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8 Things That Lose Value as Soon as You Buy Them


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There are plenty of things we buy that increase in value over time. Unfortunately, not everything we purchase will gain value. Here are the worst “value-loss” offenders that people regularly buy:

  • Cars

Not just cars, but just about any vehicle will lose a good chunk of their value. If you’ve heard it once, you’ve heard it a thousand times: “New vehicles lose half their value as soon as you drive them off the lot.” While it may actually be more like 35%-40%, you should always consider buying a used car instead of a new one.

  • Video Games

If you have ever tried to sell a video game, you probably learned a tough lesson. Once that wrapping is taken off, it will be pretty tough to get anywhere close to what you paid for it. There are exceptions, of course. Like that classic, extremely rare original Nintendo game you never opened. Somehow, this one is worth over $13,000! But good luck finding it in the garage. Or the attic. Or the basement.

  • Jewelery

One quick search on Ebay or Craigslist just goes to show you how much of a blow the value of jewelery takes once it leaves the jeweler. Markups easily exceed 50% on most pieces of jewelery. When it comes to rings, if you ever break up with your significant other, you will not get back anything close to what it was sold for.

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  • Other Media

While video games may suffer the biggest drop in value, other media is not far behind. Books, DVDs, and CDs are pretty hard to part with once you realize how much less they are worth when you try selling them. There are many used books for sale on Amazon for a penny. If you are one of the poor souls attempting to get 1/100 of a dollar for your old book, I feel for you. But at least you’re getting something, especially when you add up over a bunch of books!

  • Electronics

Most home electronics are prime examples of high-loss items. Do you still have a VCR? I’ll bet you can’t even sell it for $5.00. What about your DVD player? The first DVD player I ever had I bought for almost $300. While not completely obsolete (yet), DVD players can easily be found for under $50 brand spankin’ new. That is not even for the “cheap” models. If you are an “early adopter” of electronics like the new 3-D televisions, you are also paying too much for little more than bragging rights to your friends.

  • Food

So maybe you aren’t very gung-ho about trying to resell that box of Rice-a-Roni that has been sitting in your pantry for two years. But if you were to try, you couldn’t get much for it. The same goes for other food. Once you have paid for it, it’s pretty much all yours. So try to avoid getting too much of certain items. They aren’t going to let you return it once you have left the store. If you have no use for it, donate it. Somebody needs it so at least you’re doing some good!

  • Clothing

The majority of the clothes we purchase are intended to be worn until they become unusable or out of style. Many of us do what we can to sell clothing when we are finished with it; providing we have not worn holes through it. In most cases, we will not get nearly as much as we paid for it originally. Clothes are one of those necessary expenses that can easily be purchased inexpensively, therefore a lack of demand for your stuff. Just do not expect a profit if you have to get rid of some. Again, like food, this is good chance to donate.

  • Personal Care Products

Some of the things we buy to keep our faces “looking young,” or to maintain that “hour-glass” figure are very expensive. But you can’t go and re-sell most of these products after you realize that they do not work for you. C’mon! That is just gross. The best you can do to not waste these products is to give them away, even to a local shelter. I’ve done it, and believe me, people are more than happy to take anything that makes them look or smell better!

Even though food, clothing and personal care products are considered “consumables,” they will still lose a lot of value. When purchasing these products, be sure you know what you want. Many personal care product and food manufacturers know full well that you are going to stick with what you are used to. That is why free samples are easiest to find in these two categories above all others. So do some research before making a bad purchase.

Okay, I’m sure you want to refute some of these claims and say “But that’s not always true, there are collectibles and rare finds….blah blah blah.” You may have a rare Ferrari, or the perfect cut gemstone that is actually worth far more than current retail value but I promise that you are in the minority.

The next time you have to purchase any of the above, see if there may be a way to get them used, or shop around aggressively if you must have it new. If there’s a will to pay less, there’s a way. Perhaps the best thing to learn here is that all is never lost…donating just about anything almost always works and you’ll feel really good about yourself, even if you did lose some money!


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You are looking at Matthew Breed. He is a 30 year old sports nerd who lives in North Florida with his fiancee, Sarah. Originally in school for a Business degree that did not work out due to capricious youth and irresponsibility, he is currently "getting past" his Peter Pan syndrome and attends classes for a degree in Information Technology while working full time. His care for personal finance stems from a modest upbringing with fiscally responsible parents who highly value education and frown upon frivolity.