During my college years, people knew me as “Chicalega”. The fact that almost all of my clothes were from Tegalega (Gedebage) – a flea market in Bandung, West Java, Indonesia- made people call me with that name, which also became a BRAND of my little side project shop of second-hand stuffs that I treasure from hunting and bargaining in some flea markets in Bandung and Jakarta. It was a successful hit at one time, but then because of my lack capacity to run business made it puff, disappear without any trace. Sad. But life goes on :p
Talking about second-hand stuffs…..
Here in US my addiction to hunt for ‘gently-used’ items is not only apply to clothes, but almost to every kind of stuffs: car, furnitures, baby/children toys/ clothes, home decorations, dinnerware, etc….You name it, as long as it is not foods and grooming products, I have no problem to buy (and wear/ use) second-hand items.
And this condition happened probably because our status as a “student family” or “low-income family” with sooo many things to buy and fulfill..So buying the used items seem a good way to save some bucks! .
In US, I found it very common for people to buy second-hand items. You don’t need to be poor to hunt for that…! For lower class to middle – upper class, they love buying used items and pay lower prices than buying new items with retail prices . Nowadays, we call people like that: frugal. By buying second-hand items, you’re not only do the two famous “R”: Reuse and Recycle, but definitely you save lots of bucks..!
Where do people get second-hand stuffs?
Yard Sale/ Garage Sale/ Estate Sale: In New England, when the weather is getting warmer -around late May until late October, usually you will find SO many signs of Yard Sale which is held, of course, in the yard of somebody’s house. Some people literally sell junk items -the items that nobody wants to buy, like broken frame (?!) or very old children toys- and some household do really sell a good deal of nice items. Our best findings were $15 Daewoo TV, $10 Brother Sewing Machine, $10 Epson printer in excellent condition. The rest is decorative stuffs, which many of them sold around 25 cents to 1 dollar each. My fav. yard sale (and its running all year long) in New Bedford is Gifts to Give in 21 Cove St.
Thrift Store: Mostly run by church where people donate their items and the church sell it with relatively cheap prices. You can expect to get nice dinnerware, furnitures, video-cassettes, paintings, clothes, bags, jewelery, books, music instruments, etc. My fav. thrift store in New Bedford: Unitarian Church in Union St, Treasure Untold in Kempton st, and Corner Thrift Shop in County St. There is also SAVERS -a very BIG thrift store widely spread in US-, but I prefer only buy books (flat rate $2.99) in there, because many items sold in there is overpriced (though they will donate the profit to help people through foundations they collaborate with).
Craigslist: Nothing can beat Craigslist for best finding in furnitures. If you look up for almost 70-80% off price for IKEA items, furnitures and house appliances, this is the best place to find it. Just make sure you won’t deal with scammers! Those who usually gave the best prices are the ones who’s about to moving out of town/ state. Sometimes, the owner even gave FREE items…! But the consequence is you have to compete with other people, because first come first served…!
In the roadside (seriously): People throw stuffs they no longer need in the curbside of street, if you get lucky you may find some good items in there. The keyword: don’t feel ashamed to pick it up! 😀
From former tenants or students: Just like any other people who just moved to a new place, we also have nothing to fill our empty space in our new apartment. Some friends do really generous to share some items that they have double (or even more) in their apt, so they just gave it to us: mattress, dinnerware, microwave, etc. And you can always get some stuffs they left behind when the got back to their country (some sell it with cheap prices though). Or you can ask your landlord whether you can borrow some furnitures that the previous tenants left in the basement. Usually they have many things in basement, like in our previous apt, we got: couch, dining table and chairs, office table and chair, drawers, an so many more… 😀 But, by the time we moved to our new place, we gotta deal with the same condition when we first arrived in here: empty spaces! (because we borrowed almost everything). So, buy one by one…
That’s a glance of how second-hand items could save you some bucks and make your home beautifully decorated 😉