The Joy of Used and Refurbished

Something I have figured out: if your personal goal is to maximize your joy, it is best to buy things used or refurbished, at a good discount. Why is this? Some thoughts:

  1. If you buy something used or refurbished at a steep discount, you feel smarter. It does take some skill to discover things which are below market price, and the great joy in buying things when the price is dipped. For example, I only buy bitcoin after the price has dipped, because I know that the inherent value of it is quite high, and I only want to get it when I could buy it at a discount. Warren Buffett would agree and say something similar, be very greedy when others are fearful, be fearful when others are greedy.
  2. I love cars and car design, but, a mark of my personal pride is that I have never bought a car for more than $2500 US. Why is that? I have never bought a new car, and I never intend to. All of my cars have been used from craigslist, or from family friends. I actually find it much more joyful to brag about how cheap I bought something rather than bragging about what I did get. For example, when I bought a used 2003 Subaru outback five speed for only $800, it was a great pride and joy for me. I would rather brag about how cheaply I bought something for, rather than bragging even if I bought a brand-new Rolls-Royce or a brand-new Lamborghini. And if I were to ever buy a Rolls-Royce or Lamborghini, it would definitely be used.
  3. Even with my recent iPhone, I bought a refurbished iPhone 11 Pro. Very happy with the decision, as I was able to get the premium materials of the iPhone pro at a discount, at around $700 not $1000.
  4. The benefit of getting things very cheap, or a discount is that you feel less tied to it. For example, with almost all of my old Apple devices I’ve given them away to friends or family, without feeling much loss.
  5. To buy brand new things, is often a downside: if you buy a brand new car and drive it off the lot, it almost immediately loses 25% of its value. Nobody likes this feeling.
  6. The benefit of buying an older model is that you know that the design is already outdated. For example, the downside of buying a lot of brand new cars is that you know that the next generation will always look a little different. For example, if you buy a brand-new Lexus IS, even though you may feel good about it for a year or two, it is almost always certain that the next generation new Lexus IS car will look different. And therefore you will feel frustrated that you’re stuck with older model.
  7. Just because you buy the brand-new thing doesn’t make you different: for example, I used to be very enthusiastic about Tesla cars, and would be excited whenever I saw any on the road. Now, because they are so common, I have almost 0 interest and actually purchasing one for myself. Also the irony is that because one of my good friends already owns a Tesla model three, I don’t feel like I need to personally purchase one. Also, with a lot of exotic cars I see, I think I like looking at them more than I like owning them or driving them. even if somebody gave me a brand new Lamborghini Aventador for free, I would be hesitant, because I know I have to deal with the stress of getting it registered, paying the insurance, figuring out where to park it without concerns of theft, and all the other headaches associated with owning such an expensive thing. Similarly speaking, I would not want to be a homeowner, even if somebody gave me the house for free, because I would have to be the one repairing it, going to Home Depot, dealing the headache with contractors, paying property and insurance taxes, and dealing with things breaking, and also feeling feeling tied down to the house. Possessions are prisons.

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