Saturday, September 8, 2012

Things To Consider When Buying Secondhand Items

Picture from Chic on a Shoestring Decorating

You can save a lot of money if you buy things that are used.  You can get some really nice things for a fraction of the cost.  Consider the following before you make a used purchase:

1.  Check for stains - Look over the item carefully to see if there are any stains.   It is better to find out before you buy it instead of after you purchase and bring it home.

2.  Be cautious about buying used mattresses.  Some secondhand places won't take mattresses any more because of the problem of bed bugs.  Also, smell mattresses and furniture for smoke, both from a fire or from cigarettes.  If you are not a smoker, the smell will drive you crazy.  We bought something once and I didn't even think to smell it.  When we got home, the smell was so strong we had to get rid of it.  It ended up being a waste of money. 

3.  Check games to see if all the pieces are there. 

4.  Check clothing to see if all buttons and snaps are there.  Check to see if there are any rips in the seams or anywhere else on the item.

5.  Think twice before making a purchase, new or used.  Even though it is a good deal, it will just be clutter if you don't have a place for it. 

6.  One thing I have liked is to try something out that I want by buying used first.  For example, I didn't know if we would really use a wheel barrow or not.  We bought a really cheap one for $5.  Instead of a lot more money and finding out that we don't use or like something, we were able to make an informed decision.  We realized that we would use a wheel barrow and it was something we wanted to have.  We will replace it with a new one at some point. 

7.  Check glass items for chips. 

8.  If you are buying toys, turn them on and see if they work.  Check all battery operated things to see that they really work. 

9.  Be careful about buying stuff for babies.  Sometimes the baby furniture won't pass safety standards or is something that has been recalled. 

Garage sales and secondhand places are great to find bargains.  As the saying goes, "Measure twice, cut once".  Apply this to your secondhand shopping and Check twice, Buy once.

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