The things you should buy second hand

Living is expensive these days and we’d all like to find ways to reduce costs. This could mean either cutting down on items entirely or finding better value-for-money on specific items. One obvious way is to consider used items, instead of buying things entirely new.

The most obvious used items that is popularly bought to reduce costs are cars. Even in 2014, Moneyweb noted: “Car buyers are increasingly turning to the used-car market to find value as new-car prices have outpaced consumer price inflation in recent months.”

iAfrica confirmed that this pattern continued into 2015:

“Used car price inflation showed an increase of 2.41 percent in Q2 2015, up from 0.58 percent on a year-on-year basis, while new car price inflation has softened from 7.01 percent to 5.35 percent in Q2 2015. This trend highlights the increasing demand for used cars and is further evidenced by the ratio of new to use vehicles financed. “

There are numerous advantages to buying second hand cars – whether from dealerships or private car sales –  but primarily, it has to do with the fact that second-hand cars are, almost always, cheaper. This is what the reports have been showing for the last two years.

But it’s not just cars.

With South African universities recently in the spotlight about the expenses involved in education, it’s wise to consider second-hand textbooks. Of course, the issue is that textbooks could be outdated by the time you acquire it. This is why there is pressure to go digital, as Investors Chronicle in the UK highlights:

“Publishers can also charge annual licensing fees for digital textbooks – that can’t be resold or shared – and producing an additional copy costs them next to nothing. They can also regularly update the content of their textbooks, and adjust their prices to remain competitive with the used-book market. “

This means students have up-to-date information that everyone shares, but at a cheaper price. But until that happens, second-hand textbooks is advisable as long as you stay aware of what information might be updated or outdated.

Another important category we could all use is furniture and appliances: washing machines, dishwashers, couches and all manner of items can all be used second-hand. Just because they’re not brand new doesn’t mean they’re useless. In fact, many well-crafted items could last longer than many new ones. Knowing the right brands can make all the difference.

Second-hand items can be beneficial, especially as more of us are watching our wallets in these trying economic climates.


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