to say that they bought a brand new iPad, but for the people who don’t want to drop 800 bucks on a giant touchable screen that you can take with you into the bathroom, you can pay closer to $200 for devices that do the exact same thing, but also had a previous owner.

When buying devices that are pre-owned, always opt for “refurbished” over used. The outcome is guaranteed to be nicer, but used is not so bad either, as long as you are buying it from a reliable vendor.


Have any other purchase ideas on what should be bought either new or used? Share some of your thoughts below!

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