Know-how is pricey. We geeks love to bathe ourselves with new devices, nevertheless it’s awfully pricey. There are a whole lot of methods to get monetary savings on your tech dependancy, however none of them beat shopping for used.
Why Shopping for Used Is Superior
I’m at all times on the lookout for methods to get monetary savings. I’m not often happy with a easy coupon or sale; I would like insane offers. If it isn’t insane, I simply don’t really feel victorious.
Huge “occasions” like Black Friday and Prime Day might be okay for buying, however they’ll by no means match what you may get used. Listed below are some examples of nice tech offers I’ve gotten just lately:
- A Marantz A/V receiver for $35 (initially $799). It’s a bit outdated (launched in 2008), and doesn’t help some newer tech like 4K and HDR, however I haven’t upgraded to these but anyway—and it was simply the most cost effective HDMI receiver I’d discovered, thanks to my native e-waste middle. That is in all probability the very best deal I’ve ever gotten. A contemporary HDMI receiver would price at the very least $200, for options I don’t even want proper now.
- A pair of Yamaha HS50M audio system for $150 (as a substitute of $400 for a pair of newer HS5s). As a substitute of shopping for a brand new set of screens, I acquired the earlier era used via Guitar Middle for lower than half off. They work and sound nice.
- A Dell 2400MP projector for $50 (initially $950). Once more, this one’s a bit outdated (launched in 2006), and simply shy of being HD, however a close-by college was getting rid of some, and its three,000 lumen brightness makes it excellent for yard film nights—the consequence seems a lot better than its 1024×768 decision would suggest, and a comparably gentle projector new would price effectively over $100.
- A pair of Bose SoundSport earphones for $20 (initially $100), a 4th era iPod Shuffle for $10 (initially $50), and a Nike+ SportWatch for $25 (initially $150). I suppose these people simply weren’t getting any curiosity on this stuff, in order that they had been simple to negotiate down—and now I’ve a critical exercise package for little or no money.
- A number of Xbox 360 controllers for $10 (at present $30 new from most shops). I solely wanted these for a one-day Rocket League occasion with a number of pals, however at $10, it was effectively price it. Thanks to OfferUp, they had been cheaper than the pre-owned ones from GameStop, and these ones don’t even scent like weed.
And people are only a handful of the offers I’ve discovered.
This works for all types of things, from the little stuff to larger purchases like laptops, TVs, and even an Xbox One or PlayStation four. I can’t assure each single merchandise you need is accessible for some unbelievable low cost (Apple merchandise specifically preserve their excessive worth very well), however for those who preserve your eyes out, do your due diligence, and negotiate effectively, you may get a whole lot of stuff for approach cheaper than you’d get it new—or, frankly, cheaper than most different individuals get it used.
Notice, nevertheless, that most of this text discusses methods which might be hyper native, which implies you’re going to have a lot better luck for those who reside in or close to a decent-sized metropolis. That’s simply how this stuff go (extra individuals = extra objects and extra competitors). I nonetheless advocate giving used gear a shot, however simply be aware that for those who’re in a rural space, it is likely to be a bit tougher.
How to Rating These Nice Offers
There’s no secret method to getting these good offers, and also you’ll have to discover what works greatest in your geographic area and on the websites you select. Sure, the method takes a bit extra work (and endurance!), nevertheless it’s effectively price it ultimately. Listed below are some issues to take note.
Forged a Vast Web: Craigslist Isn’t the Solely Website to Search
First, don’t simply have a look at the outdated standbys. Craigslist is nice, and I’ve gotten some nice offers there. However you must also try different choices. OfferUp, for instance, is the same web site with a prettier-looking interface and an easy-to-use app, so some individuals use it as a substitute of Craigslist once they’re trying to promote. There are a good variety of objects on it, however not sufficient customers to generate a ton of curiosity in them—which implies you’ll be able to usually get objects for an absolute steal as a result of they’ve been listed for weeks or months. (It additionally has negotiation options built-in, so it’s typically anticipated by its customers.) LetGo is the same app with extra customers, however a worse interface/search engine. I like to recommend looking out Craigslist, OfferUp, and LetGo recurrently for the stuff you need so as to solid as large a internet as attainable.
There are different locations to look although, too. For instance, right here in San Diego, the College of San Diego has an e-waste middle that sells any working objects that folks herald. A company known as Free Geek performs comparable companies in lots of different cities, together with Portland, Chicago, and extra. Search your native space to see what sorts of electronics recycling organizations are close by—you’d be shocked on the offers yow will discover there. Even Goodwill has an internet market which you can search, although the offers are a bit extra hit or miss. Fb Market is beginning to change into standard as effectively.
If you happen to’re on the lookout for a particular sort of product, there could also be websites or communities devoted to it particularly. Swappa is a superb place to purchase used smartphones, for instance. HardForum and /r/hardwareswap are communities for purchasing and promoting PC , and /r/mechmarket is for mechanical keyboards (discuss area of interest!). If there’s a passion primarily based across the product in query, there’s in all probability a neighborhood devoted to shopping for and promoting.
Lastly, you by no means know what chain shops have used marketplaces. My laptop audio system had been purchased via Guitar Middle’s used market, which I didn’t even know existed till I requested on the retailer. When unsure, ask—you by no means know what you would possibly discover.
Be Affected person: Set Up Alerts and Bookmarks
Upon getting one thing you need to purchase, seek for it on the entire above websites (and any others you discover). The purpose is to solid as large a internet as attainable so when a great deal goes up, you’re in a position to snatch it. The fewer websites you search, the much less doubtless you might be to discover the good things.
You could not discover what you’re on the lookout for on the value you need immediately. So I like to recommend bookmarking these searches in a folder so you’ll be able to simply test again with them each couple of days or so. (For Craigslist, you’ll be able to even arrange an IFTTT alert when new objects are posted matching your search phrases.)
Finally, supplied you have got midway reasonable expectations, you’ll see an merchandise you need at a fairly nice value—probably even decrease than most individuals are promoting it for. Possibly somebody’s attempting to eliminate it quick, or possibly somebody’s not getting any bites in order that they lowered the value of an already-listed merchandise. These items occur on a regular basis. The secret’s being affected person till the merchandise you need will get nearer to your value vary.
NOTE: Needless to say there are a number of manufacturers—like Rolex, for instance—which may be extra susceptible to counterfeiting. Be sure to do your due diligence in studying how to spot counterfeits earlier than you settle for a deal that appears too good to be true.
Negotiate: Most Individuals Will Take What They Can Get
Lastly, while you search, make sure to search just a little above your value vary. Many of those websites (excepting bigger marketplaces like Goodwill and Guitar Middle) enable for—and even count on you to—negotiate. You may nearly at all times convey somebody’s value down, particularly if the merchandise has been listed for some time. These Bose earbuds I discussed earlier? They had been listed for $35, I talked him down the final 15 . The iPod Shuffle was initially listed for $20; I talked her down to $10. This can be a key step, and it may be the distinction between an incredible deal and a jaw-droppingly insane deal.
Negotiation isn’t laborious, particularly for those who’re doing it over textual content or electronic mail. Simply ignore the truth that most Craigslist sellers deal with it like a hostage negotiation with two-word misppelled sentences. Make them a suggestion decrease than what they’re promoting it for, and possibly even a bit decrease than your hoped-for value—they could negotiate you up out of your unique provide to meet within the center. “Are you able to do $10?” is a superbly acceptable message, and albeit extra formal than most individuals will obtain.
Typically they’re prepared to negotiate, typically they aren’t—however for those who don’t even ask, you’ll be lacking out. Negotiating can get you 5 to 10 additional bucks out of a smaller merchandise, and much more on larger, dearer objects. Bear in mind: the worst that occurs is that somebody says they’re agency, and also you both meet their value or await one thing decrease.
Simply don’t get discouraged if individuals don’t reply to your gives. Individuals are usually dangerous about unlisting posts when an merchandise is bought, in order that they’ll simply ignore any messages after that time. Hold messaging individuals, and finally you’ll get somebody who responds and is prepared to negotiate. Endurance is essential.
What If My Stuff Breaks?! I Want a Guarantee!
Every time I point out my affinity for purchasing used, I’m nearly at all times met with groans. “However Craigslist is such a problem,” they’ll say, or “What if it smells like some particular person’s cat?!” (Professional tip: Clorox is your buddy.)
By far the most typical concern, although, is that they’ll purchase an merchandise, it’ll break, and so they’ll have wasted all that cash on a lifeless gadget with no guarantee.
This can be a legitimate level, however in my expertise, this isn’t quite common. Solely as soon as have I ever purchased a used merchandise that broke quickly after, and it was partially due to my very own younger naive stupidity (don’t purchase laborious drives used, individuals). However most individuals promoting these things are similar to you: individuals who spent some huge cash on a gadget and don’t use it as a lot as they thought, in order that they’re attempting to squeeze a couple of bucks out of it as a substitute of throwing it away. They’re not attempting to take you for a experience (often).
However issues can nonetheless go incorrect, and you received’t at all times get the safety of a guaranty with this stuff. Even for those who do nonetheless have a guaranty, you received’t get the prolonged guarantee provided by your bank card. Half of getting that insane deal is taking that threat, nevertheless small.
However right here’s the factor: for those who get adequate offers, it doesn’t matter if one in every of your objects breaks. You should purchase it once more and nonetheless get monetary savings.
More often than not, your stuff will work high-quality and final fairly effectively (supplied you’re shopping for one thing that was well-built within the first place). And for those who purchase a whole lot of stuff used, you’re saving a lot cash that—if and when one thing does break—you’ll give you the chance to exchange it and nonetheless come out forward in the long term (a lot the identical approach you find yourself saving cash by not shopping for prolonged warranties). You’re solely in hassle if a lot of your used stuff breaks, which is reasonably unlikely.
You Don’t Want to Buy Every little thing Used, Simply Be Open to It
None of that is to say that you need to do that for every little thing you purchase. If you happen to’re shopping for a product you understand has a nasty observe document of failures (Microsoft Floor, anybody?) it is likely to be price it to get that guarantee. Or possibly there’s a really particular mannequin of TV you need, and also you’re having hassle discovering it used. There’s no disgrace in shopping for one thing new—simply give used an opportunity, and be discerning about what really issues. Certain, I may have purchased an iPod Shuffle in my favourite shade (blue), but when I can get a used inexperienced one for $10 with another person’s identify engraved on the again…I don’t assume I’m going to shed many tears over the colour. Buy in accordance to your wants, and it can save you a lot of cash.
Picture credit score: Michael Mandiberg/Flickr