Mastering the Art of Second-Hand Shopping
Created on 4/6/2010 by Disciplanner
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Even before the current economic downturn made bargain-shopping fashionable, I've been a devotee of second-hand store scavenging! I call it scavenging because the art of finding great deals on used goods combines the skills and thrills of a scavenger hunt.

Make a list of what you are looking for.

Start by making a list just as you would for any shopping trip, but keep your mind open when second-hand shopping - don't be limited to your list. In most towns, there will be a section of the city or a neighborhood where second-hand stores proliferate. If you don't know where to find them, ask around or check online or in your phone book. Once you find an area with multiple second-hand stores in close proximity, you can park your car and do the rest of your shopping on foot to save even more.

Know the best brands.

This is the real key to getting the best bargains, from clothing to toys to appliances or electronics. Even though you probably buy generic when purchasing new items to save money, when second-hand shopping you want to 'splurge' on designer brands and the top-rated manufacturers. Plus, it's a thrill to find a real Gucci bag or Tiffany lamp at a second-hand store! A couple of caveats - be careful when purchasing electric items and always check the cords for wear. Also, do your homework if you plan to buy baby items. Baby clothes are fine but for cribs, car seats, high chairs and so on, you need to check for recalls and ensure that an older item meets new safety standards.
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