My most popular post by far has been “Goodwill and Craigslist.” People are really interested in finding great bargains in both places. I have also gotten feedback like “I never find what I am looking for or “I never get lucky there,” and this is my reply: if you only go when you are looking for something specific you probably won’t have any luck.
I visit weekly to see what is new and I buy things that I “may” have a purpose for later. Not everyone can do this or wants to do this, but if you do here’s a tip: I keep a list of items I need or want on my phone so I always have it handy, and I have a place I can store my items until the occasion comes that I need it.
If you’re not a professional but just enjoy repurposing or getting a great bargain then what I would say is DON’T GIVE UP! Go into your Goodwill or Salvation Army with no expectations and be willing to walk out with nothing. Get into the habit of visiting once a week whether you need something or not. Soon you will find this to be much more enjoyable and you will open yourself up to finding items that you may have passed by before.
As I have said, I usually shop housewares and furniture but once in a while I find the unexpected, like a vintage, long black wool coat with velvet lapels for $5. I couldn’t pass that up and I lived in Arizona at the time!
Now on to other places that you may have heard about but wouldn’t think to shop when you’re doing a home improvement project. Many people who are “do-it-yourselfers” trek down to the local Home Depot, Lowe’s or even Ace Hardware when they need something, whether it’s copper pipe, a light fixture, or a bathroom vanity.
Before you head to any of these places check your local Habitat for Humanity store (ReStore). Not every community has one but if you can find one in your area it can save you a ton of money. They have everything from furniture to home improvement items cheap! Sometimes these items are a little rough and in need of some rehabbing and sometimes are almost perfect, so it is definitely worth a visit.
An alternative to Craigslist and becoming really popular are the many “online yard sale” pages on Facebook. In my area there are at least 3 yard sale pages on Facebook that are local and feature sellers no more than 30 miles from me. These pages are usually private and require the administrator to allow access, but so far I have not been turned down for any. Because there is a local administrator there are tighter rules, and because most buyers and sellers are local they often know each other and are quick to respond and update posts. Checking these daily is a good idea because the good stuff goes fast.
I hope this helps you out in your quest for bargains and/or items to re-purpose! Happy hunting!