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Should you use second hand appliances?

Do the savings made by secondhand goods measure up over time  16000646 800523926 0 0 14085385 300

If your latest washing machine, fridge or clothes dryer has decided to end its days, or you've simply decided its time to upgrade to something bigger, you may be questioning whether it's worth buying secondhand.

Here are the advantages and disadvantages of pre-loved appliances.

Pros

The upfront cost of these older whiteware goods is less than if you were to purchase them brand new.

Plus, buying second hand means you are saving the item from being thrown into landfill, so this has a big environmental impact to consider.

Another thought to take note of is that all second-hand appliances sold in a store or online in Australia must still be approved as safe for use Down Under. This means there is no risk of getting an overseas item that does not fit Aussie's tough safety standards.

However, it is worth checking that each appliance has the appropriate approval badge, regulatory compliance mark of unique approval number displayed on the appliance.

Even if you do not get the most efficient machine, you may still be able to purchase one more efficient than your current model, so you could still see savings on your electricity prices.

Cons

New appliances may be covered by warranty, so if something were to go wrong with a secondhand item you might need to wear this out-of-pocket cost.

It is unlikely that you will be able to acquire the latest model secondhand. Due to the many technological advances in recent times, it also means you may not be able to purchase the most efficient machine on the market.

Older machines typically do use more energy to run and have a bigger effect on greenhouse gases than newer models.

Use appliances efficiently

The most important thing you can do with new appliances, whether they are brand new or "new to you" is to use them as efficiently as possible.

The latest model could still cost you more than you should be paying in electricity prices if you use it inefficiently.

Here are a few tips to help you knock down the amount you pay to your electricity suppliers.

Make sure you choose the model that best suits your needs. There is no point purchasing a huge 11 kg washing machine if you have a small household as you will have to pay for the electricity used to run a bigger model.

When choosing your machines, consider what it will cost you to run it and how you will dispose of it at the end of its life.

Check the energy rating label on the product if you can and see if you can select the model with the highest number of stars.

However, bear in mind that newer appliances with the same energy rating as older appliances will be more efficient as the standards for the star rating system have been raised due to the number of developments to energy efficiency.