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Friday Favorites: Finding Secondhand Items

February 17th, 2012

After many requests to start them back up again,
Friday Favorites are back!

This past Sunday I showed you what our closet looked like after we installed a new organization system. In that post, I mentioned that I despise plastic items; Daisy commented that I needed wooden hangers so I could do away with the plastic ones. The funny thing is, I’ve been looking at them on-line but couldn’t bring myself to spend the money to replace the ones I had which were still OK (though they’re starting to break in increasing numbers). When it comes to purchasing items, I prefer to find them used because they’re cheaper and usually things made even 10 years ago are higher quality than those made today.

Luckily, I received an email from my local outdoor outfitter store that they were having a sale on wooden hangers. 50 cents each, 5 for $2.25 or 50 for $20. WHAT A GREAT DEAL.

The only thing is, they’re branded, which is quite funny if you know me and know how much I dislike branding. We grabbed a box full and spent some time removing all the old plastic hangers from my closet yesterday. Thankfully, I don’t have many clothes so for $25 I got 60 hangers and I have plenty for all our hanging clothes, coats and other items. I even have 23 empty ones for future expansion (though we try to get rid of items when we buy new so we probably won’t need these).

Another reason I like to buy secondhand is because it’s kind of like a game. It’s no fun to simply run out and buy what you want whenever you want it. I have a list in the back of my mind of things I’d like to have if ever find them for a good price. Mr Chiots and I like to stop at little antique & second hand stores while we’re traveling and we’ve found some wonderful things this way. It’s even better when you can find an item you’ve been searching for in a small store while driving through Virginia on our way to Monticello. Stumbling across something you’ve been wanting to buy for a couple years in a random little shop is such a joy!

Do you like to buy used items? Found any great used items recently that you’ve been patiently waiting for?

21 Comments to “Friday Favorites: Finding Secondhand Items”
  1. Terry on February 17, 2012 at 7:46 am

    One of the most useful things I have bought in recent years is my food processor. I got it at an auction for $4. We have made fresh salsa nearly every week since I brought it home. I love auctions, garage sales, and thrift stores. I sometimes go to the thrift stores several times in one week just because I happen to be driving past.

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  2. Andrea Duke on February 17, 2012 at 8:19 am

    You’re creative enough to maybe come up with something to cover the branding on the hangers. I’m thinking Chiot’s Run plaques or something along those lines. If they are going to have a brand name on them, it may as well be yours :)

    Reply to Andrea Duke's comment

    • Susy on February 17, 2012 at 8:24 am

      Very true!

      Reply to Susy's comment

  3. goatpod2 on February 17, 2012 at 8:49 am

    A lot of my clothing has come from secondhand stores. One of our local secondhand stores had free hangers the last time we were there.


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  4. tj on February 17, 2012 at 8:54 am

    …Congrat’s on the wonderful find! Don’tcha just love it when that happens? :o)

    …I’ve been looking for an antique stepback cupboard, one wide enough to house my husband’s big screen tv so I can hide it when it isn’t being used. I could have one now if I want to spend $2500.00 for one but that isn’t gonna happen so I’m patiently waiting for a reasonably priced one to come along that will work. And yes, it is utter joy when something you’ve been wanting and waiting for suddenly shows up at a good price. :o)

    …Enjoy your day you two!


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  5. KimH on February 17, 2012 at 8:55 am

    I dont mind second hand stuff at all as long as it has value. I used to live on thrift & garage sale goods for the first 10 years after I moved out from my parents home and always had awesome stuff… I dont shop many seconds hand shops now cuz there aren’t any good ones in my area. That can always change though..

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  6. laura on February 17, 2012 at 9:15 am

    I love thrift store shopping. My last best score was a solid steel really heavy bottomed pot with steamer baskets. I use it for jam making, popcorn popping and stew stewing~ the set was $9; which is a bit high except I found the same item online for over $100 :) Next best is my vintage Pyrex.

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  7. Traci on February 17, 2012 at 9:42 am

    I am totally with you on this one. I am a collector- mostly I think because I love the search, the game as you say. Whether it’s old american pottery ( found a Mccoy pot from the 1930s at a garage sale for 25cents – happiness lasted all week!) or other fun decor items the catch is I have to find them cheap. Which is harder these days with ebay of course.

    Also, I too wait on some practical items I am on a search right now for a used rabbit hutch – a good place to start my baby chicks when they come in April. Also, I really want a squezzo but can’t bring myself to pay all that money. I’ll be hitting the thrift shops in search of one – wish me luck!

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  8. Jaye Whitney on February 17, 2012 at 9:49 am

    I don’t mind buying second hand at all! I’m particular about it being in great condition though :) You got a great deal here, no doubt!

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  9. Donna B. on February 17, 2012 at 10:24 am

    I am a puveyor of yard sales! Whenever I see a sign up in my neighborhood, I make it in my agenda while I’m walking my dog to make a pit stop with a couple of small bills in my pocket. I’ve found very nice crystal bowls [$1.00 for 2] a copper alchemist pot dated in the 20’s from Germany [$2.00, which now has a jade plant in it.] and an old metal outdoor table with a glass top [$3.00] in the same yard sale – How could I have resisted?!
    I believe by using up what’s already made, it helps my own impact on the earth instead of buying something poorly made that’s “new”.

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  10. MAYBELLINE on February 17, 2012 at 10:44 am

    I’m looking for a used/vintage/antique (take your pick) table and chairs for the garden.

    Reply to MAYBELLINE's comment

    • Susy on February 17, 2012 at 11:32 am

      Can’t wait to see it when you find it. I’ve been keeping my eyes open for garden furniture too.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  11. dkswife on February 17, 2012 at 1:35 pm

    I will always buy used if I can. I hate spending the money on new items which are not made as well as older things.

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  12. Wendy Buss on February 17, 2012 at 3:41 pm

    I love shopping thrift stores and garage sales–I love the thrill of the hunt, but being patient for just the right item is a challenge for me sometimes. I carry a list with me on my phone of items that I’m looking for–this helps me stay focused on looking for what I really need so as not to keep filling the house up with stuff, though I do enjoy finding an unexpected treasure from time to time.

    My husband is a welder and we buy all of his work shirts second hand as they will get destroyed/stained/burned, etc. eventually anyways. One of my proudest recent thrift store finds was 12 workshirts for him for $30–we’re talking brand name shirts, some of which looked like they’d never been worn.

    I’m also always on the lookout for nice knit clothing to repurpose into clothing for my smallest kiddos.

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  13. Brittany P. on February 17, 2012 at 3:44 pm

    Yes, Yes, Yes! It feels so good when I find an item that I have been patiently hoping to see at the second hand store. My latest find, 6 piece cast iron cookware coated with enamel with a beautiful veggie pattern to boot… price $8. ;)

    Reply to Brittany P.'s comment

  14. Whit on February 17, 2012 at 4:50 pm

    What a great find! I’ve been slowly collecting wooden hangers when i find them too. There are so many things that you don’t know you need at the thrift shops. :) Sometimes i’m on a pyrex coffee mug bent (they are the perfect size for everything.) Lately i am on a crocheted/knitted blanket bent. Our new house doesn’t have central heating, so we need all the blankets we can get on our beds by early morning when the fireplace has long gotten cold. :)

    We are trying to unpack as we can, and trips to Ikea for inferior furniture is really depressing me. I will be very glad to have the time within the next year or so to look for antique bookcases, cabinets, dressers to add storage to our new home. Like you say, even if it’s built 10 years ago, it seems better quality than today.

    My dream find would be a retro 50’s dining table…the kind with the chrome around the edges. Those are in high demand around here though. A hoosier would be a dream too.

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  15. itchbay on February 17, 2012 at 5:18 pm

    I know what you mean by the “game.” I play that game all the time. I love it when people compliment certain decor items, and I think, “I got that at Goodwill! I found that at the thrift store!”

    Reply to itchbay's comment

  16. daisy on February 17, 2012 at 9:20 pm

    Great score on the hangers!

    Thrifting is the only type of shopping that I enjoy.
    I’m currently on the hunt for refrigerator dishes, as we are attempting to do away all plastic containers.

    Enjoy your new closet!

    Reply to daisy's comment

  17. judy m on February 17, 2012 at 11:20 pm

    I rarely buy anything full price. As of late I haven’t been able to get out and about like I want but that “itch” is getting stronger. When we were running back & forth to visit my mother last fall, we kept passing a collectible place. Finlly stopped – found good sized trunks – excellent condition for $50 or less. Use them for storage. My goal now is finding things like shutters, teapots, old fencing.! Go to Restores, flea markets, discount places, – got a old style chandelier (brand new) for $19 worth about $200. I love it when a plan comes together. I will be looking for wooden hangers as well myself – Probably at the Restore – I love them- hate the retail price.

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  18. Kathi Cook on February 18, 2012 at 3:54 pm

    I love finding old useful items. Vintage kitchen utensils and gadgets are my favorite now. Some of my special finds are a pastry cutter with a green wooden handle, a marble rolling pin, and a kitchen scale. I love to keep my tomatoes in the scale in the summer. So glad you revived Friday favorites! Thanks

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  19. Sofie Dittmann on February 19, 2012 at 9:54 am

    It depends. I live w/ two pack rats and if you ask THEM, the only thing I ever do is throw out. If you ask ME, I’m the only one who cares about organizing things. Oh, and I LOVE plastic totes, dish pans and baskets, they are WONDERFUL for organizing things and I couldn’t find them at a decent price anywhere if I tried, short of making them myself.

    So, I love antiques, but the cool stuff is usually out of my price range. We have gotten some great stuff at Goodwill, like all of our desks, but some things you just don’t find.

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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