If you’ve never checked it out before, Lifehacker.com is a pretty amazing website. They host several different “life hacks” on their page, which are essentially ways to both enrich your life and make it a little bit easier. This week they posted an article listing all of these things that you should never pay full price for and why. Let’s take a look at a few of them.
There really is no reason, especially now during the days of the Kindle, to pay an insane cover price for a book. Unless, like certain video games, you absolutely must have it right now and/or feel the need to support the artist, the price of books depreciates quickly enough that you can wait to purchase it. You can also purchase used books through Amazon.com which tend to run much cheaper, especially older books. You can find many books on Amazon starting at a penny (plus shipping), and as long as you don’t go with a book that’s in “Acceptable” condition, you can certainly pick up a copy that’s in readable condition (“Used-Like New” and “Very Good” are usually your best bets).
Everyone has different tips when it comes to buying a car, and of course, because that’s a rather hefty decision to make before being confident that you’re even making the right one. But here’s the deal: even if you feel uncomfortable haggling (which you shouldn’t) or don’t know what fees to avoid (which you should research), you can do yourself the least bit of favors by picking up a car at the end of the month anytime in the fall after the upcoming year’s line has been released. And, like books, it’s also better to buy used, since even if there are only, say, 15,000 miles on the car, it’ll cost you a lot less than if it was brand spanking new and freshly unwrapped.
Like cars, it’s best to wait until the newer appliance models are about to be released and the older ones are put on sale. Some places will even let you haggle, which you should try anyway - what’s the worst that could happen? They say no and you end up paying the same price for it anyway? Sounds like you have nothing to lose. Also, keep an eye out for discounts on models that may have been scratched or dented. Sometimes, you can get these appliances for a steal, even if the cosmetic damage isn’t visible once it’s installed in your home. And even if it is noticeable, who cares? Would you really pay an extra $100 - $200 for an appliance that doesn’t have a scratch mark on it? If it doesn’t affect the machine’s performance, then it shouldn’t matter, unless you’re a stickler for that sort of thing.
Believe it or not, furniture also has a “season.” Items tend to go on sale in January, when no one has money after Christmas, or in July, when people’s minds are more on vacations and barbecues than on picking up a new couch. Office furniture, on the other hand, usually goes on sale in May and August. This is because many manufacturers actually take the summers off. If you don’t have to have brand new, you can pick up some good deals on Craigslist, at thrift shops, or at local yard sales.