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when do you prefer used?

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legal warning: The information here should not be understood legally as financial advice. If you believe anything on this site is in error, please contact me. I am always open to corrections, new ideas, and new opinions...

Welcome back, it’s been a while.  I hope everyone had a wonderful New Year, meaningful Yom Kippur, a happy Sukkot and a circularly dancing Simchat Torah.  I hope to be back on scheduling with new posts a couple of times a week.

I like new stuff.  A new couch feels nicer, a new shirt fits better and a new CD (do you remember CDs?) sounds more pleasant.  And don’t even get me started on new car smell.  But sometimes I actually prefer to get an item second hand, and not just to save money.  Besides being a bargain, sometimes used items can offer more certainty about quality.

Here are a few items I prefer used:

1 – an apartment – Everywhere I look I see advertisements for beautiful brand new apartments that will be built in the coming years.  And while the pictures are detailed, they cannot show customers about what will be built poorly and what work is to be expected to be needed in the future.  Appraisers cannot tell you how much it will cost to fix poorly built pipes if they have not yet been built.  If you want that new apartment look, consider changing some flooring and repaint the second hand apartment you buy.  You’ll be saving a ton of money and you’ll know what you’re getting.  (To be fair, I have been told by larger families that finding a penthouse to fit all of them is a rarity and the new building are the only way they can get these apartments.)

2 – certain pieces of furniture – While a new couch is always nice, I believe that pieces like a dining room table may be better off used.  When you buy a new table, it all looks beautiful and freshly painted, but you never know what it’s going to look like in three years with a bunch of scratches and dents.  By buying second hand, you can see which tables have stood through the initial two year test of time to see what the quality is really like.

3 – an iPod – Sorry Apple, I love your products, but they are not built to last.  Look no further than the iPod, which tends to break at least once every year or two.  Next time, instead of buying a new iPod, pick a refurbished one for about a third off the price (it is available from apple’s website.)  “Refurbished” means that it was actually fixed and inspected and stands a better chance of lasting longer.  Any if it breaks (which it will), then you can just bring it to the folks at your local iDigital store (two in TA, one in Haifa) and they’ll replace it with a brand new one.  Just be sure to buy the warranty.

(As a side note, there is a rumor that if your iPod was water damaged then a paper inside will turn a different color and technicians will tell you it is not under warranty and refuse to fix it.  While it is true that water damage is not covered by the warranty, no such paper inside exists.  The fact is that most people with water damage to their iPods are too impatient to wait for the iPod to dry before bringing it in and trying to lie about how it “just stopped working.”  If you drop your ipod in the sink, wait a week for the iPod to dry before bringing it in.)

What items do you prefer to buy used?

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