Buying 2nd Hand instead of New

Northeast, AR(Zone 7a)

Ok, I'll admit it, I'm a materil girl. I LOVE gadgets and gizmos and purty thangs. The problem is that my meager paycheck doesn't take into consideration my love of purty thangs. So what's a needy gal to do??

I take a page from the Nanny's (Fran Drescher's character) manual on bargain shopping--never pay the full price. Almost everything can be negotiated to a lower price or found elsewhere cheaper. For instance, when buying ANY car--new or used--sellers ask for more than they want because they know you're going to try to bargain. You can usually get them to add things to it too for no extra cost. I bought a used car once for $2000 less than the dealer wanted AND I talked him into putting a luggage rack on it and new tires too. Car dealers are a bizarre lot of gamblers. They just hate it if you walk away. They'll do almost anything to make a sale. About 13 years ago, I almost drove off a car lot because they wouldn't sell me a van for $300 a month. They got the payments on the van down to $350 a month, but I was adamant about $300. It was in perfect condition and probably worth $350/mo, but I knew they could do better. As I was driving off, the salesman came running after me hollering. $303.50 was the best they could do, he said. So I happily hopped in their van and drove it off the lot. It's been paid for now for 8 years and I'm still cruising the town in it.

Never buy new when you can get it like new. New items are almost always overpriced. If you can't fid it used, then wait for a sale, discount or coupon. I usually never get anything when it first comes out. For instance, just this month, I've finally bought a flat panel tv. I got a 22" from a guy on Craigslist for $50. It was new in the box--a birthday gift from one of his family members. Another family member had bought him a bigger TV so he sold the smaller of the two to me. (Wish I had family members hankering to buy me TVs!)

Today, I answered another Craigslist ad for another flat panel TV -- a 26" for $100. A while back I got a nice laptop for $100. I have a beautiful garden swing on a stand and it cost me $28. Last week I got a wrought iron bench, matching chair and table, all for $30, as well as two wicker rocking chairs for $25 each. My leather sectional with a built in recliner and hideabed was $300. My bedroom suit with a 4-poster rice bed, two night stands, a highboy chest of drawers, and a larger TV armoire cost me $425. (The highboy chest of drawers--on the right in the photo below--sells from the manufacturer for $3500!!!!) I rarely ever shop retail. I can get so much more for my money by buying used and fixing it up if necessary. Craigslist is a great source for all the "purties" that I like.

I also shop Ebay, Amazon.com, yard sales, flea markets, thrift shops, goodwills, and our local newspaper. There are so many bargains waiting for us out there. With the price of our necessities climbing higher and higher (gas is almost $4/gal here), we have to save as much money as possible on our luxury items or do without. I don't know about you, but I really don't like doing without. LOL

What tips do you have for discount shopping? What are some of your favorite places to shop for bargains? If I'm missing out on a great resource for anything, please clue me in. I hate missing a bargain!

NancyAnn

Thumbnail by ButterflyChaser
Elmira, NY(Zone 6a)

I'm with you on the used stuff. I have found good used stuff at the Salvation Army store in Ithaca, a college town nearby, especially at the end of term when all the rich kids are going back home and dumping everything. I got a nice futon for $40 that cost $250 new. Also a faux oriental carpet I was willing to pay $200 for new for $15.95. It does require repeated visits to find good stuff, though.

I also buy vintage things on ebay. I got sick of new fans made in China that would break or be malfunctional right out of the box and bought a vintage fan made in the US in the fifties for less. It only needed cleaning and it looks a lot nicer. Also bought a used steel sewing machine for $35, including shipping. It needed sewing machine oil and a new needle. You have to watch out for the shipping on there. Many sellers try to make their money from that.

The computer I am using right now was sold as remanufactured at Staples and cost about half the price of a new one.

Ozone, AR(Zone 6a)

I shop Salvation Army,The Methodist thrift shop, Yard sales too. Sometimes find good sales at Dollar General and Dollar Tree.I love to browse stores so i injoy shopping and looking.
Vickie

Vancouver, WA(Zone 8a)

Most all books & cd's I buy thru Amazon are used. Never been unhappy w/ condition of any purchases.

Northeast, AR(Zone 7a)

I do that too, Anastatia. But in the last week, I've discovered flea market books for 50 cents to $2 each. I'm trying out a couple of new authors and found them at the flea market I'm renting a booth in. Yesterday, I got four hardcover books for a total of $4. Amazon's shipping becomes too much if you buy several books. The books may only be $1 each, but then the shipping runs around 3.50 per book, so that $1 isn't such a good bargain sometimes. I'm really glad I discovered some of the books I want at the flea market.

SF Bay Area, CA(Zone 9b)

Flea market prices for books are the best. But if the books you want to read aren't ones you really want to keep, try the library. It's amazing what they have! Here libraries abound, plus they will get books for you from libraries WAAAAY outside your area. And you can do all your ordering online, and pick them up at the closest branch. Saves a lot of time and a lot of gas.

I found this website a while back which helps me a lot to organize my "want list": http://www.fantasticfiction.co.uk/ Classics to contemporary, romance to scifi. Great site!

St. Louis County, MO(Zone 5a)

My girlfriends and I pool a few dollars every now and then, and one who loves to shop (and has a memory of what we have read) takes care of keeping us in books. We pass them around, then donate them to a church that sends them to service men/women. She pays about 50 cents a book, and 10 of us read them.

Northeast, AR(Zone 7a)

Oh Cathy, that's a great idea! I didn't think about donating them to the military.

My sister and I both read Nicholas Sparks. I read them first and then give them to her. She reads them and passes them along to a friend of hers. (That man needs to write faster! We're running out of books to read!)

My older sister passes along mystery books to us and we read those and then pass them along.

Our library started some kind of program where they took several books and dropped one here and there, in public places. Inside the books is a note glued to the inside cover that explains their program aimed at getting people to read. You're to read the book and then log into their website and state your general location and how you liked the book, and then leave the book in another public location or pass it on to a friend who'll do the same. I'll do that wth some of the books I've finished that no one I know wants.

With magazines, I take several to the doc's office to read while I wait. When I finish one, I drop it on a table or in a chair for the next person who's bored. Several ladies have thanked me for leaving behind current issues of gardening magaznes.

I'm not good at checking out books at the library. Most of my reading is done at the doc's offices. I not only have my appts but also my mother's and my disabled brother's, and that's about the only time I sit still long enough to read a chapter. It can actually take months to read a whole book unless I'm stuck inside because of rain.

Fairfield County, CT(Zone 6b)

Our public library maintains a large rack of paperback books in the train stations. You just help yourself!

St. Louis County, MO(Zone 5a)

That is cool Cat, a neat way to get people to read.

Dover AFB, DE(Zone 7a)

http://www.operationpaperback.org/ is the one that I know of that sends paperback books to the troops. I am sure that there are others.

When DH was in need of a new computer; he stopped in to the computer repair shop and asked them how much it would cost to build one out of a new drive and used parts. He ended up with a computer that will do everything but bring him coffee for $200. We will never buy new again.
Remember when VCR's cost $600? and then dropped down to $40? Well; Nintendo WII is dropping it's price down by another $50 this month and DH is (finally) going to buy one along with some of those exercise games. (I was hoping to get the games used, but we cannot find them over here)

Northeast, AR(Zone 7a)

Thanks for the link, Juney!

Let us know if you actually use the Wii. I've thought about getting the Wii Fit, but I figured it would be like all these exercise videos I bought that I still don't use. I'm just not an indoor person and I hate exercise for exercise sake. I'm very active and love being outdoors, but being indoors just robs me of my energy. I think it's my Indian heritage that makes me feel trapped inside. But let me out the door on a sunny day, and I'm a whirlwind of activity! LOL

I learned how to my own computer repairs with the first computer I got. I can't do everything...yet, but I'm pretty handy. I've taken out parts and put in new parts. I've tinkered with software that got messed up and I managed to fix it--sometimes even I don't know how I did it. LOL I'm getting ready to add a 2nd hard drive to my PC just to store pics. And I'll keep them on my external hard drive too, in case the internal drives crash.

My brother got excited when I was able to transfer his files from an old obsolete computer (that still used the 5.25 floppy drives!) to his new computer. He's an architect and needed some of the drawings on the old pc, but had no idea how to retrieve them. I was able to remove the hard drive and turn it into an external hard drive that we could then hook up by USB to his new computer and transfer the files. He was thrilled to find some of the old files he wanted to access. I had never done that before and wasn't sure I could, but he wasn't going to pay someone to do it. So if I messed the computer up, it wouldn't hurt anything. But it was so simple!

I'm toying with the idea of building my own PC next time. TigerDirect sells PC kits all the time and sometimes they're cheap. Just sign up for their emails and you'll get several emails a week with their specials. They run 24 and 48 hour specials frequently and lots of great deals. Sometimes they have a 2TB external hard drive for less than $100. They also have specials on other computer equipment, TVs and other electronics. The computer I have now I bought from them a few years ago.

Mint Hill, NC(Zone 7b)

I love to go to TJ Maxx or Marshall's to shop for bargains. They have pretty good prices on stuff, but when they put it on clearance then you can really score some good quality stuff. I've found a normally $100 pair of jeans for $25 and a $110 leather purse for about $50. There are more things I've found there than those, but you get the idea.

Clarksville, TN(Zone 6b)

Yes, if you look around at the stores and scan store flyers on a regular basis, you begin to notice when certain stores put certain items on Clearance. I try to make note of this so I can get there early. I try to be patient and do a lot of my gardening/yard decoration shopping in the Fall when they have some really good Clearance sales. Got this piece which had been selling for $24.99 for $6.49 at Lowe's garden Clearance last Fall.

Thumbnail by Cville_Gardener
Fairfield County, CT(Zone 6b)

That is really nice!

Northeast, AR(Zone 7a)

Oh, I love that sun! I need that for my garden. Wish I'd been there!

I got some suns for my gates on ebay. I won a 99 cent auction that included 3 metal suns about 24" in diameter and one ceramic moon plaque. Shipping was $20, so for $21, I got all four pieces. I'm so surprised no one bid against me. Here's one of them.

Thumbnail by ButterflyChaser
Clarksville, TN(Zone 6b)

Good deal on the auction and good thing I wasn't there to bid against you. LOL.

Round Rock, TX(Zone 8b)

Well you guys already found my favorite places to shop. I love Goodwill and SA! I shop at Lowe's clearance for plants a lot too. Especially Mondays after a holiday when a lot of the plants get neglected. I bought a sad looking palm tree whose original price was $150. Paid $50. You should see it today. It's gorgeous!

One of my best finds at Lowe's was these succulent boxes. They hang on the wall to make a living picture. I'd been wanting one for a couple of years but didn't want to pay $19.95 for one. So I waited a few months. Went back in and they were marked down to $11.95 each. unnnno Still too rich for my pocketbook. So I waited some more. A few weeks later I went back and almost had a cow. They were marked down to $1 each!!! There were six left and darn straight, I bought them all! I found one complete with plants at a nursery for $250. So now with some time and patience I'll have my living picture. Yay!

Another time I found some of those Upsy Daisy tomato hanging/growing kits for $2 each, marked down from $15 each.

And I got a corner cabinet (the kind you build in) with the lazy susan type shelves for $20, marked down from $140.

I also visit their concrete area often. I have been making my own stepping stones out of concrete. The Sir mix brand is cheap enough to start with but if you check around there is usually a pallet of broken bags. The Lowe's here sells them for 50 cents each when the bags are broken. So my cheap stepping stones are even cheaper!

So look for me there. I'll be the one peeking over your shoulder to see what kind of deals you got too. ^_^

Heather

Thumbnail by gr8cayte
Clarksville, TN(Zone 6b)

This old spice drawer cabinet was $2.59 at our nearby Goodwill. Minus the plants, of course. ^_^

Thumbnail by Cville_Gardener
Virginia Beach, VA

I love it and looks antique!!!! Belle

Clarksville, TN(Zone 6b)

It's old ... constructed with dovetailing and tiny little nails.

Now I'm looking for the succulent boxes. ^_^

Northeast, AR(Zone 7a)

Gr8 bargains, Gr8Cayte! We want to see your succulent pictures when you do them.

Cville, I love the spice drawers! Very nice!

I recently answered an ad on Craigslist for an iron chiminea for $25. Had to have it. When I got there, the guy said he also had 5 of those big packaged logs that you burn in them for $1 each. I said, Hand 'em over! Then he took me around back where he had a nice bistro set--table and two chairs for $25 and two other nice chairs for $5 each. So I ended up with all of it for $65! The bistro set alone runs over $100 new.

Fairfield County, CT(Zone 6b)

I picked up a silver leaf shaped dish at a tag sale Saturday for $2. A friend found the hallmark - it was sterling. It was no bigger than 3" across. I took it to another friend who has an antique shop and it was worth $45 in silver! I could not believe it. I ended up trading her for a "new" watch as my old one had broken on Friday. I think that I am going through my broken jewelry stash and turning in all the silver for money.

Round Rock, TX(Zone 8b)

Okay, I have to apologize. I hijacked this thread I think, turning it into a T2T discussion. I'm gonna post some things on the T2T forum so I stop hijacking. Although maybe there is a "great bargain" forum? Or is that still T2T? ^_^

Heather

Virginia Beach, VA

What is a T2T?

Round Rock, TX(Zone 8b)

Trash to Treasure ^_^

Virginia Beach, VA

Thanks

Bolivar, OH

I love Goodwill. Each week they have a certain color price tag marked down to .99. I buy almost all of my jeans there - sometimes they still have the original price tags attached. I also go there if I need (ok, want) a "holiday" or special occasion dress. I don't mind buying something that I will only wear once or twice when it is that cheap. Then I sell it at a yard sale and make my money back.

Round Rock, TX(Zone 8b)

GW is the greatest! I found my teen son a full dress suit there that was originally marked $30 then marked down 50% from that. But the day I went it was half off the marked down price so I paid like $7.50 for it. It was brand new! Love it!

Heather

Northeast, AR(Zone 7a)

I think this is the "great bargain" forum--Frugal Living. We're always talking about ways to save money, couponing, and getting good deals here.

T2T is also about great bargains, but it's more about being creative and turning someone else's trash into a new treasure. Some people on T2T forum are real artists. I just love seing what they can do with something I'd have left in the treasure. They just have some of the greatest ideas.

Round Rock, TX(Zone 8b)

Oh good! Well then let me tell you a "good bargain" gone sorta bad story. Someone on Craig's list was giving away between 900 and 1200 sq. ft., of floor tile (used and not). I pounced on it cuz our carpets could stand to be replaced. We made five or so trips over to get it all (all or nothing type of deal). I couldn't believe the ammount of brand new tile this guy was throwing away. But the city told him to clean up what looked like a tile dumping grounds so he wanted it all gone.

We stacked and piled and stacked some more in our three car garage. It took up the space of one vehicle there was that much (and almost as tall!).

Fast forward to last week. We're moving now and I hadn't installed the tile yet. Not true. I've only done the kids bathroom (see pic). So what to do with this tile? Cuz I darn sure ain'ta gonna take it to TX with me! It's listed in the mosaic forum if anyone wants it. But I ain'ta gonna ship it either. ^_^

But it's killing me to have to get rid of it. aaahhhh! :-(

Thumbnail by gr8cayte
Virginia Beach, VA

You sure are handy and saved tons of $ doing it yourself!!! Belle

Round Rock, TX(Zone 8b)

Belle why does your clock say 9:50am? It's 2:20 out here and your only four time zones away. So it's 6:20am. Weird.

Anyway, I had fun doing the bathroom tile. What I'd really like to do is teach others how to do stuff like laying tile. I love teaching and I love seeing the looks on faces when someone has accomplished something new. I had a thought that if I leave everything behind I can start all over again searching for treasures. (shhhh, don't let my DH know I said that!) ^_^ Anyway, mornin!!

Heather

Virginia Beach, VA

I am an early riser and it is 5:31 AM. I read your post at T N T and it is amazing how resourceful some gals are. I love adding fixtures for my garden but not inside the house. DH will get upset if I add anything else inside.

Belle

Bolivar, OH

Gr8cayte - that floor is amazing!!! Are you sure you don't want to move to Ohio? I could be your first student. LOL!

-South Central-, IL(Zone 6a)

gr8cayte, please put a link to the forum your tile is in. Thanks!

Round Rock, TX(Zone 8b)

You mean the tons of tile I'm giving away? That's here http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/1187747/ .

Heather

Cave Creek, AZ(Zone 9b)

I use the library a lot...look through Amazon's website then order up what I'd like from the PHX Public Library, they will find what I want in the system and put it on the hold shelf for me...if it's a book I have to have then I'll order it used but often I find I just like to look through and make a copy of a page or two. I listen to audiobooks a lot and the library is great. They have a very liberal renewal policy also.
I also like a good thrift or consignment shop also...have gotten great deals there and at garage sales. Love the one of a kind finds. My college age daughter is moving into an apartment soon and in the last week on my dog walks I've found her an entertainment center, 12 drawer bureau and a great old fashioned rocker in great shape. I am in a summer community right now so much of this stuff has not had a lot of wear and tear that I come across...though some has had MORE than it's share :) Anyway, I like the hunt.
Very cool finds GR8!

Charlotte, VT

I'd like to know where used furniture goes when wealthy people get new furniture. Does the furniture store take and sell it used. I can't imagine really wealthy people being bothered with selling their own stuff. I hope it doesn't go to the dump, that would be sad. Does anyone know?

Dover AFB, DE(Zone 7a)

The decorator usually takes it away and resells it.

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