Buy Low, Sell High

by Katy on April 7, 2010 · 7 comments

I’ve been thinking a lot about the annual cost of my family’s belongings. This started when I sold our old washing machine on Craigslist for $20. This may sound hardly worth the effort, but since we bought it around eight years ago for $45, it actually was. Because we had eight year’s washing machine usage for $25. That’s $4.12 per year. Sure, there’s the added cost that this machine was not the most, ahem . . . energy efficient model. But I’ve always washed with cold water, and Oregon is far from drought ridden.

We also just sold our younger son’s captain’s bed on Craigslist. This too was bought on Craigslist, for $100 to be specific, ten years ago. We sold it for $60, which means my son had a bed for $4 per year. Not too shabby.

The annual cost of our belongings would sing a different story if we were to have bought brand new. We would be looking at $400 beds that sell for $60, which changes the equation.

When buying used, the value of your belongings doesn’t drop as steeply, and can even raise in value.

To this, I give the example of my son’s dress-ups, which I sold today on Craigslist for $40. This was an awesome collection of boy dress ups, with lots of animal costumes, as well as wizard, clown, superhero, knight and dinosaur paraphernalia. None of this was bought new, (although a few bits and pieces were presents) and a couple pieces were actually pulled from free boxes, yet they still had value. Play value. Were I to have bought the dress-ups brand new, the overall cost would have been in the hundreds of dollars. But since they weren’t, the value had actually gone up.

Lesson here? Buy low, sell high, and tell Craig I said “hi!” He and I go way back.

Katy Wolk-Stanley

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without”

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Kristen@TheFrugalGirl April 8, 2010 at 2:48 am

So true! When you buy used, you’re letting someone else take the depreciation hit.


Annie Jones April 8, 2010 at 4:23 am

Last year, I bought a pretty Coldwater Creek blouse for 75ร‚ยข at a thrift store. I wore it to my daughter’s wedding reception, but it was a little to frilly/fancy for everyday wear so I sold it on eBay for $24!

I’ve made a couple of good deals like that on Craiglist, too, but none with such a high profit margin. ๐Ÿ™‚


Kitty April 8, 2010 at 8:09 am

I bought a refrigerator for $30 because that is what the electric company would have given for it, used it for 4 years and then sold it to the electric company for $30. because the refrig recycling program was still running. Free fridge. Yeah@


Katy April 8, 2010 at 8:51 am

Way to go!



Hiptobeme April 8, 2010 at 8:24 am

Do you attach photos to your listings or just describe the items? I have been wanting to do this but so far I have only done freecycle…


Katy April 8, 2010 at 8:51 am

I include pictures, which is key to get people to click on your listing. Sometimes I’ll include a picture of the item I found online if I’m in a pinch though.



Angela April 8, 2010 at 12:09 pm

Great post, Katy! It’s making me want to get on craigslist! I just linked to it from our Facebook Fan page.


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