Wednesday, April 9, 2008

2nd Hand Rose: Buying Secondhand

Being the last of three daughters, I was used to hand-me-downs. Brenda passed them to Janet who forwarded them to me with a few detours to some cousins. I guess that's one reason I more than don't mind used items. In fact, I love them...especially if I could acquire them at bargain prices.

Take consignment stores or thrift shops, for instance. I have a thrift shop not far from me ( the posher the neighborhood, the better the store) where I bought barely-used onesies ($1-3) for my baby granddaughter. I wash them, and voila, cutie pie Nicole can crawl around in style.

Have you ever been to an auction at a storage facility? Unclaimed goods are sold at pennies to the dollar. I purchased a beautiful handmade Oriental rug for $25. Some people furnished entire offices with desks at $5 apiece. Be prepared, however, to cart away your purchases that day. I observed two college bikers who bought a sofa trying to figure out how to get it back to their apartment 1/2 mile away. One suggested they carry it!

One man's trash is another man's treasure, so they say.

Sometimes I find estate sales, garage sales, or stores which carry barely used furniture and household items. Some rich person decided to redecorate on a whim. Then I find their tossed table, art, or a knicknack, add it to my eclectic home which makes it look...well...more eclectic.

Erin, my daughter, is a chip-off-the-old-block but she went a little too far. She dragged an ancient olive green upholstered chair (turn head sharply counter-clockwise to see photo above) into her 4th floor walk up apartment (I'm too embarrassed to tell you where she got it). Then the chair traveled halfway across the country. In a weak moment my husband and I agreed to pay the movers to bring it back. Her current boyfriend, however, drew the line--either he or the chair had to go. He stayed (hey, this relationship may be going somewhere!).

Pre-owned shoes are a no-no. You've heard: "You just can't BE in someone else's shoes"? Well, you can't wear them either. First, they may be yucky (word borrowed from 4 year old granddaughter). 2nd, the former owners already molded them to their own feet. And third, if you're like me and have problem feet, shoes are probably the most important items in your wardrobe. No skimping here if I can help it.

Don't get me wrong. There are some drawbacks to second-hand shopping.

For instance, I got this really cool red soft leather purse (Myra make me get it). Every time I go to the market or any other place that has a sensitive security system, I set it off. I don't know anything about the prior owner (honest). I just hope I don't get arrested as a shoplifter.

P.S. I remember when I failed to earn the much-revered handwriting certificate in 5th grade. Mom told me that some people are good in some things and not in others. I guess I'm good at reading and consignment shopping. But my cursive writing and computer skills still need work. Oh well.

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