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Buy it, enjoy it, and resell it

By on October 17, 2009

nancy drew
photo by szlea

Frugal people buy merchandise and typically use it until it wears out. But there are times when you can buy items that hold their value or at least have decent resale value, so you can resell them when you’re ready. For example, you might want to trade up, need to sell something to make some extra money, or you simply no longer want it. A simple comparison on can help you price your items. Or check valuation guides on Web sites such as or, which will show you what common items are typically priced at in their thrift stores.

One community member, Sarah in Massachusetts, shares: “I had a textbook in college that I bought used for $17 and traded into the bookstore at the end of the semester for $25. That was my best deal. I honestly don’t do this with a lot of things, but my husband does. He has a lot of computer/electronics stuff that he buys and resells. He bought a hardware mixer for $600 and wants to list it on eBay. He’ll probably get $350. He’s done this with routers, switches, phones and other things. If he’s not sure whether he’s going to keep it for a while, he considers the resale value.” Books are a consistently easy item to sell. If selling online versus a garage sale, be clear on the quality of the books you’re selling. In addition to textbooks, vintage, children’s series, cookbooks and signed books will often do well, too.

What have you resold for a good price after you were done with it?

Here are a few more suggestions for items that hold their value.

CLOTHING: This is especially true with children’s clothing, formal and business wear, vintage and retro garments, and harder-to-find sizes, such as big and tall, maternity or plus sizes. One reader, Reba in Maryland, adds: “I buy kids’ clothes at the consignment shop and then sell them back to the same consignment shop. It’s the circle of life.”

TOOLS: Hand and power tools hold their value. Older tools are highly collectible, so if you have wooden-handled or vintage tools, these will sell easily. For newer tools, some brands, such as Mac, Craftsman and Snap-on, will do better than others. There are always people looking to buy tools for below-retail prices. And there are collectors and dealers searching, too.

GLASSWARE/CHINA: Another reader, Mary in Texas, said: “I used to collect glassware. I bought a lot a while back with the intent to turn around and sell it when the market was hot. It worked out well! It made me happy while I had it, and it made me even happier when I sold it and made lots of money. It allowed me to start selling online to pay my share of the bills and to stay home to care for my mother for more than five years.” People look for replacement or additional pieces to sets or simply like the style of glassware to add to their decor.

ADDITIONAL ITEMS: Linens/bedding; furniture; toys and games; bikes; sporting and fitness equipment; appliances; baby gear; craft items; purses; and office supplies.


  1. Pingback: New life for used Items | DSA Futures

  2. Steve

    10/18/2009 at 5:52 pm

    Very good reminder. I like the idea of my stuff, that is so precious to me, might have another life somewhere else for someone else.

    Keeps stuff out of the landfill too.


  3. Joes Money

    10/27/2009 at 3:22 pm

    Great read! I remember a few years back when eBay was a much better option for resale. Uunfortunately, the fees, etc have gone up so much it makes it much more difficult. I have been using Cragislist more and more as of late.
    .-= Joes Money´s last blog ..Top 9 Reasons People Fail To Build Wealth =-.

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