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August 21, 2008


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For buying new:
CDs and DVDs - I'm really critical when it comes to movies and music. I don't buy many but if I like them I'll buy them new. Supporting the artist and all that.

For buying used:
Pets - I got my cat as an adult (used?) from a shelter and he is just awesome. Everyone wants a puppy or a kitten but most people don't know that they take a lot of energy to take care of and within a few months they grow up. A lot of people also don't realize that there are many adult dogs and cats out there who need homes and are passed up by people in search of puppies and kittens.

I would only get fish new from a reputable pet store. Too many diseases out there that can destroy a whole tank. On the other hand, aquariums and related accessories are often available on the cheap from friends, on sites like craiglist and in the want ads. I've been a discount aquarist for years now and its working out great.

I SO agree with the pet one! There are so many millions of perfectly wonderful and healthy animals that are euthanized each year simply because they aren't enough families to take them home from the shelters. Many people insist on using a breeder, which only contributes to pet overpopulation, even though there are actually many purebreds in shelters. I fostered with a rescue program for a while and fostered some of the most wonderful, loving dogs I have ever encountered. Shelters are loud, dark, scary places and it is not the animals' fault that they ended up there. People sometimes view shelter dogs and cats as "damanged goods" but many times there is nothing wrong with them -- the owner just didn't have time for them, had to move to a place that didn't allow pets, was given the pet as a present and didn't want it, etc. My dog is a rescue -- I got her from a small-town shelter at 5 months old. I don't know how she ended up there but she is the apple of my eye. Used dogs are the best, and they need us the most!

I agree with your list, with the following comments:

Regarding office furniture, there is a the delivery cost to be considered too. And there is the "curb appeal" aspect. If you get clients coming to meet you often you need to have good looking furniture and fixtures in many white collar professions. It's part of the game.

Regarding pets, we got our second cat from an animal shelter. She's wonderful!! BUT, she had a pissy problem - literally! When she is upset at us she pees on something. When she doesn't like a piece of furniture or carpeting she pees on it! She finally stopped after 9 YEARS and replacing just about all the carpet in the house! Still, we love her and I suppose she may have been like that as a kitten too. But still....We did get our dog second-hand from a friend of a friend and he's been good (more or less).

Don't worry, it's not just your cat. Mine has done that several times as well, and we got him as a baby kitten. I've heard other friends say their cat has done the same thing. Just read this on a cat behavior website and it says it's normal, so I really don't think being "used" has anything to do with it:
If your cat pees on your bed or any other "personal" lounging area, she is basically telling you she is really mad at you. So many times people have asked me, "Why does my cat pee on my bed the day I get home from vacation"? The answer is she is mad, she was lonely all the time you were gone. If you have a visitor, she might pee on the bed they are sleeping in. I'm telling you it is how they tell us not to leave them alone. Be sure to give her LOADS of affection when you return, don't let her out of your sight and take the few minutes to really show her you missed her. To be safe, curtail this by placing a shower curtain liner on the bed, with an old comforter or blanket over the plastic (important, cats like to pee on plastic) before you leave. It will save you from having to strip the entire bed before you can retire from your long day of travel.

The engagement ring I acquired for my wife only cost about $50 to get it resized, which is less than 100 times its value but more than 4 times its value. :)

Family heirlooms are great. It isn't the biggest ring amongst our circle of friends, but she wouldn't like a big one anyway and its still way better than I could have afforded.

Other than our wedding rings we don't go in for the whole jewelry thing either.


Books! Why buy a new book when a used one is much cheaper? I don't buy a lot of books, but when I buy, I generally buy used. I can buy some clothing used, too- I'm pretty good at finding classic wardrobe staples like simple dresses, sweaters, and skirts at thrift stores. Other stuff, like jeans that don't look too dated and evening wear, is much harder to find used, but I can use the money I saved buying the other stuff used to buy something new :-D

Pets! Both of my cats are Freecycle kitties, and are the coolest cats I have ever owned. Fish, however, I will only buy from a reputable pet store (def. not Walmart). Again with the diseases, plus some fish come with a guarantee.

The last major purchase I made that was not used was my bike. Didn't trust buying a used one, since I had no way of knowing if it was properly taken care of (plus it wasn't that much cheaper than new).

Books are excellent to buy used - but (when I DO buy them, rather then getting them from the library) I probably buy 2/3 of my books new. Why? Because for me, it's usually an impulse buy.

Re: video games - Places that sell both new & used games (like GameStop) will often let you return used games if you don't like them. I don't know of any place that will let you return "new" games - because as soon as you take the shrink-wrap off, it can no longer be re-sold as "new".

Books from the library is obviously the best possible deal if you do any significant amount of reading. And, these days, you can order the book online from your library's web site and have it routed to your local branch for easy pick-up--you can even renew online and avoid late fees.

Baby clothes. Babies grow out of their clothes so fast that for the most part it just pays to go to the Goodwill or Salvation Army. And, once your child has grown out of them you can re-donate them.

Tools (not power tools). Go to a local flea market and you can get a great deal on perfectly useful hammers, screw-drivers, wrenches, etc. They cost 10 times as much new (for no real reason).

Garage sales in Montreal are great place to buy used Video Games, Books and CD/DVDs.

I even would vote for sports equipment as it looks that some people just wish to be fit but don't do much about it and I have bought barely used one few times

Re: cars I think 2-4 year old car could be the best choice. At least it works for me

Childrens clothes. They grow out of them so fast it makes no sense to pay full price for them. The Goodly Wife hits the consignment shops like crazy. She generally can find "top brand" kids clothes (don't ask me what that means) for $5 or under and then re-consign them once they are to small for the kids at roughly the same price... go figure.

I only buy used CDs, DVDs, books, video games, and college textbooks from It's a great website for used items. It has literally saved me hundreds of dollars on textbooks alone. Anyone can sell items on too, and it's a great place to earn extra income.

Get a spouse that's used vs new (with baggage). It's a better deal over the long run.

Looks like I am the most foolish of the commentators here. I bought a Timeshare new......

And now I agree with you. Even buying used ones is also more likely foolish.

I have been slapping myself for quite a while now.

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