Monday, August 22, 2011

Buying second hand...

Have you ever bought anything off of Craigslist, Ebay or from a consignment store or garage sale?  I think these places can bring amazing deals to those people willing to look and take a chance, but I'm noticing a growing stigma that buying second hand is "icky" or not classy or something.  Really? 

I have been part of many conversations where I ended up being told that by buying a used car I was just driving somebody else's problems off the lot and that those who could "afford" it would be driving brand new cars.  Really?  These people have obviously never read the books "The Millionaire Next Door" or Dave Ramsey's "Total Money Makeover."  In both of these books it is pointed out that it is the poor and middle class people who wish to stay poor who go out and finance brand new cars paying all that interest on a depreciating asset over a short period of time.  It is the millionare who will go and pay cash for a 2-3 year old low mileage vehicle that has already taken its biggest loss in value.  They know that a new car is throwing money away.
I have also had a recent conversation with somebody over second hand clothes shopping.  "You're just inviting bedbugs and mites to come into your house."  Really?  First of all, all clothes, new or used, gets washed before they get worn in my house.  Secondly, do you not think those same people who you won't buy clothing from because you're afraid of getting "bugs" are not going into stores and trying on clothes that you are going to go pay full price for?  In that case you are just paying full price for the same bugs I just got on major sale.

I absolutely love the baby consigment store Once Upon a Child.  We have found amazing deals there for some of Will's clothes.  As a matter of fact, when the weather cools off we'll need to get his winter wardrobe together and that will most likely be my first stop.  Think about it.  How many times does a kid actually wear an outfit before they outgrow it?  If your child has grown like mine then the answer is probably less then 5 times.  Those outfits are going to be practically brand new.

I am not at all saying that people who don't buy used things are bad.  It you want to buy new cars, clothes, furniture... more power to you.  I just want the bad reputation of buying used to stop. 

I am by no means saying I don't ever buy anything new; I am just saying that there are alot of great deals to be had out there, and the people turning their noses up at second hand shopping are going to miss out.  Think about it - if you want/need something, and I have that same thing that I no longer want/need, that could be a win-win situation. 

In the interest of transparency, I have to say that there are certain things I'm not sure I could bring myself to buy used though.
1.  Underwear - I think this one speaks for itself.
2.  Carseats - unless I knew the person who was selling it, I knew it was still under the current safety codes, and I knew it had never been in any kind of accident, I will be sticking to new carseats.
3.  Shoes - except for Will because he outgrows them so fast.  I am the kind of person who wears my shoes until the soles fall off.  I seriously have at least 3 pair of shoes (2 Doc Martins & 1 dress shoe) that I've had since highschool that I still wear.  I think if I'm going to wear shoes for 10 years I am getting my money's worth out of them.  $50/pair for ten years comes out to $5/pair/year ($.41/pair/month).  Can't beat that really.
4.  Matresses - unless I knew the person it came from and trusted its past.

I love love LOVE to find homestuff at thrift places.  When I figure out how I want to decorate some of the rooms in our house I am going deal hunting.  I can't wait! 

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