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Using Used: top 10 tips from the woman who renovated her house for free

Karen’s Greenhouse Built From All Free Materials

Last week I put some questions to Karen Bragg who has saved literally thousands of dollars by using to renovate her home.

Here Karen gives us her top ten tips for using Used.

  1. Think ahead of time about what things you might need, and THEN start looking. It may take some time, but it will often turn up cheap or free.
  2. There is a lot to be said for posting a “Wanted: Free or Cheap _____” with an explanation of what you need and why you need it. There are a LOT of very generous people who enjoy helping others, even if it’s just giving away something they don’t need any longer.
  3. Never underestimate the power of asking! You can always offer a lower price in case the item doesn’t sell; that gives the seller a definite way to get rid of the item.
  4. Always, always, always be polite when dealing with sellers! Did I mention ALWAYS? Those old-fashioned words ‘Please’ and ‘Thank You’ still make a difference!
  5. Be available to pick up an item as soon as possible.
  6. Always make sure you are there for pickup when you said you would be. I sometimes see angry comments on UsedVictoria that say things like, “They said they were going to be here but never showed up, and didn’t even call to let us know!” However, if you are known for keeping your word, or at least making sure the seller knows what’s going on, you’ll do a lot better.
  7. Make sure that when you read an ad for an item you are interested in that you check “View Seller’s List”. You can sometimes find several items you want in one place, saving gas as well as your time and the seller’s time. And you can often make a better deal if you’re getting more than one item.
  8. You can try following up with sellers, to see if the item actually went when it was supposed to. I have gotten lucky several times when people didn’t show up when they said they would. The follow-up (or leaving my phone number with the seller ‘just in case’) has been lucrative for me. I’ve actually had people call me two weeks later to see if I was still interested in an item! 
  9. When you get an item from a seller, send a thank-you note or leave a thank-you phone message.
  10. Check the site often, daily if possible.

Marketing Manager at Lover of yoga, bees, red wine, rock n roll music, good books and mountain views.

2 Responses to “Using Used: top 10 tips from the woman who renovated her house for free”


Love the greenhouse!


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