Why The Compact Is A Shrewd Investment

by Katy on June 23, 2008 · 2 comments

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.”

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Anne June 24, 2008 at 9:04 am

You’ve inspired me to be a non-consumerist, too! It’s a greener, more thoughtful, happier, less stressful way to live.

Maybe, also, it’s a reaction to being advertised to all these years. I think of all the money advertisers pour into trying to make me want to buy buy buy – new new new. I think how all that money could be used in better ways. I shall be a non-consumerist to spite them – Ha!


Clover June 25, 2008 at 12:47 pm

Can you do a post on where you do shop- not specific stores, but general categories, eg, thrift stores, antique stores, yard sales, etc., and where you consistently find things of good quality.


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