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Why Not Buy Used Clothing? - The Dollar Stretcher Review
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Why Not Buy Used Clothing?

A lot of frugal folks won't think twice about buying used clothing, from garage sales to thrift stores, but there are some who wouldn't dream of wearing "somebody else's old clothes".

There are a couple of reasons people don't want to buy used. One is pride, often known as conceit, as in "I'm too good to wear used clothing!". These people often have an awesome array of credit cards, and often not much real money.

The other is squeamishness. "Eww... wear something that once belonged to someone I don't even know?? What if they had some awful disease..." These people also take their own sheets and towels when they travel, not wanting to use those from the motel that someone else has used before. They never rent skates, either, or swim in public swimming pools or try on clothing from retail stores before buying. (I'm joking.)

The best reason for buying used clothing is often our budgets, but that isn't the only reason. Most of us are not in such bad shape that we can't afford to buy something new now and then. It just doesn't make sense to - not when you can buy three or four somethings "new" with the same money and have a better choice!

Shopping for used clothing is not at all like shopping at a retail store, with it's racks of same style clothing in limited colors and often in limited sizes. At a used clothing store, there's not much telling what you can find! People who are unusual sizes often go to big cities to shop or shop from specialty (read "expensive") catalogs, then sell or give away their old clothing. People with lots of money (or those who just pretend to have lots of money) often buy clothing from several sources and discard "old" clothing on a regular basis.

Why not benefit from that? 

 Resale Store Shopping

Finding Quality Clothes

Shopping at Thrift Stores

And my own list of rules for shopping at any second hand source:

  • Go often, but limit spending.
  • Wear snug fitting clothing to garage sales, etc., so you can slip on a shirt or skirt over them to see if they fit.
  • Pay close attention to details. Check zippers, buttons and seams. Check pockets for holes, too.
  • If you can replace a zipper or whatever (and the garment is worth the expense) you may get a lower price for the asking.
  • Watch for good deals on things to make things from, like sheets or full skirts for curtains, clothing, etc., shrunken sweaters (felted) for mittens, slippers and so on.


There are more, but that covers the basics. Consider the time spent shopping this way as an investment that will return you real money in savings. 

Comments

 

Michael Keen Sr. said:

Buying used clothes helps me stay on my limited budget. I find my best buys at a local church run Thrift Store. Bought a nice suit for $4 & several wool sports coats at $4. Also bought 5 pair of expensive dress slacks at $3 a pair.

   I visit the thrift store at least twice a month but only buy what I need,  something that is important, or gifts for freinds on a simular budget.

November 10, 2012 8:01 PM
 

Pat said:

It makes sense. If I took all the clothes out of my closet that I had bought second hand, I wouldn't have much left to wear. :)

November 10, 2012 8:54 PM
 

Lori Blatzheim said:

I don't feel a piece of clothing is mIne until I wash it or have it dry cleaned. I asked a friiend about it once and she admitted she put new clothing in the freezer overnight!

Once my new clothes are clean they feel that they are mine.

November 15, 2012 7:28 AM
 

Pat said:

I always wash clothing before I buy it. It might be clean, but who knows how many times it's been tried on by other people or how well it was washed in the first place?

November 15, 2012 10:30 AM

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