Anyway, SPECIFICALLY, we were sitting there laughingly looking at the half of our joined furniture that had ended up in her apartment, wondering ... why the hell we spent so much money on new, crappy furniture.
"Why did we buy that horrible TV stand new for $40?" I asked looking at the TV stand that was, for so long, the bane of our collective TV watching existence, and is now merely the bane of Miss V's crime drama watching existence.
Miss V: "Uh, excuse me, it was $80! At K-Mart!"
Arduous: "$80!! We paid $80 for that thing?"
Miss V: "Yes! Because I was obsessed with finding a TV stand that would match our coffee table."
Arduous: "It doesn't even MATCH!"
Miss V: "Look, it was the CLOSEST I could find."
Arduous: "And why did we buy a new coffee table anyway?"
Miss V: "I don't know, but I loved our coffee table."
Arduous: "Oh, don't get me wrong, I love it too, but, hello, it's an Ikea coffee table."
Miss V: Right? There are probably like 20 JUST LIKE IT on Craigslist.
Arduous: For cheaper.
Miss V: Yeah. And yet for some reason...
Arduous: It just didn't OCCUR to us.
Miss V: No. Why didn't it occur to us? I mean, we had less money then than we do now.
Arduous: I know, it's so weird. Like, why did I buy new bookshelves?
Miss V: Seriously, why? There are literally 50 Billy bookcases on Craigslist right now.
Arduous: For $30. And like ... the TV we bought? I just feel like, if you're not going to buy an LCD TV, then why not buy off Craigslist? You're going to get something just as good for $50.
Miss V: I got the TV in our bedroom off of Craigslist for $50!!
Miss V: Why didn't we think of this sooner?
Arduous: I really don't know.
There is nothing like packing up an apartment and getting rid of stuff to remind you of how the worth of your possessions drops dramatically the second you leave the store. They say this is true of cars. That the moment you drive your new car off the dealer's lot, your car drops steeply in value.
But the same is true of just about anything. The $15.00 new book is selling for $5 used on Amazon Marketplace. The $90.00 Billy bookcase is $30 on Craigslist. The Toshiba television that you bought for $300 and used for six months? You'll be lucky to sell it for $75.00.
On the other hand, if you buy a used book for $5, you can likely sell it for the same exact price. If you buy a two year old bookcase for $30, and then use it for another 3 years, you'll still probably get about $25 from someone. And as long as your television isn't too old, and is in working condition? Someone will probably give you $50 for it.
So, even if you don't care about the environmental cost of your stuff, there's still a pretty good reason to buy used. Buying used just makes good financial sense. From an investment point of view, while both new and used bookcases are generally depreciating assets, a used bookcase tends to depreciate less than a new bookcase. And from a utility point of view? A used bookcase is going to work just as well as a new bookcase.
Sure there are a few things that are probably worth buying new. A laptop. Maybe an iPod, or a cell phone. But a used book, a used table, a used set of dishes? Those things? Tend to work just as well after a few years of use as they worked the day they were first bought new from the store.
With that said, anyone want to buy some crappy Ikea furniture? Call me!