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Monday, March 18, 2013

This is a Craigslist super story.

Several years ago, I came to the conclusion that I would stop trying to resell my stuff.  No more garage sales.  No more trips to Once Upon A Child.  No more posts on Craigslist.  I came to this conclusion for many reasons.  We buy most of what we own second hand making our stuff even less valuable when we turn around to sell it.  Many items aren't just used for one child, but are saved and reused for the next one.  By the time we are done with them they are well used and many times obsolete (think drop side cribs and baby bjorn carriers).  We tend to have cousins or close friends who are one size smaller or one toy phase younger than our own who we want to give our nice stuff to.  My nephew, Gabe, passes down many of his toys to Schroeder who in turn passes down many of his toys to Rogi.
One huge factor is stuff management is a THORN in my side.  I hate the idea of sorting it out of my house into the garage only to have to sort and sticker it for a garage sale in the spring.  Blah.  It's about as much fun as couponing.  When you look through it again at the time of the garage sale you start to question, "Why did I get rid of this?"  Then your kids come out of the house and start crying saying, "Why did you get rid of that?"  With four kids, I have a lot of STUFF and it's just easier to decide I don't need it, put it in a bin by the door, and take it to Goodwill the next week.  Even if it is worth $3.  My sanity is worth more than three dollars.
We are getting ready for another baby.  I've been pulling out what we have and making lists of what we need.  We just put new countertops in our kitchen.  We are still paying for the services of our midwife.  We are currently paying two mortgages each month while we wait for our house in Texas to sell.  That translates to, we don't have a lot of disposable income this month.
I started to notice that many people are making money reselling there stuff.  Three dollars here and there is adding up to a decent sum that could help them purchase something new (or new to them).  I start to reconsider how much my sanity is worth.  I start to wonder if I'm being a good steward by just "throwing away" money.  Maybe I should start couponing, too.  
On top of the things I wanted for Penuly, some mishaps added some other items to my shopping list.  (Alex and Meagan, please consider this an official apology.)  D'arcy was given a DS by her Aunt Meagan for Christmas.  Meagan had one that she didn't use very much and asked me if it would be ok to gift it to D'arcy.   D'arcy has been wanting a DS for YEARS.  I wasn't anti her having one, but I wasn't too eager to buy her one since we already had two laptops, an iPad, a TV, a Wii, and two smart phones at home.  I knew Meagan's gift would make D'arcy's Christmas.  She was beyond thrilled, and has played with it regularly over the last three months.  D'arcy left it on the front desk one day, and when I went in to help Maggie finish up in the bathroom, I found her there with a wet DS.  She said very matter of factly, "Mommy, I dropped D'arcy's DS in the toilet."  I sucked in air.  We put it in rice.  After a week the screen would flash on for a second.  While D'arcy is responsible for putting her things away, I felt somewhat responsible for not keeping it out of Maggie's hands.  I told D'arcy that I would try to find her another one on Craigslist.  She said she wouldn't mind if it was pink and had a cool case and maybe an extra game.  I narrowed my eyes at her.  She walked away.
While I strongly dislike reselling my stuff, I totally enjoy buying items second hand.  When we moved into our house in 2011, I promised myself that I would buy only used items (I gave myself a two new item limit).  Our couches are used.  Our washer and dryer are secondhand.  I bought two new to me dressers.  The only things new from the store were D'arcy and Julian's bunkbeds and a little white table in my front room.  I love that it's a hunt.  I love that you have to be patient.  I love that I spend 1/2 the price for things that look practically new.
I begrudgingly went on Craigslist and typed in DS Lite.  I found that to get a really nice used one, I would probably need to spend about $70 (they are originally $100).  For one that has been all but dropped into a toilet, I might be able to spend $30.  I found one that looked really nice with a cool case for $50 and sent a message.  I told her I was very interested assuming she had a charger and that it worked well.  She messaged me back and said she did not have a charger or battery but would knock the price down to $30 because of the missing pieces. Hmmm...not a good sign, BUT we had a charger and a working battery.  I told her that I would come to look at it, put my battery inside and make sure it worked.  I would hate to drive out of my way and find that it didn't though.  Plus, I hated the idea of wasting someone else's time as ridiculous as that might seem.
When I was going through baby items from the attic this week, I stumbled upon a $20 bill tucked into an old diaper bag.  Score.  I took that $20 bill and another $10 from Stephen's random wallet money and headed out to meet this lady.  I struggled to find the place.  I struggled to get the old battery unscrewed from the sizzled DS.  I wondered if this was all a waste of time.  The hunt is fun, right?
We met at her local Church of Latter Day Saints.  This mormon isn't going to dupe me, right?  Turns out the battery wasn't missing (it was a different unimportant piece).  I was able to start it right up.  Our charger fit.  The DS was in super condition.  I still only paid her $30.  It came with an awesome case and two extra games.  Ok, it wasn't pink, but D'arcy was thrilled with the color.  I got everything she wanted and paid the "all but dropped in the toilet" price.  Plus, twenty dollars floated down from heaven.  Craigslist shopping is so rewarding.
Which made me remember that garage sales are not (at least for me) and that's okay.  I need people to resell so I can buy used, though!
Oh, and I've told D'arcy that I'm no longer responsible for what happens to her DS if it is left out for little hands.

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