'Pre-owned' gifts can save money while delivering quality

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Are you heading out shopping this weekend? Looking for a great gift, at a huge discount, that's also green? Have you considered buying used -- or as some retailers say -- pre-owned? We do it with cars all the time, why not other costly items, too?

A&E Watches has been doing business at The San Francisco Gift Center and Jewelry Mart for 30 years, specializing in fine time pieces, like Rolexes -- especially used Rolexes.

Jamieson Odom has been shopping there for 25 years.

7 On Your Side's Michael Finney asked him if he buys used watches: "Yes, absolutely. In fact the watch I have in this bag right here my wife bought for my 30th birthday. It was purchased used here at A&E."

So why buy used? A&E's owner Avi Dayan says the market for pre-owned Rolexes is strong. "So if you buy a pre-owned watch -- and those watches last well beyond our lifetime -- so why should you buy a brand new watch and pay more when you can buy a pre-owned watch that looks good, does the same thing and costs you way less?"

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Hard to argue with that. And at Avi's store, A&E, you can't see the difference between many of the new and used watches... until you look at the price tag.

He shows me some Rolex Submariners, a popular stainless steel diving watch. "This watch is $10,200 brand new, and this watch is -- we have 3 pieces between $8,800 and $9,100."

Our next store is not easy to find. On an alley -- the banner ripped, hardly a sign to be seen -- but walk inside of Real Guitars and there are plenty of stringed instruments for sale.

Musicians around the world know about this place and visit.

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Chris Cobb of Real Guitars opened the place 34 years ago and is still going strong. "You just get a better deal buying used, and plus certain guitars as they become vintage they age they just get better."

Our next location is on the Powell-Mason Cable Car Line at Columbus. Its sign tells you what to expect, and inside Columbus Cyclery, it is packed with bikes, new and used.

"The advantage," owner Bruno Martin tells Michael Finney, "Is that it is a big price cut, versus a brand new bike. My guess is about one third of the price of a brand new bike for a bike that is in pretty good shape, pretty much the same shape."

Take a look at more stories and videos by Michael Finney and 7 On Your Side.

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