Nitesh Patel, head of financial solutions at Standard Bank, recently caused a hullabaloo when he advised people to save money by avoiding the urge to buy new books. It came as no surprise that his opinion got attacked and lauded at the same time.
Whatever your opinion, books could certainly be bought second-hand and so could a wide array of other entertainment goods; they render the same value and use but at a fraction of the price. Oftentimes, the only trade-off is the willingness to wait for something to get older and the demand to drop.
With December looming and budgets still very tight, let’s look at which entertainment products could be bought second-hand when pennies need to be pinched.
DVDs and video games
Unless they’re scratched beyond repair, DVDs and games for consoles such as the Playstation and Xbox should, as a rule of thumb, be bought second-hand. These games and movies are just as usable as new ones, but at a much-reduced price. Have a look at pawn shops, flea markets and second-hand stores like Cash Crusaders for good prices on second-hand DVDs and games.
Patel certainly has a point.
One could pay anything between R200 and R600 for new books – especially bestsellers – due to red-hot demand. Retailers want to reap as much as possible before they become yesterday’s stories. But that is exactly it: Those stories don’t “expire” when the book gets older. That spy novel will still be just as spellbinding and riveting two years from now.
Some second-hand books may appear a little shopworn and tatty, but they are generally in a good condition after being read by only one person or not at at all as it was an unwanted Christmas gift. Yet again, time is the deciding factor: You have to be willing to wait it out for a few months for a new book not to be new anymore and demand to cool down. It could make a R400 difference, but just make sure that all the pages are intact because an incomplete story is no story at all.
Gadgets and electronics
With the high turnover of gadgetry due to the competition between firms to out-innovate one another, one could easily buy all kinds of electronics – even new appliances – at heavily slashed prices. Both Cash Crusaders and Cash Converters confirm that most of the goods traded at their stores are electronics, including iPads, iPods, smartphones, laptops and flatscreen TVs. “We have a high turnover of cellphones and the market we sell to, with an average household income of between R11 000 and R14 000, tends to have more than one cellphone,” said marketing manager for Cash Crusaders, Alaine Rossouw.
Richard Mukheibir, chief executive of Cash Converters, concurs and adds that “as technology enhances, the goods we are buying and selling are of a higher quality. Apple products barely featured five years ago, now we are trading in iPads, iPods and smartphones, which have a significantly higher average value.”
So if it’s in working order and not too grubby, it’s extremely wise to buy electronics and gadgets second-hand as they give us the same functionality and reward as new ones.
Toys and board games
Do not pass R400! Older Monopoly money is still Monopoly money and your two-year-old will have just as much fun with an older toy truck in good condition than a new one. Parents are the only ones feeling guilty purchasing used toys for their children as kids don’t compare themselves to others like adults do. They just want to play and will turn a new toy into a shabby one within a day anyway.
Hanna Barry, 14 February 2014, “Hard times boost trade in high-value second-hand goods”, Moneyweb, http://www.moneyweb.co.za/archive/hard-times-boost-trade-in-highvalue-secondhand-goo/.