Saving Hacks

New vs Second Hand Challenge

gini | December 21, 2018

The best things in life are free, but everything else is made better with a discount. One great way to reduce your spending is too buy big ticket items second hand, and apps like Carousell are making it easier than ever to get a big discount because someone else was willing to pay full price.  

But not all second hand goods are created equally, so we at gini have scoured the web to help you distinguish between the diamonds and the lemons.

 

Computer Software

At first glance, this looked like a no-brainer to buy second hand. Windows 10 on Carousell was only $180 HKD versus almost $1,000 HKD on the official windows website. It was almost too good to be true. Sadly for us, it was. In correspondence with the seller, it became clear that they had a vast number of Windows 10 keys and were cagey about the source. Aside from the ethical implications, the idea of pirate operating software freaked us out because we would be vulnerable to who-knows-what glitches in the ripped-off program – and in the end we were too chicken to even put the disk in.

NEW WINS

OLD : 0

NEW : 1

 

Wedding Ring

Quite possibly the worst fung shui you could get in your engagement, but hey, if it’s cheap enough it might be worth it. Carousell has a G-coloured 1 carat, SL1 clarity beauty listed for $22k, that’s a discount of over 50% on the fair value according to our online diamond calculator.

Now, we know that most fiancées are not interested in wearing a wedding band that came from some divorcee, but for those that want to start their marriage off with a huge cost saving and a big secret it’s a bargain. Just make sure you have a jeweller inspect it before you hand over any cash.

OLD WINS

OLD : 1

NEW : 1

Underwear

No comments needed. Why are people even trying to sell this stuff?

NEW WINS

OLD : 1

NEW : 2

 

Phones

Now this is a complex one. The world is full of scalpers and flippers these days, and although iPhones are not as hot as they once were, second hand sites are still full of people looking to flip new phones at a profit. The list price for an iPhone XS Max 256gb on Apple official website is $10,799 vs $7,900 on carousell – which for such a big ticket item doesn’t seem that compelling. However, for those who don’t need the latest model there are big savings to be had. An iPhone X is only $5,000 HKD and still has a few months left on the warranty. Just be sure to check the background picture before you buy it, if it’s of a gwai lo, it was probably left in a cab coming back from LKF.   

OLD WINS

OLD : 2

NEW : 2

 

Baby Stuff

This seems to be an absolute sweet spot for buying second hand. A bloom Alma max solid wood crib, (which is the rolls royce of baby cages) is $6,800 new and a mere $500 HKD second hand! Sure you don’t get to customise the colour, but for 90% off it’s a sacrifice worth making.

OLD WINS

OLD : 3

NEW : 2

 

Exercise Equipment

Planet Fitness, one of the biggest gym chains in America, had capacity to hold only about 300 people, but had signed up 6,000 total members. In face half of the Planet Fitness members don’t ever go to their gyms. Home exercise equipment is no different, with dumbbells and treadmills sat gathering dust all across the world.

Much of the equipment sold second hand is nearly new, the result of failed new year resolutions. Have you ever heard of someone selling dumbbells because they wore out through excessive use? It never happens. This makes bargains easy to come by

OLD WINS

OLD: 4

NEW: 2

 

Books

Why do we buy books? Do we buy them so that we have something to put on our shelves next to the tissues and photos? Do we buy them to impress your parents, your friends, or the date that you’re having over next week? Do we buy them because we’re overflowing with disposable income?

At the core of it, we want to be captured and ensnared by the words contained within. Whether they are presented to us in hard-cover, soft-cover, or bound in leather from the hardiest bison, it should make no difference as to how the book strikes you on a spiritual, mental, and physical level. If you happen to have a friend who is a snob about buying new books and thinks that old ones are crap, that’s usually a good indicator of who not to invite over for Christmas.

OLD WINS

OLD: 5

NEW: 2

 

Furniture

If there’s one rule we all know from interacting with other humans, it’s the fact that nobody, and I mean nobody, is on the same page hygiene-wise. You may be as clean as a hospital, neatly placing your shoes by the door and washing everything on a daily basis, but you know very well your neighbor hasn’t showered for a week and sleeps with his shoes ON. His shoes ON.

Do yourself a favor, and get a set of furniture that is not only functional, but also sanitary. The last thing you want to find after you scored that sweet deal on eBay for a new mattress is that the owner neglected to mention the reason why he was selling: bedbugs. The horror stories are many, and the upside is few. Stick to Ikea.

NEW WINS

OLD: 5

NEW: 3

 

Computers

This is a tricky spot. Given the high, high prices of retail computers from major distributors like Apple, it may be tempting to dive into the bargain bin and look for a laptop that is a model older than your initial pick, with a whole lot more miles on it than ideal. Finding the right computer that fits your need and your budget is key, but if you show up to the exchange at Yau Ma Tei MTR station and the guy hands you something with half a screen and the vowels missing from the keyboard, it’s probably not a good idea to execute the transaction. There’s a lot of uncertainty out there, and given the amount of money and personal preference associated with what computer you’re using, we might be more inclined to get a new computer in the end.

But, well, not ENTIRELY new. If you can stifle the voice inside that screams at you to get the latest, newest everything, a laptop or desktop two to three models behind can very well fit your needs at a fraction of the price. That is, unless you absolutely need that new state-of-the-art keyboard that can read your fingerprints as you type and can give you a breakdown of your daily diet.

FINAL SCORE: OLD 5, NEW 4

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