I’d like to start by letting you know that I’m fairly new to this secondhand world. It was only when we moved from Nebraska to a remote town in Australia without any Wal-marts or Targets (GASP!) that I really dove into the secondhand world.
When we moved to Nebraska I was 7 months prego and I decided I needed everything brand spanking new. I was a first-time mom, so you know, live and learn. After having to sell all my nice new stuff only a year later to move to Oz I found it’s really not important what brand of couch I have. If I can comfortably breastfeed my eternally hungry baby on it then I really don’t care how new it is.
I use to think you were either born with the knack to rummage or you weren’t but that’s just not true. I have learned how and I’m so much better off. Thanks to the internet with the buy/sell/trade pages and Craigslist I can shop from the comfort of my own home.
There are so many reasons to buy secondhand like sustainability, recycling, strengthen community ties but mainly I like saving money. And honestly, who the heck doesn’t want to save money? Without further ado, let’s get to the list…
First off let’s all admit we over buy when it comes to cute little baby clothes. If you buy secondhand you don’t have to feel near as guilty because you will have spent half the money as you would’ve on new clothes. Secondly, babies grow and they grow quickly. So much so that they probably won’t even have time to wear that perfect little dress you just had to buy. My baby girl pretty much skipped over a whole size! She basically went from 3-month clothes straight to 9-month clothes. Thirdly, secondhand clothes are often free because they hand me downs from your relatives. And nothing beats free, NOTHING.
Bikes, trikes, bike trailers, strollers or anything like them all can be found for a great price. Why buy a new $500 bike when you can get an almost new one from the buy/sell/trade sites or an op shop for less than half the price. Besides, we all know they’ll outgrow that trike before next summer anyway. May as well save yourself some dollars.
Another great money saver here. Buying children’s books on the internet is great because they often sell in lots of 5-10 for the price of one. Almost all my little girls’ books are second hand. We started off with 4 or 5 books and now we have over 50 children’s books and paid less than a dollar for each book. I usually just give them a good wipe down before my little one starts gnawing on them… I mean reading them.
When it comes to durable and long-lasting, wooden toys are my go to. We try to actively participate in a Montessori way of learning (learn more about Montessori here). So, a natural substance like wood is our number one choice. It’s always a great investment when you buy a wooden toy because you can be sure it still has quite a bit of life left in it. Wooden puzzles are the most common thing I find at thrift stores. On the buy/sell/trade sites, I have gotten very lucky with kitchen sets and other role playing furniture. Also, doll houses, learning towers, table and chair sets are all good finds that usually have a small price tag.
There is so much more like furniture, art, appliances, cars and basically everything. Once you get past the fact that newer isn’t always better you will be in for a big treat! One tip I have for you before you jump onto your local buy/sell/trade page is to haggle with any seller. Often, they are just wanting to get rid of the items so they are willing to lower their price. Especially if you are interested in more than one item. Now go on and get to shopping and don’t forget to tell all your friends how cheap that new play set was, that’s the best part!
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