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8 Products You Should Almost ALWAYS Buy Used, Not New

Sometimes it's hard to resist the allure of buying something brand new: a car with its new car smell, an outfit that no one else has, a book with not one crease or smudge on the cover. Yet there are some items where it really does pay off to forgo the thrill of buying new and opt for used instead.

Here we've highlighted the top items that experts agree you're almost always better off buying used rather than new.

used band instrument

Did your child just decide to become a flutist with the elementary school band? Buying used is probably the way to go.

1. Cars

Cars depreciate in value about 15-20 percent each year, but in the first year the depreciation is even steeper. The second a car is driven off the lot, it reverts to its wholesale price (the price the dealer paid for it), which means a large portion of its value is instantly gone.

"Just the difference between wholesale and retail prices is a large amount of what goes away right away," says Charlie Vogelheim, editor of Kelley Blue Book.

Though you can't stop depreciation, you can avoid the first-year loss by buying a used car. And with cars being built to last longer than ever, you can purchase a car with some miles on it and not have to worry that it's going to conk out a year later.

2. Instruments

Musical instruments from pianos to drums to clarinets are available used at a fraction of the cost of brand new ones. Unless you are a professional musician or plan to use the instrument heavily, a used variety should more than satisfy your needs.

This is especially true when it comes to buying instruments for kids -- who may take up the hobby then decide to quit five weeks later. When choosing a used instrument, make sure to find a reputable dealer who will stand behind the product and make any necessary repairs.

3. Most Kids' Items

Like kids' instruments, many kids' items are used for a few months (or in the worst cases, a few hours) then grown out of, no longer needed or pushed aside in favor of a new-and-improved model. Kids' toys can often be found at garage sales or in newspaper classifieds, as can used baby and kids' furniture, clothing and more.

The exceptions here are items that, if not in working order, could put your child at risk, such as car seats. Make sure any used items (like cribs or changing tables) are secure and come from a trustworthy source before buying.

4. Sports Equipment

Here we're referring to sturdy items like baseball bats, hockey sticks, volleyball nets, croquet sets, weights and other sports items that stand up to use over time. You can buy them used at a discount price and still get plenty of use out of them (and stand to lose a lot less if they end up permanently in the closet).

Sports items that may not apply here, according to Liz Pulliam Weston, a columnist for MSN Money, include "shoes, baseball mitts and anything else that will mold to the wearer's body" along with motorized items like treadmills, whose condition may be harder to judge.

used student textbooks

Students know that buying used textbooks saves money, but other books (which are usually read only once) can also be bought used to save a few dollars (and a few trees).

5. CDs and DVDs

Media like CDs and DVDs are much more expensive when they first come out and are brand new. Unless you simply can't wait to see your favorite actor's new movie or hear a new album, you can save 50 percent or more by buying these items used. Video rental stores often sell used copies of movies, used music stores are also common, and online sites also sell used media items.

6. Books

Buying used books (and CDs/DVDs) is often highly debated. While used copies do not support authors (as they're only paid for new copies sold), leading some to say it's not right to buy used, others say buying used is better for the environment, and is no different than borrowing from a library.

What is not debatable is that buying used books is easy ( and other Internet sites almost always have used copies, as do garage sales, libraries and book stores) and cheap. Used books sell for a fraction of the original price and make more sense from an economical perspective because most people read books only once.

7. Jewelry

Says Pulliam Weston, gemstones are subject to huge mark-ups of 100 percent or more yet command maybe one-third of their retail price should you decide to sell. Pulliam Weston recommends finding a reputable pawn shop and asking the owner for some used jewelry recommendations, searching newspaper ads (but having the item appraised before buying it) and even buying used stones and having them reset.

8. Office Furniture

Office furniture is meant to be used day-in, day-out, and as such is built to last. You can find good-quality, used office furniture for much less than you'll pay new, and expect that it will last you for years to come, Pulliam Weston says.

Recommended Reading

Why Your Income Has Very Little to do With How Happy You Are

The Six Debt Triggers for Women


MSN Money: 10 Things You Shouldn't Buy New Know the Deal on Auto Depreciation

WSBTV Atlanta

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