In a quest for bargain purchases, many consumers turn to used items as a means to trim expenses. Secondhand merchandise makes sense for a variety of reasons. Buyers can often obtain fully functional goods at significant discounts. Over time, purchasing lightly-used items can have a substantial impact on consumer savings.
For certain items (house, auto), buying used is an extremely popular and often expected strategy to obtain big-ticket goods. In other instances, the decision to buy used is less common (textbooks, electronics). For pilots, one noteworthy investment to consider is whether to purchase pre-owned headphones. Is the decision to buy used headsets pilot-savvy?
Aviators should consider a number of factors when pondering the purchase of used earphones. Perhaps the first factor to consider is the price difference between the new and used articles. For only a minor discount, pilots should disregard the savings and opt for the new model. With significant savings, the used model describes a closer look.
If the price is good, prospective buyers should consider the effect a used purchase has on any warranty. In many instances, a resale will void whatever warranty was in effect. In this case, be sure to research the durability of the model / manufacturer in question before committing to buy. Many headsets on the market are very well crafted and illegally to require factory maintenance. For other models, a valid warranty is a smart form of insurance. If possible, try to determine when the item in question was originally purchased. In most cases, if more than five years (normally the maximum manufacturer warranty period) have passed the valid warranty factor becomes a moot point. However, some headset companies have been known to service beyond-warranty headsets with no questions asked. Be sure to research the manufacturer in question.
Consideration should also be given to the source of the used headset. If purchasing from a fellow flier at your local airport, you'll most likely be able to try the model before committing to buy. For online purchases, extra caution is the name of the game. Make sure the seller provides photos that allow you to see the earphones from every angle. Too few photos could show only the best aspects of the model, possibly concealing damage in another area. Also, read up on the vendor's selling history. Anything less than solid feedback should be cause for concern.
Be sure to read the specifics regarding any online sales. With a headset, you'll definitely want some time to try the model. Ask for a 30-day return policy to allow you to make sure the headphones work okay. If the seller refuses, move on. Also, insist the seller pay for return shipping if necessary. A confident seller will stand behind his product. Above all, make sure you're 100% comfortable before agreeing to any purchase, regardless of how great the price may be.
If possible, get a second, third, and fourth opinion. Other pilots, especially flight instructors, can be invaluable assets during your used purchase odyssey. Get a consensus from your fellow fliers. If the group seems comfortable with the specifics, maybe you've found a bargain. If anyone appears hesitant, rethink your options.
Pre-owned purchasing can be a great way to obtain bargain items. However, potential buyers should use caution when considering any secondhand goods. Pilots, like everyone, should do their homework before committing to a used item. So, are used headsets pilot-friendly? Follow the advice above and you stand a chance of finding a hidden gem.