Garage Sale Proof Gifts
I've always loved going to garage sales. Regular shopping felt more like a job - a task to complete. But garage sales were more like an adventure, an exploration into the unknown, you never know what you might find. The range of products goes far beyond what's available in stores limited to recently made goods. Items at garage sales have proven themselves by demonstrating a quality that lasts and a value that made someone think it was worth putting it in a sale rather than in a garbage can.
Plus, it always felt like an important way to recycle.
And the average sale prices were amazing - often only 5-10% of the in-store price just a few months before. I wondered why so many things were new, never opened until a direct link to the last Holiday buying season became apparent.
When we feel an obligation and a time-date urgency to buy someone a present, we easily lose our ability to make the best choice and our gifts often end up in next summer's garage sale. Instead of the intended gratitude, we've only created an unwanted and probably irritating project for our friend or relative.
The environmental consequences magnify these unintended consequences: making our landfill crisis worse, creating more pollution from manufacturing unnecessary products, all the extra fossil fuel use transporting these products to us from around the world and then for taking it to dumps.
Quality as Key
Planned obsolescence creates good profits for corporations but it wastes our money, generates tons of unnecessary pollution, and adds to waste processing and treatment costs. When we first started selling LED lights in the early '90s, they lasted for decades, almost forever. After they went mainstream though, and started filling up mass-merchandising stores, their lifespan dramatically dropped and now they don't even seem to last as long as compact fluorescents. Lower quality often translates into lower short-term cost but a much higher long-term one.
The higher the quality, the more long-term investment benefit there is, for both our cash flow and for the planet.