Why The Compact is a Shrewd Investment

by Katy on December 14, 2009 · 1 comment

The following is a reprint of a previously published column. Enjoy!

Wall Street

When I tell people that I do The Compact, (buy nothing new) they seem to assume that I am filling my house with tons of second-hand junk. Nothing could be farther from the truth.

It is because I do only buy used, that I can afford to fill my home with wonderful high-end antiques.

Even the most un-savvy investor has heard the term, “buy low, sell high.” This is exactly what I am doing. I buy everything for less than it’s worth, and I only shop at thrift stores and garage sales.

That cool looking Scandinavian mega-store dresser with the frosted glass panels? It depreciates sooner than it takes to digest those must-have Swedish meatballs.

That pretty 1920’s garage-sale dresser with the beveled glass knobs? Immediately worth more.

By following this mindset, I have been able to fill my home with classic, high quality furnishings.

  • 1920’s white-oak craftsman-style Carnegie library chairs for the dining room (11 for $75).
  • 1919 Maxfield Parrish print in original art deco frame ($21.50).
  • Vintage channel-back mohair couch ($125).
  • Free 1914 piano.
  • Assorted alabaster lamps (free to $15).

None of these furnishings will ever look dated. But if I did ever choose to sell them, it would be for more than I paid.

I also employ this “buy low, sell high” strategy for clothes, gift giving, toys and books. Pretty much all consumer goods.

Because it’s used, I can afford the very best quality.

Ask yourself this the next time you go shopping. What am I buying? Is this an investment?

Katy Wolk-Stanley

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

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Lisa December 15, 2009 at 10:30 am

I noticed that most of what you listed are older items. I follow this sage advice too. My question is this…. Have you noticed that older things seem to be of a higher quality than things produced nowadays? To me, older is almost always better.


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