Tips for buying used goods

Eleanor Davis of Repeat Performance
Eleanor Davis of Repeat Performance
Dot McDaniel of Eastbrook Flea Market
Dot McDaniel of Eastbrook Flea Market

Posted by: Mark Bullock - bio | email

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - If you're like a lot of people, you're shopping more and more at yard sales and flea markets these days. It can save you a lot of cash, but there are some tips to keep in mind when buying used merchandise.

The owner of Repeat Performance, a women's clothing consignment shop in Montgomery, knows a deal when she sees one.

"Take this dress, which still has the original price tag," explained Eleanor Davis. "It was originally $49 and here we have it for $16."

And Eleanor promises that her clothes are like new.

"If it looks like it's been worn, I won't take it," she insisted.

It's not just Eleanor's shop attracting more customers these days. Many shoppers say used clothing is an easy way to save.

"I also go to Goodwill sometimes and they have what seems like 8,000 pairs of jeans. And they're all in great condition, many of them designer labels," shopper Susan Woody told us.

And why stop at used clothing? Flea markets are a great place to find used furniture and house wares. It may take you a while to find what you want, but it could be worth the wait.

"The furniture that was built back in the 1940s and 1950s is the better merchandise. It's going to last," said Dot McDaniel, owner of Eastbrook Flea Market and Antique Mall.

But there are also rules to buying at flea markets. For instance, watch out for signs that say "As Is."

"That tells the buyer that something is wrong with it," McDaniel explained.

And be sure to inspect the merchandise before you buy.

McDaniel says, "If the price tag is over a chip or is trying to hide something, I would be immediately leery."

Buying a used car can also save you money. And many late models are still under warranty. But consider paying a mechanic to check out the vehicle first.

Speaking of used merchandise, other shoppers swear by pawn shops and yard sales. But remember, with used merchandise, the sales are often final.

Stores that sell used merchandise can also make you some money since many also buy from their customers. Contact your favorite consignment shop to inquire about selling your used goods.

©2009 WSFA. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.