New or used? Tips for cutting corners on spending
Jul 20, 2012, 8:49 a.m.
When cutting corners on spending, it is easy to compare the quality and condition between used and new books. While the used book typically has dog-eared pages and perhaps a few underlined sentences, it remains perfectly readable. At the worst expense, the used book comes up missing a few pages at the end of the story and the frustrated buyer gains a small number of gray hairs to go along with the wasted purchase price.
On the other hand, when it comes to car new vs used, the possibilities of accumulated frustrations far exceed the connection between a story with a missing ending, hair color displacement and a few dollars cast to the wind. Making mistakes when buying a car new vs used can amount to high dollar losses, accumulated repair costs and time factors that can even result in the loss of employment.
Here are some tips to help you cut corners on spending without suffering the losses that can accompany thrifty buying.
Used items that can result in buyer disaster
Tires -- used or recap. The used ones tend to develop bubbles, broken belts and bumpy wear patterns. The recaps often end up spread across I-85. Avoid the frustrations; buy new tires.
Low end power tools. Unless in the original box, unopened and unused, a skill saw that sold for $39.00 new won't last long as a dependable used item. Think likewise concerning weed eaters, electric trimmers and other cheap equipment.
Low-end lawn equipment. Don't expect a used 20-hp Sears Craftsman to provide years of service. Consumer-focused garden equipment is built cheap, designed for light-weight tasks and typically worked to death before it ever reaches the used market.
Out dated vehicles. Never buy a used car without keeping in mind a clear definition of car new vs used. Out dated vehicles are for collectors. To avoid extended repair costs, keep your concept of a used car very near to the definition of new.
Used items that typically result in buyer satisfaction
High-end power tools. Seek out commercial grade products. Designed for heavy-duty tasks, high-end power tools are often worth the price of servicing and repairing.
Commercial lawn and garden equipment. From mowers to tillers, you get what you pay for. These machines are crafted from heavy gauge metals, designed to run for years and worth the costs of maintenance.
Used books. Hey. Just make sure the pages aren't missing.
Late model cars and trucks. Low mileage is no guarantee of dependability. Selecting a car new vs used requires an investment in time and funds. Take the vehicle to your local mechanic. Spend $75.00 for an electronics checkup. Check the brakes, the condition of the oil and the various suspension components. Also get it looked at by a professional transmission specialist.
Saving dollars on used items, equipment or vehicles involves much more than merely finding the cheapest product available. Learn what to avoid. Price the new before seeking the used. Spend what it takes to ensure a dependable product.
Above all: Know what you want, what it is worth on the used market and how to spot scams.
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