Does buying always trump renting? I don’t think so! Does buying used mean you’re not getting the best of the best? Not in my consumer-wise opinion! Buying brand spankin’ new–not to mention purchasing something you may only need for a short period of time– isn’t always the best way to go, especially on your wallet.
There are plenty of rental and “used” options, which will leave your bank account oozing with cash. Take it from me– I’m definitely thrifty when it comes to purchase decisions. Renting items and buying used products has put some of the more luxurious things in life at my fingertips– like a Louis Vuitton bag and Dolce & Gabbana dress (don’t kid yourself– you never have to pay full price!). Here are some great things to rent or to buy gently used, which will take your savings to a new level.
Rent Designer Dresses, Jewelry and Accessories: For special occassions, you want a special dress, right? I mean, you don’t want to post pictures to Facebook wearing the same dress for the zillionth time. But who has the money to keep buying new frocks (not me!)? So, for those date nights and formals, visit RentTheRunway (RTR). You can rent designer looks at 90% off retail prices. From dresses to necklaces to earrings, this site has it all. RTR helps you look chic, fresh and financially savvy in a new, hot wardrobe.
Buy Gently Used Clothing and Accessories: When you’re on a tight budget, even the sale racks can be your worst enemy. Sure, you can score some deals on new, everyday clothes, but it’s hard to find those brands you drool over. In comes, Plato’s Closet to save the day! This retail store sells gently used clothing from brands like Abercrombie, bebe and Lucky Brand. From shorts to jeans to dresses, transform someone else’s lost trend into your personal style. With store locations around the country, your inner-fashionista is sure to spend an entire day browsing the racks and saving up to 70% on the same clothes you would see at the mall.
Rent Designer Handbags, Watches, Sunglasses: Avelle’s Bag Borrow Or Steal is like my personal oasis. You can rent top designer accessories! Some scenarios as to why this site is amazing: If you’re going on vacation and want a pair of gorgeous Coach shades, you can rent a pair for $13/week. Have a job interview and want a fabulous Louis Vuitton handbag (that shouts, “Hire me and I’ll make you a million bucks!”), rent one for $26/week. Or how about a watch to match that power-suit? Again, rent a diamond Charriol for $67/week! This site is perfect for the student on a budget.
Rent Your Textbooks: That’s right. Most Barnes & Noble College campus bookstores are now renting textbooks! And when you rent textbooks, you save more than 50% as compared to buying new. And even though you’re renting, you can still mark up the book, highlight it and take notes right on the pages. The bookstore accepts most methods of payment, including financial aid, so the rental process is simple. Plus, a huge advantage of renting from your bookstore compared to renting online is you can pick up your books at the store same-day. Not too shabby! So, if you know you won’t be keeping the books required for a particular course this semester, why buy when you can rent and return? Find out if your bookstore is renting textbooks!
Buy Used Textbooks: Renting not for you? Does your campus bookstore not offer rentals (don’t worry…we’re working on that!)? Buying used books is the best value. When you buy used, you save more than 25% as compared to new textbooks. Plus, when you sell them back at the end of the term, you’ll get some cash back, too! I loved buying used because the prior students’ notes and highlights always helped me focus more. Sad, but true!
Rent Your Ride: Whether your wheels make up a bicycle or car, you no longer have to deal with the hassle of “wheel” ownership. Don’t know where you would keep a bike if you owned one? No worries. Check to see if your town offers a bike share program! Simply borrow a bicycle for the day, cruise around campus and return when you’re finished. Can’t afford monthly car payments? Many cities and universities are offering car share programs like Zip Car, too. With ZipCar U., students and faculty members can join for just $35/year. When you borrow the car, 180 miles per day are included in the annual price, as well as gas and insurance. Nice Deal!
Rent or Buy Used Camping Gear: With summer in full-swing, it’s time to get outdoors! When it comes to camping, this can be a very affordable weekend trip– as long as you don’t have to buy all new camping gear (which will leave you an unhappy camper, right?). So, why not rent what you need from Lowergear.com or buy used items from uuzed.com? Renting or using used equipment is sure to save you cash. For example, a two-person tent rental for 3-days is just $28.
Buy a Used Cellphone: If you’re in the market for a new cell, check out recellular.com before heading to the store. The site sells preowned cell phones at a reduced rate. You could score a Blackberry for just $30!
So remember: Just because you don’t have the cash flow now to purchase some big ticket items doesn’t mean you can’t get what you want most. By renting or buying used items, you can have a revolving door of clothes, handbags, cell phones, and of course, the books you need to succeed.