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A question... - Random babblings of a fiber-obsessed nutcase

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Previous Entry A question... Jul. 1st, 2008 @ 02:11 pm Next Entry
that doesn't really have a correct answer, but I'd like opinions. (Even if they differ from mine! :wink:)

I am a cheapskate. I like nice things, but I prefer to NOT spend full-price if I don't have to (and yes, this is making my getting a new cell phone HARD for me....I know what I want, I just HATE having to pay what AT&T (and Apple) want for the phone (or...*any* phone, to be honest - but the free phones don't have the features I want/need) I buy my clothes at the local Women's Shelter (Lee Jeans - BRAND New looking - for $3. No shit! :grin:) Shoes from eBay (Birkenstocks for $15! Ariat paddock boots for $19!! etc) The kids school uniforms from an on-line retailer (hope that link's still active - I need to buy this year's uniforms in mid-July). My camera (which is Wonderful) was pre-owned - I got it for 1/3 the cost of a new one (I love Adorama in New York for camera stuff). I could go on and on.....but you get my drift.

Am I crazy? I mean, is it wrong of me to not want to spend $$$ when I can get the same thing for $?? (And...I don't mean just *now*, when prices are going up and the dollar is devaluing as we speaktype - I've *always* been this way).

Sweet Geek and I have been having an on-going discussion of this....he's all on the side of spend what you need to get the quality you want, and go for new/brand-name/whatever. That's FINE, but......I have no problem with buying at bargain-basement prices. Or being given bargain-basement stuff (which is where the problem lies - he wants to give Neiman-Marcus presents (on a NM budget), while I am happy with eBay copies. (And..that's not really a good analogy - I shop Thrallmart. They are just about the ONLY game in town. I won't buy a lot of clothes/shoes there, but that's just ME. Some of the stuff is decent - watches/sunglasses/etc. I just..don't like the clothing styles there, and I'm a Birkenstock gal at heart. :grin:)

Am I nuts? (Wait...we already know the answer to that, and it's YES..so....:lol:) I mean...I know what I'm trying to say, but it's not quite right.....I can't go into too much detail (since I don't have a lot of detail to go into, with specifics....this has been a simple on-going discussion.) but...wait, I can come up with a scenario: The dining room table!

We went to the local Amish Furniture place, and saw this table. (I've mentioned this before, but I'll recap. :grin:). The table and 4 chairs totaled $4K-ish; we had to put $1K down and pay out $600 (I think) a month for 4 months.

I went online - because I am a cheapskate, remember - and found the SAME table and similar chairs (they are close enough to the ones at the local store)....the set was $2100. WITH delivery. I love it - the price was more in line with what I was willing to spend (although I still balked at it.....that's more than I spent on my Glimakra loom!); it looks great in my dining area.....and it wasn't $4K!

He was thrilled that I saved almost $2K. Was surprized, even, that I found the same table.....but he's resistant to doing it on other things.

Is it just me? Am I so used to stretching the dollar that I'm missing something here? I mean - is there something wrong in trying to save a buck or two?

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spin a yarn
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Date:July 1st, 2008 08:00 pm (UTC)
As an advocate for buying locally and direct, I have to wonder if the $4K set would have put money into the local economy and a good portion gone to a local craftsman. If the $2K set was a cheap knockoff, was it foreign made and did it use woods from clearcut rainforests?

You have to decide where you ultimately want your money to go and how strongly you feel about your dollar's impact on the world and the environment. If you don't care, that's your choice. If you do care, then you find a balance that you can live with.
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Date:July 1st, 2008 08:06 pm (UTC)
Nope - both the $4K set and the $2K set I bought were made by Amish Craftsmen in PA. NOT local, and NOT cheap Chinese junk. :grin: These are handmade, with handtools, out of Oak cut from local (to the craftsman) trees.

I tried to get a local to do it - NONE of the "carpenters" listed in the yellowpages are willing to build dining room sets. None of them would even build me a table (and let me get the chairs elsewhere).

Both Sweet Geek and I prefer to buy handmade things - but we have to do it long distance for the most part. The locals - here, near Dallas, TX - simply don't do furniture. Or, if they do...it's for a LOT more than the $4K the Amish Store wanted. :sigh:
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Date:July 1st, 2008 08:19 pm (UTC)
I'm going with 'it depends'. For instance -- I wear a small shoesize, women's size 4/5, kids size 2/3. For sandals, walking shoes, I'll go to Kohls or wherever and buy the kids shoes cheap. For dressier shoes, ones I'll wear to work or to a wedding? I buy them at Nordstrom's (not cheap!) preferably on sale, since that's about the only place I can consistently find well made adult shoes in my size.

I won't shop at Walmart under any circumstance, but I DO shop at Target, Kohl's, etc. I prefer to buy local/handmade if I can, but I'm perfectly happy to go to EBay or just about anywhere else online as well if it's convenient/cheaper and still good quality. But, I do believe that in the long run it's less expensive to pay up for a good quality item that will last longer, versus a less-expensive item that won't last. All else being equal though, sure, used is great!
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Date:July 3rd, 2008 01:25 am (UTC)
I know I'm late chiming in...

I'm in the middle on this subject. I have no problem paying regular price for something if I need it or want it badly enough. If I don't need it but want it anyway, I'll shop around for a bargain. Like the iPod converter for the car that I'm hunting for - I can go to Target, purchase it for $85 and have it right now... or I can go to WalMart's website and order it for $40 and have it in a week. It just depends on me and how much I am willing to spend at the moment and if I have other things to purchase.

I would love to be able to find discounts on most of the things I purchase (clothing and cosmetics, skin care and such) but I'm of the mind that you get what you pay for and purchasing knock offs or store brands just doesn't work for me. I'm also stuck because it's very hard for me to find my size shoes at a discount and not have them hurt my feet... so honestly, it's six of one, half dozen of the other.

If you're in a budgetary crunch, such as you and I both are, then there's nothing wrong with bargaining what you can. But, I think that bargaining every last little thing can be a bit overmuch. Does that make sense?
(spin a yarn)
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