Makeshift Monday: Lovin’ That Secondhand Stuff!

Hey, all! Welcome to the first official Makeshift Monday post! This is where I’ll be talking about how I make do on a limited income. Because, dang it, we are broke!

Today, I want to talk about secondhand items. In fact, I think I might even make this a series.

The biggest thing I have learned about buying secondhand is that it’s all about perspective. Some people think new=superior, used=inferior, but this is not necessarily true. In fact, I would say that the two don’t often correlate.

The truth is that quality=superior, cheap junk=inferior. When you look at products through that perspective, Goodwill suddenly looks like a gold mine. You see, the trick to buying (or receiving through Freecycle or whatever) secondhand items is to buy things that are well made, and would probably have cost a good amount of money when they were new.

Take Ariel’s “vacuum.” It cost $3.99. And odds are that it will last through both girls, and, if we keep it (which I think we will), will one day be used by my grandchildren.

On the flip side, I could have bought a junk plastic one for about the same amount of money at Kmart or something. Or I could have gotten a realistic-looking vacuum at Toys R Us for $20ish. Not only would it be bright and make more stress-inducing sounds – not only would I be nervous about Felicity chewing on it and getting funky plastic chemicals in her little body – but it would probably end up scratched, beat up, and generally ugly after going through two children. We wouldn’t have any interest in keeping it, both because it’s not aesthetically pleasing and because it would be cheap enough to replace. The wood one is nice. It is an heirloom toy.


Now which was the better deal?


One Response

  1. […] man makes a living selling secondhand stuff on eBay He said he often checks out craigslist, in addition to eBay. Diamonds in the rough. […]

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