2 Jul 2010

Bored of the Same Old Green Ideas? Yahoo Offer "10 things you should never buy new"

By Donna Werbner

Never, ever buy this stuff new - get it second-hand or free instead!
Before buying an item new, it’s always a good idea to stop and ask youself: Is there any way you could get the same item, or a decent equivalent, for less if you buy it second-hand? Can you even get it for free?
Follow some of these tips, and you could cut your shopping bills by as much as 50%!

1) Designer clothes
Why pay rip-off prices for a new piece of designer clothing? Instead, simply head to a ‘swishing’ party and swap any designer clothes you currently own with like-minded fashionistas. Check out swishing.org for details of swishing events near you, or swap them online via Posh Swaps and BigWardrobe. Alternatively, invite some friends round to yours and host your own clothes swapping party!

2) Electrical goods
You may worry that if you buy electrical goods secondhand, they won’t work. But did you know several well-known high street retailers sell their reconditioned electrical goods online, complete with limited warranties? For example:
  • the Comet Clearance auction website specialises in refurbished kitchen appliances
  • the Tesco Outlet on eBay sells everything from refurbished digital cameras to televisions
  • Argos Clearance Bargains sells a wide range of refurbished electrical goods including laptops and DIY tools
  • whilst MPB Photographic sells high-end used digital camera equipment.
Just remember to research such websites first using search engines, to pick up any bad reviews.

3) Self-assembly furniture
Why bother buying furniture from Ikea and Homebase when community freebie sites such as Freegle and SnaffleUp often offer the items you want, pre-assembled, for free? You can even post ‘wanted’ notices asking for specific items. Alternatively, find out where regular house clearance auctions are held in your local area, and bag some bargains that way.

4) Cars
Everyone knows the price of a brand new car depreciates the moment you drive it out of the showroom. As long as you know how to buy a good value used car, it shouldn’t depreciate too much and your car insurance should be reduced as a result. Follow these tips to pick up a bargain at a car auction and read up on what to check before you buy.

5) Books
As long as you can read the words on the page, a book is exactly the same whether you buy it new or secondhand. So stop buying books! Either head down to your local library, or if you hate the hassle of returning your books, swap them instead for free. Read Where to get free books for more information.

6) Software
Instead of buying software, get it for free online. Here are some alternatives to the big brands:
Instead of…Free alternative
Microsoft OfficeOpen OfficeGoogle docs
Microsoft Windows (operating system)UbuntuFreespire and openSuse
Kapersky/McAfee security softwareBarclays’ customers can download Kapersky's internet security suite software, which includes anti-virus software and firewall (worth £51) for free, while HSBC's customers can download a free 12-month subscription to McAfee Security software here
Anti-virus softwareAVG
Anti-spyware softwareAVG
FirewallComodo and Zone Alarm.
Photo editingF-spot and Gimp
Media playersWINAMP or VLC

7) Property
If you buy a newly-built property, you’re likely to pay what’s known as a ‘new-build’ premium. In other words, it’s worth more because it’s all shiny and new – but the moment you move in, it falls in value. Plus, developers often give discounts to buyers if they can’t sell the entire block – which means an identical property to the one you buy may be sold soon after yours at a lower price. Also, if you buy in an area with lots of space for other new build developments, you may be surrounded by a building site before too long, and local buyers may prefer newer properties to yours. Read The true value of new build property to find out more.

8) Sports equipment
The world is full of people who try, and fail, to take up a new sport, despite their best intentions. That’s a fact. Many of them end up selling the equipment they bought at knockdown prices on gumtree,vivastreeteBay or even for free on Freegle and Snaffleup. Most have hardly been used at all.

9) Blu-ray DVDs
Everyone knows it’s much cheaper to buy a CD, DVD or computer game secondhand – the big concern is whether the disc is scratched. However, bear in mind there are lots of ways to fix a scratched CD and blu-ray DVDs are particularly hard to scratch. Swap them via xhangemy.co.uk or swapshop.co.uk, or buy them from musicmagpie.com.

10) Pedigree pets
Why pay hundreds – if not thousands – of pounds for a pedigree pet when you can rescue one for a fraction of the cost? If you’re set on a pedigree cat, for example, there are loads of pedigree cat rescue centres around the country for specific breeds, while the Kennel Club allows you to search for a pedigree rescue dog by breed.
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