I admit it. Prior to the past year or so, I was a second hand snob. I never would have considered buying anything used. I blame my mother. Who else can you blame? I mean, basically, she gets all the credit for the good and the bad! ha ha ha. :p As far as I know, we never bought anything used growing up - even our houses were brand new!
Anyways, I'm a changed woman. This year has changed me in SO many ways - not even mentioning the whole most beautiful daughter in the entire world factor. :p I went from spending without thinking to thinking before spending. Went from never having had to save a penny in my life to having to save every penny possible and, I found myself, quickly becoming a saving addict.
So, when Jane's birthday came upon us, I had two options. Of course, I had a budget. It's her first birthday, she doesn't need much. I wouldn't spend more than $100 on gifts. One. Hundred. Dollars. Crap. That gets you diddly-squat these days. EXCEPT second hand. YEEHAW! Kijiji here I come (kijiji is a Canadian craigslist - although we have craigslist as well but not so popular here on the east coast). In addition to kijiji, I have checked out a few garage sales and made some GREAT purchases.
To give you an idea of what you can do with your money when you buy second hand, here are the gifts I got for Jane for $100:
I got the farm set, the airplane, the zoo, the racetrack and the school bus - "little people", animals and such included. Even some came with batteries! ha ha ha. At Walmart, each of these sets is well over $30 each and I got them all for $35.
Jane is in love with this. It's like a big girl bouncer. And, being that I'm a rider myself, it makes me happy to have gotten her her first "pony"! :) Retails for over $100 here in Canada.
Ok, so obviously Jane has already been given some bday gifts (as if she knows). She loves this outdoor slide. She is all over it soon as she hits the patio! Bonus that we can put it in the pool and she can slide into the swimming pool. Retails for over $100 here in Canada.
My blog-mommy friend Lindsay sold me on this when I saw a pic of her little guy Andrew (same age as Jane) lovin' his big sister's kitchen set. I bought this from the same girl who sold me the Little People sets and it was awesome - her things were in great condition. A few scratches and what not but no more "damage" than Jane will have caused within seconds anyways! Retails for almost $200 here in Canada.
So, if I haven't convinced you yet... give it shot. My recommendations is to demand pictures of the actual items and to not pick things up alone. You never know what kind of creepy people are out there. If I've ever have to pick something up alone, I ask the person beforehand to meet me out front because my husband will be in the car (complete lies) but at least that should scare off most of the crazies (I watch too much A&E to be one of those "it'll never happen to me" people).
Want to know what's even better? Dan and I have made well over $1000 off kijiji selling nonsense stuff we don't use anymore from our basement this year. Just this week, we cleaned out our storage closet and made $615 so far selling things we weren't using anymore! Guaranteed you have more than you think you do!