Things you should always buy second hand

Things you should always buy second hand

When it comes to buying things second hand people are often divided into two camps – people who swear by it and those who never do it.

The latter group often have their own personal reasons for not opting for pre-loved goods. It might be that they want the latest style, they want to contribute their money directly to a particular designer or brand or they are concerned about potential quality issues. Some people might just find the whole thing a bit icky, preferring to have their things new and fresh.

The reality is though, buying everything brand new is more than likely costing you hundreds of extra dollars a year and having a very real impact on the environment. In our modern age of mass-production, trying to limit the sheer amount of things you buy is one way to make a stand for the environment and the ethical production of goods.

Even if you’re not so concerned with saving the world, one less piece of plastic at a time, the truth is that second hand goods just make good economic sense. Here are some products that you should try buying second hand:


Buying a new car may make you feel like a million bucks but the reality is that you would have just spent thousands of your hard earned dollars on an asset that starts depreciating sooner than you can say Mercedes. While there are legitimate concerns to be held about buying used cars when it comes to safety and longevity, if you do your research properly and buy from a reputable car dealer there is no reason you can’t walk away with a great car that saved you thousands.


If you’re moving into a new home and need to buy all your appliances from scratch, buying completely new products can cost a fortune. Instead of getting everything brand new, shop for some of your white goods at a store like 2nds World that offers products straight from the manufacturer that have been discounted due to minor defects or damage. This way you’re getting quality products from reputable brands that would have otherwise ended up wasted in the rubbish heap.

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Second hand furniture can be a great way of getting good quality pieces that will last you many years at a cheaper price. Instead of getting some cheap Ikea furniture that you will throw away in three years’ time, next time you need a good timber or leather piece for your house try shopping online or at a garage sale. Do try and avoid second hand upholstered furniture and bedding, however, as this can pose health and hygiene risks.


This one is for all the students out there who have blown an entire month’s pay on textbooks that are used for one semester and then sit gathering dust in a bookshelf. Buying textbooks second hand can literally halve costs at the beginning of a semester and you won’t be compromising on quality. Even if the editions on sale second hand are outdated, check with your lecturer if there are any major discrepancies and if not, it may be better to save your pennies.

Wedding dresses

This may be a controversial concept for some brides who have a fixed image of their special day including a beautiful, bespoke gown but the second hand wedding dress market in Australia has really taken off. Sites like offer thousands of pre-loved gowns at discounted prices that can be sold directly between brides.


If you still have a DVD player in your house then why not make the most of it before it turns into an ancient relic of the past. For the price of your monthly Netflix subscription you can pick up a few classic movies second hand on DVD or an entire TV series from sites like Also, keeping an eye out for closing down DVD rental stores can lead you to a paradise of second hand movie greats that you can own from now until forever, unlike movies streamed online.

Designer handbags

If you’ve got a soft spot for handbags, and designer ones at that, you’ll know that the cost can sometimes be hard to justify. Especially when you’re on to your third or fourth thousand-dollar handbag using the “I just need something to carry my stuff in” excuse gets a little unbelievable. To make your handbag habit a little less harmful to your bottom line, try browsing sites that specialise in reselling authentic second-hand designer goods.


Getting a pet from the RSPCA or local pound is not only cheaper but is the best option for those of us who really do love our furry friends. Sure a designer Shih-Poo might look great in your handbag but buying pure breed dogs is expensive and sometimes funds unethical practices. If getting a pet really is about wanting a companion, and not a fashion accessory, then doing a good deed for your pocket and a pet in need by adopting from a pound should be your only option. 

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Learn more about bank accounts

Which bank is best for business accounts?

Unfortunately, there’s no definitive answer to the question of which bank is best for business accounts. That’s because ‘best’ will differ from customer to customer, depending on their unique circumstances. These include not only your company’s financial position, but also its size, its age and the sector in which it operates. Another factor to consider is what features you want in a bank account. Your business may require different features than another business; and your business may require different features tomorrow than it does today.

The best thing to do is to thoroughly research the market before opening a business account. And when you do open an account, you should reassess your options every year or two, because the market moves quickly. A particular bank might offer the best account today, but be surpassed by one or several rivals tomorrow.

How do I open a bank account if I'm under 18?

The good news for savvy young folks like you wanting to take charge of your finances is that there are many bank accounts available for under-18s.

For bank accounts that require you to be 18 or older, you’ll have to rope in a parent or guardian to open the account for you.

Otherwise, you can apply by yourself online or at the branch of the bank, credit union or building society that has the account you would like to open. 

If applying online, you might be asked for a form of identification. For under-18s, this could be a Medicare card you’re listed on, your birth certificate and/or your current home address.

In most cases, you can verify your identity online (at the time of applying) or at the branch afterwards.

How do you open a bank account under 18?

If you’re under 18 and you want to open an Australian bank account, you will need your passport or birth certificate. (Some lenders might require just a Medicare card or driver’s licence.) You can apply online or at a branch. If you’re 13 or under, you will probably need a parent to accompany you to a branch.

Can British expats still open bank accounts?

As a British expat, you can open an Australian bank account, and you can apply for an account the same ways an Aussie would. You can even open an account online from the UK prior to relocating.

If you’re overseas, the bank you choose to open an account with may call you to provide you with our new account details beforehand. You can then have your ID verified within a branch once you’ve arrived.

And if you’re already living down under, the following list outlines the types of information required by most banks when opening an Australian bank account.

  • Australian residential address
  • Tax file number (TFN) or a TFN exemption
  • Identification (this can be your passport)

Can I start a bank account online?

Yes, most lenders that operate in Australia will let you set up a bank account online. The process is usually simple and takes five to 10 minutes. You will probably need to provide a passport or birth certificate, as well as a driver’s licence, Medicare card or another form of secondary identification. Requirements differ from lender to lender, so some institutions might ask for more or different forms of ID.

What do you need to open bank accounts?

Opening a bank account is one of the simplest online tasks you could perform. The hard part is deciding which type of bank account you want to open.

All banking institutions have a website where you hit ‘apply’ on the account of your choice and step through an application in less than 10 minutes.

Here’s a list of information that is generally required for applications.

  • Identification (driver’s licence, passport, proof of age card, proof of citizenship and/or birth certificate)
  • Tax file number (so you don’t get charged the highest tax rate)
  • Address, contact email and phone number

If you decide to open a new account at the branch, make sure you ask beforehand what information you need to take with you, or take all of the above to be safe.

How can I deposit cash into my bank account?

The traditional way to deposit cash into your bank account is to go to a branch and give it to a teller. These days, many banks will allow you to make deposits through an ATM as well.

Can I set up a bank account online?

Most Australia-based lenders will allow you to set up a bank account online. Requirements vary from lender to lender, but you will probably need to provide a passport or birth certificate, as well as a driver’s licence, Medicare card or another form of secondary ID.

How do I overdraw my Commonwealth Bank account?

Overdrawing a bank account can happen by accident. It’s often hard to know what your balance is, particularly with direct debits, scheduled repayments and pending transactions competing for cash.

To avoid being stuck with a bank fee every time your account is overdrawn, you can apply for a personal overdraft. This will enable you to overdraw your account up to an approved amount.

A personal overdraft is connected to your CommBank Everyday Account, so you can enjoy easy access to extra funds once approved – anywhere from $100 up to $20,000.

Your overdraft funds can be accessed via your CommBank keycard or Debit MasterCard, or online through NetBank and the CommBank app.

To apply you can either call the Commonwealth Bank directly or visit your local branch.

How long does it take to open a bank account?

The length of time it takes to open a bank account varies, depending on whether you want to open it online or in person.


Most banks and credit unions have simple online applications that usually take no more than 10 minutes to fill out. It can be especially fast if you have your identification documents like your driver’s licence and passport handy. Sometimes you will instantly be approved and the bank account opened. However, depending on the financial institution, it may take a day or so to be processed and your account number issued. Your account information and ATM or debit card will then be mailed to you, which usually takes between five to 10 days.

In person

If you decide to go into a branch or office to open a bank account, it may take about half an hour. Make sure you bring your identification documents with you. Also book an appointment if you can, otherwise you might be forced to wait in line. Sometimes your ATM or debit card will be issued on the spot, otherwise you’ll need to wait for one to arrive by mail, which usually takes between five to 10 days.

Can you open another account at the same bank?

Yes, you can open another account at the same bank if you already have an account there, but some banks place a limit on how many specific accounts you can open.

Generally, though, it is possible to have more than one everyday account, one personal account and one joint account, or have different types of accounts – such as a transaction account and a savings account.

Keep in mind that some bank accounts come with fees, so you could be charged twice for having two types of the same account at the same bank.

Also, if you have more than one high-interest transaction account at the same bank, only one account will be able to earn the highest rate of interest.

Can I open bank accounts for my children?

A common question for new parents is, ‘Can I open a bank account for my child?’

The short answer is yes – as a parent you can open a bank account for your child.

Once you’ve compared your options and found a bank account that suits your needs, the process is relatively simple.

As the bank account is for your child, you’ll need to provide some documentation such as proof of ID, including your tax file number.

You will also need a copy of your child’s birth certificate, and in some cases you may also need to sign a guarantee of indemnity.

Depending on the bank and whether you’re an existing customer, you may be able to open a bank account for your child online. However, you may still need to go into a branch to prove your identity.

How do I close my bank account online?

You can usually easily open a bank account online, but you often can’t close it online.

Many banks and credit unions will only let you close an account if you go into a branch or call them on the phone.

However, some banks will let you request to close the account via your internet banking. Check your financial provider’s website for details.

Just remember: If you still have funds in the bank account, transfer them to another account, or withdraw the cash. Also, if you have any payments like direct debits going in or out of the bank account, these will also stop when you close your account.

Can I have a PayPal account without a bank account?

You don’t need a bank account to send or receive money through PayPal. However, you do need a bank account if you want to withdraw money from your PayPal account.