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Old 10-16-2007, 01:39 PM
 
Location: Bike to Surf!
3,080 posts, read 9,694,967 times
Reputation: 2977

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I used to avoid thrift stores like the plague. I would default to Wal-Mart, Target, Ikea or any number of big-box stores and buy the latest shiny new plastic pop-out mould laundry basket, end table, or whatever.

Then, I realized that EVERYTHING sold at those big box places is made to be disposable. None of the furniture can survive a move or even disassembly. It is all particle board, cardboard, aluminum screws and plastic fasteners.

These past few years, I've begun shopping at second-hand stores. It started with clothing from exchange stores in high-end neighborhoods. I couldn't believe some of the unique, comfortable, and fashionable stuff I found for less than a crappy Target pair of jeans.

After that, I moved on to bicycle hunting, buying a beautiful old 3-speed Schwinn, then having it stolen, then replacing it with a nice 21-speed, all for less than $50 total for two bikes.

Now, it's furniture. The wood might be scuffed and dusty, but it's REAL and not laminated particle board or cardboard. If you do just a little looking, you can find stuff that is built to last--a lot of it originally made locally or at least in the USA. A little paint and stain can touch up very "loved" pieces, or you can just keep the scratches and character they impart to the furniture.

There's piles of junk at thrift stores, no doubt about that. But, visit 2 or 3, and you are sure to find that wicker laundry basket, pinewood rocking chair, oakwood winged sewing desk, and whatever else you're searching for a pennies on the dollar that you'd pay for for disposable junk from any big-name store.

You're not sending your money to overseas manufacturers. You're helping the environment by re-using. Plus, the proceeds go to charity! Are there any drawbacks?

Anyone else care to share their thoughts on thrift, exchange, or second-hand stores?
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Old 10-16-2007, 02:53 PM
 
15,200 posts, read 16,061,842 times
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I love to shop at second-hand places and garage sales. Sometimes you need a little vision to picture whatever the item is in your home on on you. I've bought clothes, a chest of drawers, laundry table, coffee grinder, food processor, lots of books and I can't remember what else. My dh also likes to shop at Pawn shops. He bought a high-dollar ladder there and took our dd to buy a gameboy there that works just fine.

This past weekend my dd and I went to Goodwill to look for clothes to turn into zombie costumes for Halloween and I was amazed at the beautiful formals and one amazing wedding dress. There were plenty of ugly bridesmaid dresses, but a few really classy looking dresses in excellent condition.
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Old 10-17-2007, 10:36 AM
 
11,311 posts, read 16,823,077 times
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Love going to thrifts. I grab records, books, some electronics and other knick knacks that are not around anymore such as this specific storage tray for my cassetttes.
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Old 10-17-2007, 11:42 AM
 
Location: Washington, D.C.
324 posts, read 671,757 times
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There are some real deals to find if you shop at second hand stores. There are a few very nice ones near me where I've gotten designer handbags.
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Old 10-17-2007, 12:27 PM
 
Location: In an illegal immigrant free part of the country.
2,087 posts, read 1,054,681 times
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I have decided to be dedicated to buying used as much as possible. I want to put the least amount of money in China's pocket. Why profit a country that is poisioning us with lead?

I wanted a new car last year and instead of buying new, which also profits importers, I bought a car one year old. That way the money goes back into America's hands.

Craigs list and classified ads are also good sources.
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Old 10-17-2007, 02:21 PM
 
Location: California
3,432 posts, read 2,161,594 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by citigirl View Post
I have decided to be dedicated to buying used as much as possible. I want to put the least amount of money in China's pocket. Why profit a country that is poisioning us with lead?

I wanted a new car last year and instead of buying new, which also profits importers, I bought a car one year old. That way the money goes back into America's hands.

Craigs list and classified ads are also good sources.
If the United States never buys anything from China we would barely have any stuff. Plus the stuff you buy most of it is probably made in China.
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Old 10-18-2007, 09:05 PM
 
Location: The mountians of Northern California.
1,354 posts, read 5,630,597 times
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I like to check out the local thrift stores too. I found more utensils for my silverware set. Its real silver and hard to find. I was pretty excited. I have also found Longaberger baskets, sporting equipment, etc.
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Old 10-18-2007, 10:06 PM
 
392 posts, read 1,682,507 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ProLogic View Post
If the United States never buys anything from China we would barely have any stuff. Plus the stuff you buy most of it is probably made in China.
The stuff I buy most is food and that I get from a Farmers Market. Not second hand but definitely local. I find a I rarely need "stuff" from China.
Second hand often isn't as instantly gratifying as "regular" shopping. You have to spend more time hunting but I would never trade the stuff I have for all new things.
As an added benefit I get to be debt free
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Old 10-18-2007, 10:28 PM
 
Location: Somewhere out there
18,102 posts, read 20,067,744 times
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Sad part around here is the second hand stores have ridiculous prices for things. Both stores have all their inventory donated so I don't see why they put such high prices on stuff. It would benefit them more having lower prices especially since our county has a high rate of unemployment.
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Old 10-19-2007, 10:53 AM
 
11,311 posts, read 16,823,077 times
Reputation: 5525
Jaxson- its the eBay effect. They are on to the fact that collectibles float through their places.
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