In our poor years, I used to shop at thrift stores and garage sales out of necessity – to buy clothes for the kids. Back then, I swore that when we made our money pile, I would never shop for used things again. The shops were smelly, I was embarrassed that I couldn’t afford new and it was time consuming to find the right items in the right sizes.
Now that we have made our fortune, I feel differently.
Here are four reasons I like to buy used
Yes, even used clothing.
Over the years we have paid the Federal government enough to buy dozens of new luxury cars and it makes us mad! We use every legal means we can find to keep our money out of the tax man’s hands. Buying used at garage sales and thrift stores means that there is no sales tax. Buying used automobiles and etc means a greatly reduced sales tax. We love it!
Obviously, you won’t be willing to pay as much for used items. The savings are sometimes ridiculous. I bought a rattan settee and footstool for $15 once – in perfectly good shape. That is at least a 90% reduction over in store costs (and no sales tax!). I snagged a 4 foot diameter, gorgeous Christmas wreath on another occasion for $10 – another 90% reduction. In fact, I found start up furnishings and dishes for our new condo several years ago, mainly from sales.
Since I am buying used, I insist on getting the very best brands (why not, they cost the sames as the cheap ones). In clothing, I go for Ann Taylor shirts, Columbia sportswear, and Carhartt work clothes for hubby. I found an Epson scanner that just needed some free downloaded software to work, and lots of beautiful travertine floor tile for a bath remodel job I did on our Jack and Jill bathroom, all great quality items at bargain basement prices.
Thrill of the hunt
Any collector knows that hunting for that special object is most of the fun of collecting. For me, the thrill of the hunt extends to finding really cool treasures amongst other peoples trash. Strolling through neighborhood garage sales on a Saturday morning sometimes makes me want to empty out my house and start over. I see beautiful quality dining sets with matching serving tables going for a pittance. I see like new exercise equipment being practically given away. I scour through discards of books and dvds and find great reads, movies and exercise routines for a buck. You never know what you will find, which calls for an open mind and an empty van to haul your finds away.
I love the hunt so much, that for 3 years I ran an antique’s and collectables booth in an antique mall so that I would have someplace to cycle out some of my finds!
What won’t I buy used?
Of course, there are things I do insist on buying new. Underwear, socks and most shoes fall under that category. Make up, drugs, toiletries and other personal care items do as well. I usually get most electronics new – because you just never know what might be wrong with it or how buggy it might be. My son’s, however, do enough electronic hardware and software work to be comfortable picking up used items – knowing they can make them work.
To avoid bringing nasties into our home, everything I find goes right to the clean up and sanitation station when I get it home. Clothing goes right to the washer and dryer to remove any potential bugs. Hard items go to the dishwasher or get scrubbed with Lysol or other disinfectant. Things that can’t be washed are put in direct sunlight for a day before coming into the house.
What would cause you to buy used items? What tips do you have for finding them and making them safe for your home?
This post has been written by Marie from http://www.FamilyMoneyValues.com. Be sure to visit her site if you’ve enjoyed this post!
My name is Derek, and I have my Bachelors Degree in Finance from Grand Valley State University. After graduation, I was not able to find a job that fully utilized my degree, but I still had a passion for Finance! So, I decided to focus my passion in the stock market. I studied Cash Flows, Balance Sheets, and Income Statements, put some money into the market and saw a good return on my investment. As satisfying as this was, I still felt that something was missing. I have a passion for Finance, but I also have a passion for people. If you have a willingness to learn, I will continue to teach.