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Buying used: Breaking down barriers-to-entry

Image Source: Flickr, Karthick R


“Barrier to Entry: an obstacle that makes it difficult to enter a market.”

While the term has its origins in economics, it’s a concept that applies just as well to and all of the items being sold. One of the biggest advantages of buying used items is that it significantly reduces the financial barrier to acquiring things you need, want or desire.

Need a car? Can’t afford a new one? Buy used and overcome the barrier.

Most of time, the approach to using a site like ours is similar to the example above. A person develops a need in their life and then checks the site for what’s available. This is a standard approach but with a simple tweak, an entirely different dimension can be opened up.

Online buy-and-sells have the unique ability to not just help you save money on purchases like automobiles, they also open the door to areas you’ve always been interested in but never ventured. I’m talking about the hobbies, interests and ponderings you’ve placed on the back burner, not the necessities for daily living. For example, have you been thinking about renovating your kitchen for ages but always dismiss it due to the money involved? Have you dreamed of a functional garage, complete with an array of tools? Maybe you and your partner have been considering having kids but worry that the cost of baby furniture, clothes and toys is just too much. Perhaps there might be more personal interests that you’ve been dismissing, such as taking up bicycling or skiing or becoming a music-obsessed audiophile.

In most cases, buying used instead of brand new, can change a “If it weren’t so expensive…” situation into a “Why’d I wait so long…?” accomplishment.

Let’s use the audiophile example as a case-in-point: If you’ve only ever listened to music on your iPhone’s pack-in earphones or through the stereo on your bookshelf or even just the speakers in your car, you are truly missing out. Listening to your favourite tune through a high-quality, noise-isolating pair of head or earphones will change the way you feel about music – forever. Songs you thought were familiar will become fresh, thrilling experiences.

The problem though, is that the world of audio-appreciation is an expensive one. High quality headphones start in the hundreds of dollars and easily go into the thousands; way to much money for someone who is only curiously interested. Well, this is where sites like come in. Right now, spread across our locally-based sites, there are scores of ads for both headphones and earphones, many priced at near half of what they’d cost new:

UsedVictoria:  $200 AKG q701 Headphones ($398 MSRP)

UsedVictoria:  $100 Sennheiser HD 518 Headphones ($379 MSRP)

UsedOttawa:   $80 Sony MDR-7506 ($130 MSRP)

UsedRegina:   $60 Beats by Dre Tour Earphones ($120 MSRP)

All fantastic deals and all fantastic ways to dip your toe into the world of audio-appreciation, without breaking the bank. It doesn’t stop here though, as our sites offer groups and networks that cater to specific interests, such as the Edmonton-based Black Hat Desperaudio Group. A group that prides itself on being the “keenest audio enthusiasts” in Edmonton. Without it costing a thing, you could take your audio-interest to the next level simply by meeting up with this group.

Of course, while the above examples are centred on audio and music-appreciation, the benefits of buying used extend into almost any category of interest. From home improvement and redecorating, to starting a family or getting into a new sport, hobby or leisure pursuit, expensive barriers-to-entry can be overcome simply by choosing “used.”

And one of the nicest additional side-perks? There’s no tax on used items – an automatic savings of 5 to 15%.


Having lived on both coasts and smack-dab in the middle of the prairies, Mark believes himself to be quite the well-rounded Canadian. That being said, he sure does struggle with appropriate regional diction. Remind him again: Is it pronounced scallop or skahllop?

2 Responses to “Buying used: Breaking down barriers-to-entry”


Mark – You hit a LOT of nails directly on the head. Our “Black Hat Desperaudio” group comprises nearly 200 members in the YEG (Edmonton) area alone and a dramatic percentage of those have benefited greatly from not only being a member but, as well, have found some splendid higher-end audio gear at a reasonable cost because that gear was posted on (and the Used ‘Alerts’ function we set up for the membership doesn’t hurt either!).
So, thanks to Usedeverywhere and a few other (non-sale) places on ye olde web the BHD has become a very viable entity.
It’s all very cool.

Founder – Black Hat Desperaudios Group



    Jac –

    Wow, I knew your group was successful but didn’t quite know the extent. Thanks for filling me in and for the compliments. As always with these types of articles, I want to write so much more. There are tons of examples/areas that “used” prices can help expand one’s hobbies and explore new areas of interest. I personally think audio-appreciation is a great one because most people don’t give a second thought to the sound coming out of their head/earphones… that is until they hear a high-end set for the first time. It really does change how a person considers music… but I don’t need to tell you that! Preaching to the converted.

    I’m glad that you’ve found value in our site and hopefully, because of the article, a few more people will take the plunge and move away from their iBuds. ;0)

    Thanks for your comment!

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