Tips for Buying Used Pet Items
Owning a pet is such a rewarding experience but it can also be an expensive one. After buying food, treats, beds, leashes, cages, kennels, toys and those dreaded vet visits, you’re lucky if you have enough money left over for groceries for yourself! And of course, your pets are part of the family and so you want to spoil them but not go bankrupt in the process. I know this first hand as we have a 100 pound Rotti X AND a 22 pound orange tabby cat (he’s not fat…he’s just big boned!). Looking at their food bills each month, you’d think we have a teenage son living in the house (although you would probably wonder why someone would be feeding their 15 year old son kibble but you know what they say…teenage boys will eat anything!)
Obviously you have to buy food for your pets but for the other necessary and not-so-necessary but fun items why not try buying them used? You’ll pay a fraction of the cost on items that are usually very expensive! Now I know what some of you are thinking…”How do I buy something that was previously used by another animal? Won’t my pet avoid it or possibly “mark their territory” on it?” This is a valid question. Yes there are some pet items that I wouldn’t recommend buying or selling used but most items, if cleaned properly, can easily be reused by another pet.
I work for UsedVictoria and my task this month was to find some fabulous prizes to give away at the Vancouver Island Pet Expo on May 26th. I quickly came to the conclusion that there are a lot of great pet items you can buy and sell used that will help you save money AND still spoil your beloved pets. I also concluded that buying used pet items is an entirely different “breed” of second-hand shopping (LOL…sorry, I had to do it!) So here are some helpful tips for buying used pet items, what you should avoid buying or selling used and how to sell your items quickly so you have money to buy more pet food!!!
1. Throw out the pet mattress! Unfortunately, if you have a dog or cat, you know firsthand that their mattresses are usually the first thing they pee on in order to mark their territory (and possibly yours if you let them on the bed!) Not to mention, because they sleep on them most of the time, they usually wear quite quickly and end up covered in pet hair, dirt and other unmentionables. I wouldn’t recommend selling used fabric dog or cat beds as it’s very difficult to completely eliminate the pet odors and dander, making it a prime target for the next Fluffy or Spot to pee on. But the plastic dog beds or cat beds that you put the mattresses in are great items to buy and sell used as they are super easy to clean. This actually goes for most other pet items, so just make sure to give them a good wipe down with some soap and water before selling.
2. Bundle it: When I was buying prizes for the Pet Expo, I had a great experience that struck me as a perfect way to sell used pet items. I went over to this woman’s house to purchase a brand new cat scratcher. I told her that I worked for UsedVic and was putting together some prize packages for the Pet Expo and she gleefully replied that she had a bunch of other cat items that she hadn’t had time to post on the site yet. I ended up leaving with the cat scratcher, a cat carrier, a mouse laser and some cat toys! So if you have several pet items you want to sell, you should consider selling them as a bundle. I’m sure someone who has recently brought home a new dog or cat would be elated to purchase their pet items all at once at a fraction of the cost!
3. Fido the Fashionista I can’t believe what you can actually buy these days for your pets, specifically dogs. It used to be that all you needed was a dog bowl, a leash and a collar and you were set. Now you can buy all types of clothing for your dog like hockey jerseys and designer t-shirts. They have collars with Swarovski crystals on them and high-end designer purses to cart the small dogs around in. I found tons of these items on UsedVic and while I’m not one to buy designer clothes for my dog, you can at least justify having a little fun and buy some cute outfits for Fido with all the money you’re saving by buying used.
I hope these tips will help you navigate through the world of buying used pet items. I promise you will love saving all that money! And some of the items I mentioned will be in our prize packs and door prizes at the Vancouver Island Pet Expo so make sure to look for me in the UsedVic coveted purple tee and angel wings (you’ll have to ask when you see me) and be sure to enter our prize giveaway draws! Can’t wait to see you all there and till then, happy shopping!