How to Buy Used

>> Thursday, November 11, 2010

Okay, so moving has been totally kicking my trash. We've been occupants for almost two weeks of this house, but only actually LIVING here full time since Tuesday. It's been insane. In the meantime, other than wall-hangings and one random box that makes me tear up a bit we're in!

Except I can't find my flinging-flanging camera, which is technically vital to today's post, but whatev, we're going at it, picture-less.

When we left Las Vegas almost 8 months ago, we got rid of A LOT. I mean, anything I figured we didn't really *need* got sold or donated or chucked. Kitchen tables (two of them!) bookshelves, toddler bed, my dvd players (both of them apparently) my piano, the lovesac, the list goes on and on. We knew we'd be storing stuff for a long time, and didn't want to pay to store stuff we didn't really love.

Well, suddenly, I am faced with an empty house, almost no furniture and zero money. Gotta love relocation, right? We needed a kitchen table, we needed a washer and dryer, we needed two couches, (seriously actually NEEDED!), we needed a DVD player, see? We had all this stuff, but we really really needed certain other things.

A budget is a funny thing. You can *choose* to ignore it and pay the price later (hello credit card!) or you can choose to stay within it, and eat on the floor. OR there is indeed a third option.

We found a happy middle ground: BUY USED.


So, why do you need a cheapo new table from Walmart, when the thrift store (ala Goodwill, Desert Industries, etc) has a fantastic one for $10? Does it HAVE to be new? I don't have cash or space for fancy. So it's either big-box, mass-produced, not so good, or used and sturdy. I chose used and sturdy.

I had exactly $250 to purchase a washer and dryer. Not each, TOTAL. Enter the internet. Craigslist is your friend. You have to sort through scams sometimes, but still, totally worth it. You can refine your search right down to what you need. In Utah, where I'm located, classified are where it's at. Everywhere else in the world is Craigslist. Derek found me a set the night before we moved, $200 and the guy delivered them for FREE.

That's right, I saved myself $50. (Derek is my hero! He is a classifieds professional.)

Same with our "new" couches downstairs. We have a tiny house and a little basement and tight stairs. So, we went to Ikea and found the ONE couch that would go. ONE. It was $150. So, we decided to come back in a couple of days, when we could get it home, and buy it.

That night, Derek found the exact same couch on the internet for $40. It was basically brand-new.

I'm not telling you this to brag (okay a little!) I'm just saying, do not EVER discount the idea that someone else is desperately trying to get rid of whatever it is that you desperately need. If you have the money to pay $1,000 for couches, then great, I think you should. But for us, and our current situation, it just isn't possible.

Add in the idea that recycling is a great thing to do, and buying used really is a good deal. You're lowering your own personal consumption of the resources of the world. Don't you feel good about that?

I love that I can look around my home and see things that were 1. Given to me by loving family 2. Carefully purchased used or 3. Saved up for to purchase new. It is a great feeling of satisfaction when it isn't just "stuff."

So, next time you need something, check your thrift stores, ask friends and family if anyone has one to sell, or hit the classifieds. I am willing to bet, even if it takes a bit longer than a trip to Walmart, that soon, you'll find exactly what you're looking for.

Good luck!


Manda November 11, 2010 at 8:44 PM  

Morgs it is totally your fault I just spent an hour on craiglist looking for a piano and a bunk bed :) I'm not sure Jon will be pleased!

Erin November 12, 2010 at 1:28 PM  

Excellent post. One way we save money buying electronics (my husband LOVES electronics. LOVES) and the like is to buy factory refurbished. Sometimes, you'll save 200-300 dollars on an item that is, for all intents and purposes, brand new. Everything we've purchased (with one exception) refurbished has worked grand and the one exception was returned and replaced at no extra charge. If you are looking for something electronic, consider factory refurbished!

The Nelsen Family: November 20, 2010 at 8:11 AM  

I looooove Craigslist. So handy. I hate it when we get rid of something and then I really wish I'd kept it...but at the same time, I hate keeping a bunch of stuff I never use.

Anyway,random said you "chucked" a bunch of stuff...everyone here in TX says "chunked" and they look at me like I'm from another planet when I tell them it should be "chucked".

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