Over recent years, the cost of living has risen sharply and, for most of us, everyday expenses are now consuming a large chunk of our income. So when it’s time to buy or replace big-ticket items – like furniture, white goods, TVs, computers and cars – this is usually an additional and unplanned financial expense and pressure. To ease the impact on your budget, have a serious think about the following three tips; they’ll help you upsize your savings on big-ticket items.
1. Don’t buy new
Buying a big-ticket item brand new from a retail outlet is a guaranteed way to spend big. The mark-up on retail prices is astronomical – typically around 300-400% on what retailers pay when they buy from wholesalers. The minute a product leaves the shop, it significantly depreciates in value. The most dramatic example of this is with cars and motorbikes, where owners literally lose thousands of dollars once they drive out of the car yard or showroom.
However, when you buy second hand, it’s possible to nab yourself a quality item at a significantly lower price. This is particularly true when people need to sell items quickly and sacrifice their asking price for a swift sale. If you’re in the market for a car, 4WD or motorbike, jump online and start your research rather than heading to used car dealerships. Aim for websites that offer loads of vehicles for sale, such as Boost Classifieds, for better choice and healthy competition amongst sellers based on the current market value for various makes and models. Online classifieds are also a great way to buy furniture, white goods and electronics (e.g. mobile phones and mp3 players).
2. Only buy new, if…
If you really insist on buying news products, there are a number of ways to do this as cheaply as possible. For example:
- Wait until the end of the financial year as many large retailers need to move as much stock as possible for accounting purposes and often sell products close to ‘cost’ or wholesale prices. This is a good way to buy household appliances and furniture.
- If you’re in the market for a new gadget – like a smartphone, tablet or computer – hold off until the launch of the latest releases as this significantly lowers the price of discontinued or outdated stock. This can also be true for vehicles and motorbikes.
- If looking for white goods, you can save hundreds at ‘scratch ‘n’ dent’ auctions or online warehouse outlets.
3. Swap or trade
Increasingly, people are reinvigorating an age-old tradition of swapping or trading items they no longer need or want. Start with your own personal network of family, friends and work colleagues to see if anyone is interested in what you have to offer and if they have what you’re looking for. If not, head to online classifieds and sites that are dedicated purely to swapping and trading.
If your fridge has blown or it’s time to trade in your car, chances are you’re stressing out about the cost of replacing them. While these type of expenses have deservedly earnt the tag ‘big-ticket items’, it doesn’t mean you can’t shop smart and maximise your savings.