submitted by Lynn Bulmahn
When I moved across the U.S., I needed a new lawnmower for the large backyard of my new house. Instead of buying one at a discount store or other retailer, I found a gently used one at a lawnmower repair shop.
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Someone had taken the mower in for repairs, and then did not want to pay for the repairs. So, the business sold it. All I had to do was pay for the cost of their repairs and the mower was mine.
My lawnmower was a name brand, self-propelled model that had all kinds of extra features. Although it was priced over $100, I actually paid much less than a barebones model of lawn mower being sold at Walmart. My mower appeared to be brand new, even though it was used: the paint was still shiny, it had all the latest features and it worked great!
It was a great buy because if I had any problems with it, the repair shop stood behind the product. Had I bought a mower at most retail stores, I'd be on my own if it needed repair. So often we don't think to go find something used, but it saves money in the long run. Repair shops often have items people either didn't pick up (or decided not to pay for) on their sales floors. You can be sure the items run well, and often they'll have a warranty to go with them.
When garden season is approaching, you can pick up a lot of lawn and garden items this way. In addition to repair shops, try garage sales. I got a lot of really good garden tools (shovels, rakes, trowels, etc.) from garage sales and thrift stores. I've also found patio furniture, planters and flower pots that were cheaper secondhand.
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