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Thursday, February 26, 2015

Used Goods

Aside from putting a moratorium on spending, the best way to save money is to buy used.

I'm an avid garage sale hound. I've decorated my home, added to my antique, book, and video collections, and found many a useful item and tools for around the farmstead.

About the only things I never look for at garage sales are clothes, mostly because I'm short and I have a hard time finding things I like even at retail. Yet, last week I hit an estate sale and found the jacket I had been looking for in like-new condition, for only five bucks. 

I have a sister who would never dream of buying anything used. My philosophy is exactly the opposite. There are very few things I'd insist on buying new, computers being one of them.

Not that I wouldn't pick up a used laptop, but a work computer is different. I need a really fast processor and lots of space for my memory hog programs. I'd probably frown on buying used underwear too, but for different reasons. \o/

Furniture, tools, and decorative items are always on my radar. People with kids swear by garage sales for kids' clothes, which makes sense since they grow out of them so quickly.

I'm hoping our next car will be used. There are no perks to new. The moment you drive off the lot it starts to depreciate.

I like used things. They have character. Kind of like me. :grin:

How do you feel about used? Do you prefer the new and shiny if you can afford it? Is there any one thing you'd never buy used?


Jackie Burris said...

Maria my favorite time in life was in the early 90's when worked in a Thrift Shop, found the neatest clothing/home furnishings/movies and etc that people donated for the Lion's club to sell.

Prior to that garage sales in the 80's were a great source because lived in an area where the Naval Base personnel living in South Texas would move regularly and get rid of belongings at reasonable prices.

B.E. Sanderson said...

If I can find a used item that suits my needs and my tastes, I am totally there. Used books, used furniture, used decor. It's all good. If not, I buy new at the cheapest price I can find for what I want.

And yes, I wouldn't buy a new car unless someone else gave me the money for it. In fact, I've never bought a new car come to think of it.

I wouldn't buy used undergarments or socks. Also, no used mattresses or pillows. Everything else is pretty much fair game.

Mike Keyton said...

Books. Thats about it. Furniture twice ; )

Maria Zannini said...

Jackie: Lucky you. I'd love to see what kind of stuff gets brought in.

I only ever donate clothes or books. The rest of my stuff stays until it disintegrates.

Maria Zannini said...

Mike: Is this stuff you'd buy used or only buy new?

I prefer not to buy cloth bound furniture used just in case the previous owner left critters, but old wood furniture are my favorite finds. I like restoring them.

Maria Zannini said...

BE: I have to admit we've been buying new cars ever since we were able to afford them, but I've seen the error of my ways.

The next car I buy for myself is going to be used--and a luxury car. Of course, I'll need smaller dogs by then. :)

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

I've shopped for clothing at Goodwill. My daughter talked me into that. I don't visit yardsales like I did when the kids were younger but I'm pretty much one of those people who use things until they fall apart so I buy most things new and then keep them forever.

Mike Keyton said...

Sorry, Maria. That was over cryptic. I meant I don't spend much on clothes or tech stuff, but when I do I go top of the range, and then disappear from the marketplace for years. It's second hand books I'm happy with, and of course wooden furniture. The last item was a fine oaken clothes chest.

Rebekah Loper said...

I love used things! I especially love Goodwill when they have half price sales. They just had one this past Saturday. I'm honestly thinking about doing a blog post about my finds.

Especially since most of the things I got were easily $20+ brand new. And I got 3 sweaters, a pair of jeans, a church-appropriate dress, a light weight coat, and a pair of shoes all for $25. It was wonderful.

I've never had a new car, but when we do get to the point of needing a new vehicle, we may have to bite the bullet and buy new, because I'm already scoping out the used ads (even though a 'new' vehicle is easily a year or more down the road), and I haven't been able to find what we'd be looking for. Because we really need a truck, but since it'll likely be the main family vehicle, it's going to need a full cab. And evidently people drive those into the grave around here, because I can't find used ones at all.

Author R. Mac Wheeler said...

Never buy a used tooth brush.

(I just had to leave that)...I know...very juvenile.

Maria Zannini said...

Susan: And that's a good point. There's nothing wrong with buying new stuff as long as you use it up.

Me, I like the thrill of the hunt, so it's more than getting stuff for cheaper. It's finding them. :)

Maria Zannini said...

Mike: Yes, careful with being cryptic with me. You know I'm overly strained with computer mumbo-jumbo right now. Ha!

I wish we had known each other 30 years ago. We used to haunt an antique auction that regularly offered English antiques. I still have a few pieces.

Maria Zannini said...

Rebekah: This is true! Even by us it's hard to find a good used pick up truck. Everybody keeps theirs until it dies.

Greg is looking for one himself, but we'll probably by last year's model, new, but not new-new.

Maria Zannini said...

Mac: You're a bad boy! LOL!

If I ever visit you I'll be sure to bring my own toothbrush. :)

Stacy McKitrick said...

I'm okay with buying used. We used to go to auctions all the time. Got our dining room set that way and the kids' bedroom sets (never could have afforded them at full price). Heck, our own bedroom dressers were used from the Army. In 1980 Ft. Wainwright used to supply furniture to families, but then decided to get out of that business and sell it all, so we got to buy our furniture for like $10 a dresser - real wood, too (not that particle board crap). We still own them. That should say something, huh?

Bought plenty of used cars in the past, too. Yeah, my latest was new, but I got a great price (and 0% financing) and I was kind of tired of used.

Maria Zannini said...

Stacy: Boy you can really tell the difference in quality between real wood and particle wood furniture.

Our first bedroom furniture was with us for 30 years before we decided to part with it.

Diane Carlisle said...

Yeah, I'd never buy used underwear, but I do buy used things at times. My most recent purchase was a shirt I got from Goodwill because we were heading to a Christmas party and the theme was "The ugliest Christmas sweater party." lol

I found exactly what I wanted and I didn't have to spend a whole lot for the one time I was going to wear it.

I buy used furniture too. I will buy used garden tools and used books. If it's overpriced on the market, I have no problem going to find it at a thrift store or garage sale. I absolutely love going to the local flea market.

One thing I don't buy used anymore are my cars. I have to have the warranty and the confidence it's not going to break down on me!

Maria Zannini said...

Diane: I agree about the car thing, which is why we'll probably by last year's model so we can still get the warranty.

In the old days it never would've occurred to me that someone might try to pass on a lemon, but today, you can never be sure.

Jenny Schwartz said...

Used is fine with me. I think my favourite used (apart from books) might be cuttings from a neighbour's garden. They're not pretty and potted up like from a garden centre, but they come with a story and a guarantee -- if they can grow for the neighbours, they should grow for me!

Shelley Munro said...

It depends on what the item is. We always buy used cars and I love to browse in used-book stores. Clothes - not so much. I had so many foisted on me as a child. :)

Raelyn Barclay said...

I shopped garage sales more in Oregon than I do in Nevada. On the other hand, I shop Goodwill and the like more in Nevada than Oregon. I think it has to do with ease of access.

I've only bought one new vehicle in my life. Most of our furniture is used. One thing I won't buy used is beds. (Especially here in Nevada where we've had major bed bug outbreaks.)

For the most part we use something till it falls apart and/or re-purpose it.

We just watched a show last night about landfills and we've got a family meeting planned for the weekend to figure other ways we can reduce our footprint. Gotta love thought-provoking T.V.

Marian Perera said...

I wouldn't buy underwear that was, how shall I put it, obviously used. But a long time back, I worked at a high-end thrift store where people sometimes donated clean, new brand-name underwear. I was fine with those. I would never have been able to afford those brands if I'd gone to a store.

I have a friend who hates anything second-hand (she calls garage sales "garbage sales"), but I got an entire wardrobe out of that thrift store. I still have dozens of lovely, would-have-been-expensive-but-close-me-pennies clothes I haven't worn.

Marian Perera said...

I meant "cost-me-pennies", duh!

Lynn Viehl said...

I've never owned a new car. I bought my current ride 13 years ago for half the price of a brand-new model (and it was only 18 months old at the time.)

To save money and live greener I also try to buy used over new when possible, especially clothing. The only things I refuse to buy used are hair brushes, lingerie and socks. :)

Maria Zannini said...

Jenny: I think that's a lovely idea. My favorite plants have been from a friend's cuttings.

Maria Zannini said...

Shelley: :) I understand. I was the oldest and got to wear new clothes first. And then my sisters grew faster than me and I ended up with their hand me downs.

Maria Zannini said...

Raelyn: I worry about the landfills too. I'm glad you brought it up. It's a lot more serious than most people realize.

Sometimes I feel my piddly efforts are insignificant to the bigger problem, but every little bit helps.

Maria Zannini said...

Marian: That's my sister. I don't know how we grew up with totally polar ideals but there it is.

At least I know we'll never travel in the same social circles. LOL.

Maria Zannini said...

Lynn: Our oldest car is 18 years old. I love that truck. We bought it new and it's been the most reliable vehicle we've ever owned. I know we have to retire it soon because it's on its last leg, but it'll be a sad day. Best truck ever.