Second Hand and Free Sites
If you are keen to save a lot on your living costs, then buying second hand and visiting free sites is the way to go. You can easily get almost every household item, both large and small. If you take a trip around my home it’s filled with second hand and free items. And no, the place doesn’t look like a dump. You’ll be surprised how many brand new things you can get. So here’s a list of some of the things we’ve picked up off free sites or very cheap second hand.
- Nice Couches (two for free, one cost $80)
- Toy Cupboards
- Clothes- most things bar underwear!
- Quilts, sheets.
- Phones (you don’t need to get these new)
- Table and Chairs
- Birthday and Christmas presents, toys, etc.
- Perfume and the like
- Slow cooker, rice cooker, pots and pans.
- Camping gear, sleeping bags, tents, gas cookers, tarps, camping chairs, camping beds, etc.
- Beach gear
- Exercise equipment
- Sound system
- Hobby stuff, golf clubs, books, scrap booking stuff.
- Building and landscaping materials, bricks, soil, mulch, poisons, etc.
That’s just off the top of my head. I’m sure the list could go on. But you get the picture. You can get most stuff for free or very cheap. And we have! This makes a huge difference to our yearly spend. We rarely buy new.
Whenever you exit a store with a shiny new thing, it’s almost immediately half price, if not worthless. For that reason buying new things that you can get second hand or free really is financially foolish. Yes, it’s nice to get it quick and hassle free. And who doesn’t like a new shiny toy. But with a little patience you can save a truck load. Of course there are some things where buying new is unavoidable. Quickly consumable items never make it to the second hand market and some items are so specific you might not be able to find them. That said, we’ve often wanted a particular brand or product and have found it with a little perseverance. So generally you can avoid buying new and get it at second hand or on free sites.
What if it breaks down? There’s no warranty and no returns. This is true and I’ve bought or received a dud once or twice. But typically it’s so cheap that it really doesn’t matter. The free tent did have a hole, O well, chalk it up as a nice drive. For the few items that haven’t lasted long, the majority have. Most people when they offer something for free are happy to tell you about any faults.
But it takes too long traipsing around the city trying to get a few dollars off. It does take a bit more time. You may have to take a drive. But when you get a great couch for free, a nice bike for virtually nothing or the perfect gift for a pittance, it’s worth it. Strangely, you get the same joy from bringing a cheap item home as you do a bright shiny new one. Plus you fell pretty happy about getting such a good deal. So it’s worth a little hassle in my opinion. You can also just search local via facebook or freecycle and limit your trips to local second hand stores and local garage sales. Chances are you don’t have to go very far at all.
Second hand is not very good quality. Not true. It’s the same quality, just better value. Second hand does not mean poor quality. You actually have the same range of quality available on the second hand market. In fact, you can typically afford to buy better quality than new! It is a bit older and used by someone else, that’s all!
Would you gift someone a second hand item. You bet. Ever been to a garage sale and seen items in the box, unopened. Perfect. We bought a slow cooker the other day that had not been opened for less than half the new price. An unwanted gift apparently. Kid’s don’t care how new the item is. A good number of our gifts are picked up second hand somewhere and stored for that special day.
Where to Go
If you know there’s something you want, write it down and search out the free sites or check out some local garage sales. I’m currently looking for besser blocks to make a garden and a girls bike for my daughter (for christmas). Here’s a few second hand and free sites I’m aware of and use personally. I’ve listed these in order of cost, from free to more expensive.
- freecycle.org (get on the email list)
- zilch (get on the email list)
- Council curb side pickups (some councils do these by suburb, others by request – but you can get some great stuff right off the side of the road.)
- garage sales (look up your local newspaper classifieds online)
- facebook buy, swap, sell groups in your local area. Check them out.
- Second hand or thrift shops (some are better than others)
- gumtree (you can search for free items here too)
- Ebay, gray’s online, etc if you have to!
Do you know a site or place that could be added to this list? If you go through all this and can’t find what you’re looking for, I’d be very surprised. The more patient you are and well planned the more likely you are to pay nothing at all.
So before you go out and throw your cash away, ask yourself if you can get it second hand or free. Chances are you can! Once you start seeing what you can get for free, there will be no turning back. And your savings account will benefit.