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Old 02-14-2008, 09:26 AM   #21
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This is a delightful thread! It's a great example of how some people become millionaires -- and how some millionaires stay that way. Thomas Stanley, author of The Millionaire Next Door, would be proud.

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Old 02-14-2008, 09:44 AM   #22
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I guess I'll have to look around more. All the yard/garage sales I've seen had little more than children's clothes, children's toys, beat-up furniture, partial dinnerware sets, odd glasses, etc. Ditto the thrift stores. Just someone else's junk, to me.

Although I did buy a pair of two-drawer file cabinets at a yard sale once for $5.
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Old 02-14-2008, 09:51 AM   #23
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A very high end consignment/resale shop recently opened near my daughter's house and I visited it with her several weekends ago. .........................

I guess some people DO have more money than brains...

I second the consignment shop for women's clothes. Much of the merchandise in our local shop has never been worn - just too lazy to take it back!
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Old 02-14-2008, 10:08 AM   #24
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At a rummage sale recently I got seven pairs of LL Bean cargo pants for $2 each. They are identical except for color, and just the style and size I wear. All in great shape. Someone must have gained weight.

DW had to hem them all (I offered to learn how to do it). So I won't need to buy pants for about 10 years.
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Old 02-14-2008, 10:21 AM   #25
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I second the consignment shop for women's clothes. Much of the merchandise in our local shop has never been worn - just too lazy to take it back!
or in some cases the person died
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Old 02-14-2008, 10:25 AM   #26
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I admire people who do great at Thrift Stores . I had a friend who furnished her entire house in Thrift Shop purchases and it looked good . The only things I usually purchase are books .
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Old 02-14-2008, 10:50 AM   #27
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or in some cases the person died
At least they won't stop you on the street and say " I see you bought my old blouse".
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Old 02-14-2008, 11:21 AM   #28
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Definately shop at goodwill. It was hard to find clothes for me, until I realized they put my size in the children's section. Kids clothes are great.

Recent great find: we were furnishing the kids' play room. Since it is one of the bedrroms, we wanted smaller scale furniture. We found a small upolstered chair for $15 (if I recall correctly). We were looking for a small love seat. Went into a different Goodwill store about 2 months later and found a MATCHING love seat for $25! Rug and end tables were free from friends getting rid of stuff and tv stand also from Goodwill. Curtains from Walmart and bingo - room is furnished and looks great for under $100.
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Old 02-14-2008, 11:38 AM   #29
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I guess I'll have to look around more.
That is correct... not all thrift stores are equal. There are 20 or so thrift stores in the Denver area and all of them vary considerably -- and even within chains like Goodwill and Salvation Army. Some I go to daily others once or twice a year just to "check in." (The key to success here is to visit often because mechandise changes daily (hourly?) and you have to be present to win.)

To be honest, I have not had terrific luck at "tag" sales (garage sales, for instance). It takes a large amount of time (and fuel) to drive around for little return.

Estate sales (and the related Auctions) are most useful for big ticket items like furniture.

Other big ticket items like appliances we buy at a store that sells only restored items. For instance, a year or so ago we bought an Amana Convection Glass-top Range that was selling new at $1,200 for $350. It was not more than a couple years old and looked as if it had never been used.

Of course, I am always afraid someone will visit and say," I see you bought our old stove." Nah. The $850 savings buys enough Scotch to numb any feelings I might experience along those lines.
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Old 02-14-2008, 12:28 PM   #30
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Of course, I am always afraid someone will visit and say," I see you bought our old stove." Nah.
I usually say something like "Thanks, it's working great! Say, do you happen to still have the owner's manual or any diagrams?"

Our neighbor's replacing some of his windows this weekend, windows which are no longer made and for which we can no longer get parts. So when they're out of the wall, we're picking them up and possibly upgrading our own.
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Old 02-14-2008, 12:28 PM   #31
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The only things I usually purchase are books .
Ah, books. Typically 59 cents for paperbacks and 89 cents for hardbacks at my local Goodwill. Love it...

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Old 02-14-2008, 12:29 PM   #32
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...................
Other big ticket items like appliances we buy at a store that sells only restored items. ......................
Another place to buy home stuff is Habitat for Humanity ReStore locations. Some of the stuff is new, but discontinued.
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Old 02-14-2008, 12:36 PM   #33
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Garage sales smell better (usually).
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Old 02-14-2008, 01:58 PM   #34
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Say, do you happen to still have the owner's manual or any diagrams?"
Ah, yes. There is always that. I don't remember specifically what I did but I have a "Use and Care Guide" that I printed (probably from a PDF file) and a "Service Manual" (with parts list and procedures) that looks "factory made." Anyway, the standard procedure is to start with a Google search for "Manufacturer +[model number +Manual." Then just follow your nose. I suspect that I got the PDF file directly from Maytag's website.

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Our neighbor's replacing some of his windows this weekend, windows which are no longer made and for which we can no longer get parts.
In Denver we have "Bud's Warehouse." This is a "Thrift Store" of building materials. Most of it brand new (construction over-runs, for example) and less than half price. An amazing place.

While you have me up on the soapbox, let me mention a couple other "bargains" I found in the past year or so. As I wandered through a particular thrift store, I came across a "Stair Stepper" -- Scwinn Model 40i. They wanted $49.95 for it. That is an amount that is beyond my self-imposed limits for Thrift Store purchases. So I wrote down the model number and went home to check online for a price comparison. The doggone thing sells for a little over $2,000 plus shipping. So I hustled back to the store. I get there as they announce a 50% sale on everything in the Furniture Department. Guess where the Stepper was? So for $24.90 they get four big guys out of the back room to carry this big thing out to my van. (Yes, it is very heavy and just barely fit inside the vehicle.) I don't believe the previous owner ever used it... more than once. (I too found out that is the most strenuous excercise ever invented -- I use it only a couple times a week)

I also purchased a Weider Excercise machine for $19.95. They sell for around $300.

I found a big brass standing mirror. You know, the kind that is full length with two posts that attach to the mirror in the middle. It was extremely ornate with, for example, tiny human hands holding the mirror to the posts. I am sure I couldn't do justice when describing the pedistal that it sets on. Anyway, they wanted $150 for it -- way too rich for my blood. So I continued on my way. As I was walking out the door there came... you guessed it, the 50% announcement. I rushed back to the Furniture Department. Amazingly, the $150 had been crossed out and $75 written in. I grabbed the Department head and told him I would take it. He wrote up the slip... charging me $37.50. I asked if he was sure about that and he assured me it was accurate. Again, it took four big bruisers to carry it to the van -- even with taking it apart. The mirror itself is over six feet long.

I also have a Vision-Fitness Model T9350HRT Folding Treadmill. It, too, costs around $2,000. I don't remember what I paid for it but you rest assured it wasn't much.

Yes, there were many trips (most in fact) that were a "waste" of time. Nevertheless, when you find a jewell, it is an amazing feeling.

Also while I am ranting, I should mention what I DO NOT buy used. Electronics! The only exceptions I make is if the purchase is for parts for an item I already own. The risk of getting defective is just too great.
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Old 02-14-2008, 02:03 PM   #35
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Estate sales are good.

Storage locker sales are another source of bargains.
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Old 02-14-2008, 10:55 PM   #36
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I never went into a pawn shop until I got to GA. I haven't seen many bargins though. I'll have to give them a try again. What items usually are the best bargins.
the tools are incredible bargains, though it make me feel bad that some hard luck individual stole these sold his tools for some emergency. I have found the electronics to be a ripoff, but in the case of Nords example (disappearing format) it might be ok. I find items that are overpriced when new are palatable at the pawn shop:CDs (gotta have my jazz), video games for when the nephews are over, etc. My dream is to find a portable generator, but so far they are always sold by the time I get there. Biggest items I bought are snow blower, air compressor, and portable air tank
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Old 02-14-2008, 11:01 PM   #37
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In downtown Baltimore there is a series of warehouses containing fixtures from old buildings which have been 'deconstructed. Doors/windows/plumbing/ hardwood floors. Fabulous one-of-a-kind stuff. They also have some new hardwood flooring donated from overuns. If we ever redo some floors, I would select the vintage stuff.
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Old 02-15-2008, 09:36 AM   #38
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the tools are incredible bargains, though it make me feel bad that some hard luck individual stole these sold his tools for some emergency. I have found the electronics to be a ripoff, but in the case of Nords example (disappearing format) it might be ok. I find items that are overpriced when new are palatable at the pawn shop:CDs (gotta have my jazz), video games for when the nephews are over, etc. My dream is to find a portable generator, but so far they are always sold by the time I get there. Biggest items I bought are snow blower, air compressor, and portable air tank
Could all be stolen, but the reason there are pawn shops, we-tote-the-note-car dealers, and check-cashing establishments is that a portion of the populace either cannot or will not manage their finances. So borrowing from Peter to pay Paul is a fairly common practice...

Personally, I've bought a few pawn shop items over the years:

DeWalt 12" compound miter saw - $175
Fender Strat - $450
Gibson SG - $450
Carvin 60w tube amp - $225
Peavey 120w tube amp - $125
Phillips receiver/amp - $50
etc.
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Old 02-15-2008, 10:01 AM   #39
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I like going to estate/tag sales. I've found some good household bargains over the years. I've bought a few pieces of clothing at a local thrift shop. Unfortunately, our thrift shops aren't as high end as some larger cities probably are. I visited a pawn shop in Las Vegas one time. It was an amazing place to view/purchase high end jewelry. Our city library system has a book sale just about every year. That's a good place to stock up on books. I usually hit the cookbooks. I don't cook that much any more, but still like them.
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Old 02-15-2008, 11:38 AM   #40
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I suppose I am the only person in the Universe to not have purchased anything from eBay. This looks interesting, however:

"Latest financials; Pearlman items on eBay"

Money Talk | tampabay.com - St. Petersburg Times and tbt*
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