Buy Damaged Goods - occasionally
Do you buy damaged goods? Probably not very often, but sometimes it's worthwhile. It almost always saves you money.
Buy "seconds" at the roadside stand when you're canning, because having perfect fruits and vegetables doesn't matter when you're canning.
I once bought a wooden carving that had cracks in the back of it where no one would see it. Someone pointed it out one day while examining the carving, and I said, "that's why it's the back."
Retail outlets aren't well known for their deep discount pricing, but sometimes you can find a great deal, especially if you buy damaged goods that are still suitable for your purpose.
Here is just such a story:
One day I was in search of a fireproof wood stove floor mat. They are metal on the top surface with fireproof insulating material on the underside. They are relatively heavy and costly.
I only needed half of one to fit in front of a wood stove mounted on a stone hearth. What a shame to cut it in half, but I had to have one to prevent the floor from becoming a fire hazard from stray embers and radiant heat.
I walked into the home improvement store and quickly found the floor protectors. They were about $60 each. Looking through the stock, I found one with a substantial bend on the corner that had cracked the fireproof material underneath.
Perfect, I only wanted half of it anyway. The bent portion could be cut off and discarded without concern about wasting half the product. Now it was time to see if I knew how to negotiate with a home improvement store to buy damaged goods.
After locating a store employee, I told her that I wanted to buy the damaged item, and asked her to summon a manager so I could make an offer.
The manager came over and I pointed out the irreparable damage. I then offered $15 for the item. He looked over the mat, assessed the damage, and agreed on the price immediately.
The store manager knew that he had a smart shopper on his hands, but more importantly, he had a buyer for damaged goods that would otherwise be thrown away. If it were thrown away, he makes no money on the item.
We both won. He made money on something that would have been thrown away, and I ended up saving money.
Speak up and make an offer. Even a retail store would rather make some money on an item than no money. Learn how to negotiate with a decision maker at a retail outlet.
Done with Buy Damaged Goods, back to Frugal Shopping