Loving Previously-Owned Items

I just love Craigslist!

We made some quick money today!

A couple of days ago Jason put some various spare furniture up for sale. We were hoping to get it sold before we participate in the massive group yard sale at church this weekend (mostly because we didn’t want to have to lug a bunch of furniture to the parking lot).

Last night Jason happened to do a search for “swing set” and came across the exact thing that we’ve been wanting to get for our boys. New sets like this go for about $1000 at home improvement stores and there’s just no way that kind of purchase was going to fit into our budget any time soon, but $150 for a 3-year old one? Absolutely!!

It’s got a slide, two individual swings, and a tandem glider swing, as well as a little half picnic table and bench seat on one side (can’t see it in the picture). The bottom can be used as a sandbox but we won’t be doing that as we don’t want to attract fire ants which are already a big problem where we live.

I was telling Jason that between this new-to-them swing set and the pool, our boys are never going to come inside the house this spring and summer! Also, there are lots of inexpensive add-on items available (periscopes, rock climbing walls, chalkboard kits, replacement roof kits, steering wheels, etc.) that would make excellent birthday gifts for the boys for years to come. Someday maybe the bottom half could be turned into a playhouse area for our little girl. So many possibilities!

There are a couple of boards that need replacing ($20 investment in wood) and we’d like to purchase a bucket-seat (about $30) to replace one of the regular swings because Jesse is still to little to use the big-kid swing. Otherwise, this is in great condition. What a deal!

As we were driving the hour down the interstate to pick up the swing set this afternoon we got a call from a guy wanting to come look at the 6-piece bedroom set as well as the wine rack we had for sale. Sure thing, see ya later man!

No later did we get home from putting out $150 for the swing set and Jason partially assembling it in the backyard did the man and his son show up and give us $560 for a ton of furniture that we had up online for sale. All that’s left now is one headboard and a dresser from a different bedroom set. He also took pictures of our china cabinet to show his new wife and if she likes it he’ll be back for it as well.

We are so happy! The money for the swing set was already set aside in our budget to spend, so the money from everything that we sold this evening just goes right back into our pocket. Some of it will be spent on getting a new dresser to match baby girl’s bedroom furniture and another dresser for the boys since we sold the nightstands that they had been using, but the rest will be going straight to our emergency fund. It feels so good to be building that back up again after having to deplete it over Christmas when Jason’s motorcycle needed repairs.

Hopefully the china cabinet sells soon and we do well at the yard sale this Saturday, it would be great to get all of this spare stuff out of the way and have less clutter around the house and taking up space in the garage.

I went to lunch this morning with some girlfriends and our kids and we got to talking about Craigslist. When we were kids we didn’t have internet and I don’t ever remember going to a yard sale. Everything we had was brand new from the store and our old things were either donated or thrown away. I felt terrible when the playhouse and wooden fort and swing set that we had in our backyard growing up were torn down and thrown in the trash after several years of sitting unused when my sister and I outgrew them. I don’t think we ever thought to run an ad in the newspaper or Pennysaver offering them for sale before they were so weathered that they were reduced to trash. If we’d sold them as soon as we had stopped playing with them instead of letting them sit out there to rot and rust, other children could have enjoyed them and my mom would have had some spare cash in her pocket.

Jason and I have been lucky to have had good experiences in using Craigslist lots of times to both buy and sell various things. Even though I didn’t grow up buying used items, I am very glad that this free listing website exists so that I can buy a used-but-still-in-great-shape swing set for our kids and save $850 in doing it. Like I said, there is no way we’d be able to shell out a thousand dollars for a brand new one (at least not without going into debt for it – which is not an option we’d consider) and our kids are 5 and 2, they wouldn’t know new from “previously loved” anyway.

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