Saving Money On Home Maintenance Costs With Craigslist

I have a confession to make.  Although I don’t spend much money I do have a nasty habit of when I need something buying it new.  I’ve always been this way.  I guess it’s a convenience thing, I don’t know.  Lately I’ve been trying to look at the second-hand market more than usual and trying to change this habit of mine.   There is a huge used market waiting to be tapped by the frugal minded and those wishing to reduce waste.

I have a friend who is an absolute genius when it comes to tapping the used market.  The man can find incredible deals on everything from shoes to tools.  Over the weekend he was looking for a spare tire for a boat trailer.  It would cost $120.00 new, but he was able to find one used with excellent tread for only $5.00!!  That’s amazing!!

He is always telling me how I should take my time to look for things used instead of buying new.  It shames me that this is a basic principle of a frugal lifestyle and yet one I have failed to implement into my way of living.

A few weeks ago I was reading and article on how to rejuvenate an old grill.  It was fascinating to see how they took this old weather-beaten grill that had faded with exposure to the sun and made it look new again.  I decided that I would look on Craigslist to see if I could find something worth salvaging and  although I’ve yet to find a grill I did find a couple of lawnmowers that were free!

A guy had listed a couple of self-propelled mowers that were free to anyone wanting to pick them up.  They needed a little work, but I decided that I could fix them and turn around and sell them covering the cost of the mower I bought last year.  That means my already low home maintenance costs are even lower now but that’s not all.  While I was there the guy asked if I was interested in a weed eater he was wanting to get rid of as well, free!  He said the only problem was that it smoked when running and he decided to buy a new one.  I took it home drained the gas and made sure it had the proper gas/oil mix.  The thing runs great without any problems.  I was needing a weed eater and now I have one that cost me nothing saving me even more in home maintenance costs.

What is your experience with purchasing things used?  Are you a pro like my friend or still trying to develop your skills like me?  I would love to hear your experiences.

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10 thoughts on “Saving Money On Home Maintenance Costs With Craigslist

  1. Craigslist is an amazing ecosystem. My dad is retired and he works on lawnmowers and weed eaters. Occasionally I will post an ad asking for non-running mowers. I usually get many responses as people just want to get things out of the garage. Most of the time the carburetor is gunked up or the air filter is plugged. My dad fixes them and resells them for a very reasonable price. It keeps him busy.

    I am always search for quality items that are heavily discounted. I’ve had great luck with electronics and bikes. Someone will sell an “old” 10 speed for $10. I’ll resell it on eBay for $200. It is getting harder to find resale deals, but the great thing about Craigslist is it changes every minute.

    My current bike was purchased at a thrift store for $20. It is a 1984 Sekai road bike. Someone babied it for 30 years and then donated it to the thrift store.

    I like new items myself, but getting a nearly new item for $5 compared to a $100 new one is awesome.

    • Thanks for stopping by and sharing your experiences!

      You and your dad seem to have a pretty good system and I envy the skill set. I know with practice I can get better. As you said there are several usable items that people are getting rid of that really don’t need much work. A person could make a nice little side income from finding items on craigslist that people are selling cheap or giving away, doing and little work to them and then reselling.

  2. Stoic,

    Good stuff. And nice score with the lawn equipment!

    I think you made a great point. Not only is buying used great for saving money, but it’s also fantastic for reducing waste. No sense in buying something new that’s just going to be “used” the second you take it home if you can get something in good shape for significantly less money.

    Best wishes!

    • DM,

      These days I’m all about reducing waste by any means possible. It’s been like this for awhile but I’m finding ways I can reduce waste in my life even more.

      When I really get good at this I will figure out a way to get my neighbors to share certain things. For example: I look around and every single household has duplicates of the same things, such as lawn equipment. Why does every household need their own? Could a system be worked out that would allow someone to borrow a mower in return for some other service? I’m not sure how it would work, but I’ve really been thinking of it lately. If I approach my neighbors and get something worked out I will be sure to let you guys know.

  3. Used items have such a stigma in my circles growing up. Buying used meant you could not afford new. Slowly those walls are breaking down and value is much more important.. Great article!

    Good Day and Grind On!

    • Thanks for stopping by asset-grinder!

      I’m probably in the same boat as you. I say it’s convenience and it is but in the back of my mind there is probably a side of me that worries about appearance. I care less and less about appearance and worrying what others may think the older I get. Maybe it’s a side-effect. 😉

  4. That’s absolutely awesome that you were able to get the mowers and weed eater for free! I have a friend that gets free stuff on craigslist and sells it as a side hustle. From what I understand, it works really well!

    • Thanks for stopping by!!

      I think there are so many people throwing things out that still have a lot of useable time left. A little cleaning and possibly a few minor parts and it becomes useable again. I think it is something I would like to look into.

      • It’s definitely worth looking into. It’s almost like the American Picker’s show. Instead of looking for leads on cheap antiques, you’re looking for leads on free items that need a little care. Restoration works the same, but most of it, you can do in your garage. I’m not sure that he makes a killing at it, but he definitely has fun with it. He’s even gotten free reptiles and brought them to the local pet store. He’ll make $30 or $40 bucks picking up a snake and bringing it to the pet store. Sometimes he keeps them though…especially the rare guys.

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