When You’re a Thrifter, Repairing Can Cost More Than Replacing

My two children were very fortunate to receive (used) cross-country skis, boots and poles from their aunt and uncle for Christmas. They had never tried cross-country skiing but quickly fell in love with the sport. My daughter loved it so much that she spent hour-after-hour skiing in circles around our house. She also went on a couple of cross-country outings at a local park. Sadly, on her most recent adventure, the bottom of her ski boot separated from the top. She was so disappointed and wanted to run right out and buy a new pair of ski boots.

Why pay retail? Bargain ski boots.

Um, no, I told her. It’s just not as fun to plunk down lots of money when I knew I could find what she needed for much less. Plus, new cross country ski boots cost anywhere between $55 and $155.

After consulting some skiers, I decided repairing the boots was not an acceptable long-term option since they were likely to come apart again once wet. So I proceeded with my usual Plan B – look for them at thrift shops. Surprisingly, luck was on my side. In a matter of days, I had a found an exact replica of my daughter’s ski boots – in fact, ones that fit better – for a grand total of $.99. I even found a second pair a couple of weeks later, which I set aside in case we need them next season.

I doubt I could have found a container of Crazy Glue for as little as $.99. Sometimes it makes more sense to replace an item with another used item than to try repairing it.


1 Response to “When You’re a Thrifter, Repairing Can Cost More Than Replacing”

  1. 1 Sandra Beckwith March 6, 2011 at 6:21 pm

    Great advice — thanks for sharing!

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Pay pennies for new-to-you clothing and housewares

Imagine being able to buy pricey, but gently used, name brand outfits for your kids from Abercrombie & Fitch, Hollister or North Face for a small fraction of what they cost new. You'll even spot furniture, silver and glassware for your home for less than a meal out. Or find something for yourself from Chico’s, J. Jill or Lilly Pulitzer and pay for it with the change from the bottom of your purse. Those are the kinds of deals to be had at thrift shops.

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