5 Things to Always Buy New
Rick Emerson, Author of "Zombie Economics," says there are some things we should always buy new. He stopped by to share his top five picks.
“Five Things You Should Always Buy New”
1) Safety equipment
Certain things are obvious: smoke detectors, fire extinguishers, and other household items are the cheapest insurance you’ll ever buy. They’re also fairly inexpensive, even the high-end models. You hope to never need them, but if you do, you want them working properly…not left to chance.
Car seats for children should be an obvious “new” purchase, but a quick look online shows hundreds of ads for used car seats in the Portland area. The biggest danger with a used car seat is not the wear and tear or lack of paperwork…it’s that you don’t know if it’s already been in an accident, dropped, or has otherwise sustained a hard shock. (Even the owner might not know.) Like a lot of safety equipment, car seats are often good for one impact only….after that, they might look intact while having hidden internal damage which makes them unsafe in the future.
For the same reason, bicycle helmets, other safety headgear (or anything made to protect you from an impact) should always be purchased brand new.
If you’re watching your budget and need to outfit a bedroom, start by looking for mattress sets that are the same size, but mismatched (different brand, different pattern, etc.) You can also save a lot by shopping for bedding at the end of a season, just like with clothing.
4) Vacuum Cleaners
It’s also crucial that it keep working. If you’re not a mechanical engineer (who’s also a wizard), you will not be able to fix a vacuum cleaner yourself. When your vacuum goes haywire, you’ll have to get another one, because you can’t make the kids clean the carpet with tweezers. So at your first opportunity, bite the bullet, put aside the money, and get the best vacuum you can afford. As a bonus, that will let you get the right vacuum for your house. (Take it from someone who not only bought his wife a Roomba for Valentine’s Day, but bought the wrong model….you want to choose these things carefully.)
A great way to split the difference: consider buying a refurbished laptop. Many stores and manufacturers now sell slightly-used laptops or tablets for steep discounts, and often with the same warranty as their new products. Sometimes these are display units, or items that were purchased as gifts, then returned. Apple really led this trend, and other companies are coming on board, selling items that are just as good as new, but at a considerable savings just because they’re technically “used”.