Buy Used for Back to School

August 5, 2008 7:46:52 PM PDT
From books to bags, students and their parents are dropping a lot of dollars on back to school. If you can't afford to spend hundreds of dollars, try buying used.Back to school for Fresno City College is still two weeks away, but Ben Nguyen at TK College Textbooks is already stocking his shelves.

He says his customers come in looking for the "USED" yellow sticker, which means big savings: "From 25 to 40 percent. So I recommend the kids come early to put their hands on the used book. And save them some money."

For example, the price tag on a used sociology book we saw is 68-dollars. A new one would be at least 85-dollars. Nguyen says prices will keep going up because shipping costs have increased due to higher gas prices.

That's why Fresno State student Sandra Garcia recently bought a used Honda Civic for her college commute: "Bought it at 14,000 miles and got it at a very good price and it's practically brand new, so I got a good deal and I'm saving on gas money"

Used car dealerships like CarMax ( http://www.carmax.com/ ) in North Fresno are increasingly popular with drivers looking to spend a little less by going used. According to CNW marketing research, nationwide, 41.4 million used cars sold in 2007, compared to only 16.1 million new vehicles.

Of course the internet has become a huge marketplace for used goods. From clothes to cars and everything in between, it's basically a yard sale at your fingertips.

When it comes to electronics, like computers, check out refurbished items. www.refurbdepot.com offers a refurbished Toshiba laptop at only $549, compared to a list price of $1,399. A refurbished 20 gigabyte Apple iPod for $109 compared to $399.

And consider a consignment store for kids' clothes, like "Mom N Me" ( http://www.momnme.net/ ) in Clovis. Owner Katrina Faapouli says back to school is her busiest time of year: "You're gonna save. You're gonna get some brand new items, they still have tags on them. Good deals, you know."

That keeps Rebecca Smith coming back. She says her daughter grows too fast to keep buying brand new: "It just makes sense to use used clothes because I know other babies only wear these probably once or twice."

Then, she has twice the money for things she can't buy used ... like diapers!

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