Online Shopping: Should You Buy Used or New?

by hmiller 30. January 2010 00:40

Have you debated whether or not you want to buy used or new products? What are the advantages and disadvantages? Here is a brief summary of the pros and cons of purchasing used or new products online.

*Buying New-Pros*
If you look for a satisfaction guarantee, return policy, and/or warranty when you buy products, you are much more likely to find them when you buy new. You are more likely to be buying from the original company, so if something goes wrong, you can often go to the source—and get a fast resolution.

Of course, buying new also means you’re going to get a good quality! It’s going to be the latest and greatest. It will also last longer. In a world technology and fashion is always improving and changing, you won’t be left  behind when the next upgrade comes along. New products, especially when it comes to technology, are much more likely to be compatible with new enhancements and features. For example, newer computers have more space and built in gadgets like a 3G connection—something that would have been unheard of a few years ago. If you want quality guaranteed, buy new!

*Buying New-Cons*
Just like buying something in a physical store, you can guarantee the newest stuff online is also the most expensive. The minute someone buys something, it’s no longer new, it’s used—like new, but still used. The monetary value diminishes significantly, yet the actual quality and usability of the product has barely changed. Therefore, sometimes buying new, as opposed to buying lightly used is almost foolish considering the difference in price.

Another problem with getting new things is that you’ll hardly ever find something unique! New items only come in the style and format that is most popular and fashionable at the time. If you tend to be a tad eccentric, or just want your life to have a unique flair, you’ll have trouble finding it new—unless you want to spend a fortune!

*Buy Used-Pros*
Some things can last a very long time in a used condition. Say someone recommends a book to you and you decide to get it, just for yourself. Since you’re getting it as a gift, it doesn’t need to be new! You can often find hundreds of used items for sale for a few dollars, even if the original price is more than 20 dollars! If you just want to read the book, why not spend a fraction of the original cost, and deal with the slightly bent cover or the few highlighter markings?

Many people have very valuable, usable items that just happen to not be brand new. Not only are you helping out a fellow individual make a few bucks on something valuable they no longer need, you are in a sense recycling items and save a lot of money!

*Buying Used-Cons*
When you buy used items, you always run the chance of being tricked into buying a piece of junk. Some sellers are unaware their product doesn’t work, but regardless, the hassle of getting a refund is almost not worth the effort. Since buying used usually means you’re not buying from the original company, the chances of getting them to replace your item is slim, and the seller may require you to pay to ship the item back before refunding you, which means you end up spending more for nothing. Although many websites like EBay and Amazon provide assistance if you are scammed by a seller, there are unfortunately some cases where the issue cannot be mended in the way you find satisfactory.

This situation is not common, but it’s a risk you might be willing to take to save money and help out another individual. If you learn what signs to look for and only buy from sellers with good ratings, you shouldn’t have too much trouble.


Written by Hannah Miller, Online Marketing Representative and Customer Service, is a nationwide Internet services provider that is all-American owned and operated. Call today, 1-800-336-3318 or sign up online at! Check out my blog for more articles!

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About the author

Hannah Miller is an Online Marketing Representative for - America's best provider for Dial-Up Internet Service since 1997.

Hannah has been a Customer Service and Tech Support agent for since 2007, which has supplemented her knowledge of dial-up, computers, and the Internet. The entries that are posted in this blog are professional articles relating to our industry. Email your questions, suggestions, and other comments to

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