Thursday, July 8, 2010

Second Hand Love

A large portion of my featured writings of “Frualing, Thrifting and blogging my way to Blogher 10 series will include buying second hand. I think some may shutter at the thought of purchasing second hand, but really there are many benefits besides saving money. A while ago I talked about buying second hand and the how to’s and why’s here:

Stores like Goodwill are a great source not only for purchasing second hand but for helping your local community. Find a Goodwill in your area and learn more about the mission of Goodwill at

Don’t have a Goodwill in your area? Search locally for a Thrift Store in your area, most support a great cause. Most including Goodwill offer a “discount” coupon on a future purchase when you donate.

You also don’t have to limit yourself to a thrift store to buy second hand. Check your local Craigslist listings or other online communities.

When purchasing second hand there are a few important tips to remember:

  • Do The “Leg” work

Make sure that item you are buying is working properly, no holes dents etc. A few weeks ago we experienced “second hand woes” with a freezer we had purchased at a yard sale. It did suffice through the winter, but once it got hot, the freezer had a hard time working. Now, the sellers said it worked and in fact it did. But because it ran on coil they didn’t warn that it could be overcome with ice and cause everything to go bad. Make sure you ask the seller for any and all information regarding the item. If you are purchasing from a store, plug the item in or give a thorough look-over to make sure everything is in good working order.

  • Think of “how” you will use it.

Don’t buy something just because it’s a great price, make sure you can think of what you’ll do with that item.

  • Remember your bargaining skills

Often times the thrift stores will have a special day for a sale where everything is on sale or a certain tag is on sale. If you are in AZ, you can click here to see what/when sale days are. If you are purchasing from an actual seller, make sure you offer a fair but low price. Of course it is at your comfort level if you want to ask for a lower price but it doesn’t hurt to ask for a lower price.

  • Ask for a Return Policy

If you are purchasing from a store, ask what the policy is to return the item in case you change your mind or the item does not work. It is uncommon for a seller selling a personal item to take an item back after purchase but may be possible, just ask up front.

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