When to Buy New vs. Used
As vehemently as those of us here at Unlock Your Wealth have preached about the importance of purchasing used items when the opportunity presents itself, there are certain products which one simply has to buy new, straight from the store. Often times, when it comes down to it, safety and performance cannot be sacrificed in the name of scoring a great deal on Craigslist, especially when it comes to the following:
Used children’s furniture, especially cribs, can be safety hazards. A crib is not to be purchased at a garage sale or even on e-bay, as the history of that crib–and any damage it might have fallen victim to over its lifetime–is rarely documented when purchased through such methods. In the same vein, bicycle helmets and car seats should be purchased new, as not only does the technology utilized in making these items improve every year, but the damage inflicted upon helmets and car seats is usually rather subtle and hard to detect with an untrained eye–not to mention, helmets are only designed for one accident. Bottom line: If your child’s safety could be sacrificed by buying a used product, just buy it new.
Computers, cameras, etc.
Laptops, due to their portability, are prone to violent, unintentional abuse. When you buy one used you have little idea of what it’s been through (often times, neither does the owner), or what important parts will soon die on you. Also, when you buy a used laptop you don’t get the warrantees and tech support that come with buying one new.
Like laptops, used digital cameras have likely been tarnished over their careers, and the damage is usually rather obscure. While not apparent upon purchase, the expense of repair will far outweigh what you would have spent on simply buying a new camera in the first place. The same goes for used speakers, microphones, camera lenses, photo light bulbs and DVD players: Don’t buy these used.
Suits, hats, shoes and makeup
Wetsuits, bathing suits, underwear, hats, shoes and makeup are all worn or applied intimately close to the body. If you buy any of these items used, they will have been intimately close with the body of their previous owner and will be carrying that owner’s mold, bacteria, bodily fluids and dirt when you touch them to your skin. One should be weary of buying these things used, not due to possible financial repercussions, but out of a concern for cleanliness and health. Shoes mold to one’s feet, so if you buy them used they will fit poorly, and poor fitting shoes not only cause discomfort but countless health issues, as well. A stranger’s used makeup is a breeding ground for bacteria and contagious diseases such as pink-eye. And wetsuits lose the ability to keep a person warm over time, so buying a used wetsuit is a poor decision.
It is true that many things are better purchased used rather than new such as DVDs, CDs, video games, toys and cars but concerning the items described above, it is always best to buy them off of a shelf.