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

There certainly is a broad scope of topics here at Frugal Living Freedom. When you think about it, money permeates so very many activities in our lives, therefore, being frugal encompasses a wide range of interests, from being employed to taking a vacation, and just about everything in between. Enjoy the variety, pick up some new ideas, and start making frugality a part of your signature.

I'm a big proponent of being debt-free, and I mean entirely debt-free - no mortgage payment. It's not essential for financial freedom, but you'll love the feeling once you get there. If you didn't have a rent or mortgage payment, how much more could you do for yourself with your current level of income? I suspect plenty.

If you ever hope to see an abundance of wealth, you need to plug the hole in your boat. The wealthy don't necessarily make lots of money, instead, they know how to hang onto what they make, and make it work for them.