Some things really are better the second time around. In fact, many used items can be every bit as good as those purchased new. Plus, buying used is almost guaranteed to save you cash.
Without further ado, here’s our top 10 list of things you should never buy new:
This had to be No. 1 on the list, right? After all, we’ve talked about it time and time again. The value of a new car drops like a rock as soon as you drive it off the lot.
Rather than be upside-down on your car loan five minutes after signing the paperwork, look for a quality used car that has already taken the huge depreciation hit. You can find advice on how to do that in our article on the six things to check before buying a used car.
2. Big toys like boats, motorcycles and RVs
Actually, that advice about buying a used car can apply to any type of vehicle. With rare exception, virtually anything with an engine, from off-road vehicles to yachts, will depreciate in value over time. In most cases, you’ll get more bang for your buck by purchasing used.
Your house is another big-ticket item that it makes sense to buy used rather than new. According to a 2014 study by real estate website Trulia, a new home costs 20 percent more than an existing home with similar attributes in the same ZIP code.
Plus, older homes may have better “bones” than some new construction. That doesn’t mean new construction can’t be high quality, but some features that were standard in the past, such as real hardwood floors, will cost an arm and a leg to install new today.
And if you love the idea of new construction, don’t forget that an existing home doesn’t necessarily have to be one that’s 50 years old. If you want an energy-efficient home with new amenities, you can probably find it at a lower price if you’re willing to be owner No. 2 or 3.
Oh, please don’t ever pay full price for a timeshare. Some people are practically giving them away because they’re so desperate to get out from under the annual fees.
You can find out more by reading our story on whether timeshares are a fabulous opportunity or a financial trap.
We could take this category one step further and say you shouldn’t be buying books, period. After all, many of us live near a public library system that can meet most of our reading needs.
However, we won’t go quite that extreme. I personally enjoy having a well-stocked home library, and I realize some books, such as college textbooks, have to be purchased. But that doesn’t mean you have to pay full price.
Head to Half.com or the Amazon Marketplace to buy cheap used books, often as good as new. We’ve also got this article on building a personal library and another one specifically for college textbooks that can help you learn how to buy for less. When you’re done with your books, don’t forget to turn around and sell them to put some of that cash back in your pocket.