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,, 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!


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