Saving something from land-fill, saving myself some money in the process as well as finding unique and unusual items gives me a thrill every time.
Lots of my friends are jealous that I 'always seem to find amazing bargains' but this post is a little cautionary tale.
Sometimes, I get a bit slack. Sometimes I let greed get the better of me...
This week I spotted a pile of printer ink cartridges. They were for my make and model and having literally just shelled out a fortune last week, I seized them up. I paid about £25 for one of the double packs, so £1.50 had me grinning from ear to ear.
I took the whole lot to the counter as quickly as I could, paid my money and skedaddled before anyone could beat me to it.
Outside, as I skipped along, smug in my canny money-saving ways, I felt a pang of guilt for the charity. Should I have told them they were under-selling, that they could have got more for these?
My smugness and guilty conscience soon evaporated when I got them home and gleefully showed the old man how clever I'd been.
Opening up the first box, I noticed it had been very carefully taped down. Inside, was all the packaging, even down to the cellophane wrapper. The protective clip was on the cartridge, but it was totally, completely empty.
So was the next one. And the next, and the fourth.
I have serious concerns for the anally-retentive, OCD person that keeps ALL the packaging and carefully packs old ink cartridges up like they've never been opened.
I'd like to give the charity shop the benefit of the doubt. I'd like to think that somebody donated these to be recycled and earn the charity a few pennies. I'd like to think that the shop staff and volunteers didn't realise they had been used and assumed they were a stock donation.
In these post-Portas days when some charity shops are charging an arm and a leg, I really do think they have a duty of care to check the stock they are putting out on the shop floor. I know ultimately it's down to the buyer to check, and that a lot of shops will have refund and return policies, but do I really want to be that tight-wad who takes something back for a refund?
Toys with bits missing; clothes with holes in; books with scribbled pages...these are all the things that put the uninitiated off buying second-hand. Come on guys, get your act together!
Have you ever made a howler buying second-hand? How do you check things over before you buy them?
I hope you've had better luck than me this week! Grab the badge and link up.