This is the last installation of my 10 Ways to Save in 2012. I really hope you enjoyed the whole series and it gave you ideas on more ways you can save in 2012 and beyond!!
My last tip is a very practical one..
Tip #10: Save More Money in 2012 By Buying Used
I am not saying to by everything used. I will admit that it is nice to have a warranty on some items..but overall you can buy a lot used and save a ton of money. In general you can expect to pay 50-90% less for a used item than a new one and that can add up to a huge savings… and make items attainable earlier for you (since you do not need to save as long for them). Another great advantage to buying used is most times you pay no tax- so that in itself will save you 5-9%.
I have noticed that there is a bit of a pecking order in the places you can buy used. As you go down the following list you will probably pay less for items.
Consignment Shops– these are probably the most expensive of all the places you will buy used. But there is a possibility that the quality might be better. Many consignment shops only accept items in near new condition and brand names are preferred. Most consignment shops sell either furniture or clothing, but some sell other items, too.
Ebay– You can pick up great deals through Ebay but it is possible to get caught up in bidding and pay more than you want to. You also have to remember to factor in shipping. But bargains are to be had there if you want to look.
Craigslist– I love Craigslist. Most of our transactions either selling or buying have been so easy, only one time when we bought a dishwasher (which I am still grateful for) did we deal with someone who was..let me say.. a little less than sane kind. You can get some real steals if you just are willing to wait for them.
Thrift Stores– Thrift stores are getting more expensive in my opinion, but you still can get some bargains if you know what you want.
Yard Sales– Yard sales are kind of the bottom of the barrel for prices (most of the time). I often find it funny when I hear myself saying something like- “Oh I would not pay more than $.25 for …”. It’s funny how in the store you might pay $20 for it, but go to a yard sale and it is suddenly worth $.25. It cracks me up. So that said you can pick up some amazing deals at yard sales. Yes, you have to get up at the crack of dawn and you have to pull up and watch the car pulling out in front of you loaded to the gills with the perfect (fill in the blank) that you missed. But they are still awesome and I have come home with loads of clothes for my girls spending no more that a few dollars.
One of my recommendations for buying used is to make a wish list that you keep in your purse or wallet. This way you remember what you are looking for.
My favorite find is my Salad Shooter. I got from a yard sale for $1 and I have had that thing for probably close to 13 years. We also got an amazing piece of antique furniture for our TV off Craigslist that really was a bargain. We paid $200 for it and I couldn’t even get something new for less than $300-400 (and I didn’t even like as much).
What steals have you gotten used?
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