Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Bargain Hunting

One thing you may have learned about me from reading this blog or spending time with me is that I have a weakness for the thrift store.  It really has little to do with my need to save money (though it should) and more to do with finding treasure in the midst of relative junk.  I know all of the Goodwills and Salvation Armys in a fifty mile radius, which are good to shop for furniture, clothes, children's stuff, dishes, books, appliances, and which are more "thrifty" than others (yes, they all price things differently).  Of course, getting a good deal is only fun if you can share it with someone.  If you weren't aware of what you could purchase second hand, here are a few of my past finds...

*New* Ice Cream Maker $7
Cuisinart Waffle Maker $7
Cuisinart Coffee Maker $7
*New* Food Saver vacuum sealer $7
Keurig Coffee Maker $7
Seven piece set of vintage cast iron bright orange cookware $14
Child's Converse shoes $1
Child's Puma tennis shoes $1
*New* Juicy Couture little girls dress $2
*New* Liberty of London Women's dress $4

I could probably go on for days!  I've found things for parties, costumes, gifts, and decorating too.

I'm also all about the consignment clothing outlets for kids too.  Though I still buy some things new, I've been getting most of Rylin's clothes at Once Upon A Child and other seasonal consignment sales for a while.  I have several rules for buying that I think help me make the best purchases for my money:

1.  Must be in new or near new condition.  If there is a stain or imperfection, it needs to be something that wouldn't take much to repair or wash out.  As much as it really doesn't matter in the scheme of things, I prefer Rylin not to look like he's wearing hand-me-downs.  Being selective about quality is important.  I try not to purchase something of inferior condition just because it cost a lot new and is for sale cheap.

2.  Must cost less than I could purchase on sale.  For instance, you will see a lot of Old Navy clothes at these sales that are priced higher than the ON sales price.  I try to shop brands that are more expensive or only purchase less expensive brands at rock bottom prices.  It helps to have a general knowledge of pricing for the items you are shopping for (see Jordan, all that shopping pays off).  I like to occasionally check my iPhone for items I know I can find quickly to confirm a good deal.

3.  Don't purchase anything with the intent of re-selling it for a profit.  You either won't get around to selling it or won't make a profit.  Or you end up justifying why you need to keep it:)

4.  Only purchase things you need.  "But those Gap jeans are only $1 and are so cute.  Who cares that he already has five pair at home?"  This one is a biggie for me.  I have to remember that just because it's a good deal, doesn't mean I have to jump on it. 

5.  Don't buy things that could potentially be a safety hazard.  This means car seats, certain baby gear that looses it's warranty after one owner, and toys with complicated parts.  I know some will disagree with me on this one, but I really think it's better to be safe than sorry.  No amount of savings is worth the risk of injury to your little one.

I'm sure there are more you could add to the list, but these help keep me in line.  With all this in mind, I decided to try my hand at making some money. (I know...what happened to rule #3?)  Well, it's a little different than straight resale.  I'm taking my love of vintage and my need to be crafty and combining them to create some one of a kind pieces.  Coming soon...a revamped Etsy shop for some of my latest projects and look forward to hearing more about future creative endeavors!

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