Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Essential or Extra?

When heading out to the store with my sister-in-law the other day, we passed a neighbor’s garage sale. (Yes, they are still a few garage sales and outdoor flea markets going on here, and the die-hards will be at it until it’s simply too cold for anyone to be interested.) I mentioned that while I’d seen a lot of traffic at the sale, it didn’t look like she had sold much.

Sis-in-law said it was probably because of the economy. “People probably feel as if they don’t have money for extras like garage sales,” she said.

I thought it was an odd comment, but the conversation turned to other topics and I didn’t pursue the subject further.

Later that evening I mentioned to Shane what his sister had said. He gave me a bewildered look and asked, “Don’t you think it’s just the opposite? That more people will start shopping at garage sales and thrift stores BECAUSE the economy is in a slump?”

That’s what I’d been thinking, too. Going to garage sales is a favorite weekend activity for us, but we aren’t looking only for “extras”. We’re looking for essentials, too. We look for such things as work clothes for Shane, needed kitchen paraphernalia, everyday clothing for me and school clothes for Kat. Shane’s job as an ironworker requires specialized tools, and the savings we’ve seen on these alone has made garage “saling” a lucrative pastime.

So, I’m curious what some of you think. Are you more likely to buy previously owned items now that the economy has headed south? Or do you, like my sister-in-law, think of buying used something you’d still only do as an “extra”, if at all?


Tug said...

I see it from both sides...because of the economy, people aren't going shopping as much ANYWHERE, so the garage sales, etc. would be slower...but then if they DO go out shopping, I'd think those would make more sense...but then (see me flipping back & forth here? hee) when you buy new, there's a chance you're doing it for the warranty...

So yeah, I don't know. Happy Thanksgiving!!

Precious said...

I am very particular about what I buy with my money. If it is a need, then I will look for it at a garage sale but it has to be in good condition and priced right. Otherwise I will buy new at a rock bottom price online.I have looked for items at our Goodwill but the stuff there is just awful. I think a lot of people are not buying anything today except for food, gasoline and shelter because they are so overextended on credit and the economy is so bad that they have finally woken up to the fact that they should have been using cash all along. Happy Thanksgiving to you too!

Annie Jones said...

Tug: I agree about buying new for the warranty (the mfg. warranty, not so much the extended ones you must buy). But I'm thinking more along the lines of jeans, kitchenware, etc. I can see it both ways, really.

Hope you had a great Thanksgiving.

Precious: Some of our thrift stores are horribly overpriced and/or have bad merchandise. Others are really good with both quality and price.

There are just some items I won't buy used (again). Washers and dryers would be on that list. I've had too much trouble with them when I've bought used trying to save money.

On the other hand, I'll probably never buy another buy another brand new clock radio. LOL!

Hope you also had a great Thanksgiving!