Too good for hand-me-downs

Posted On: Monday - October 16th 2023 6:46AM MST
In Topics: 
  Curmudgeonry  Economics  Americans

We've got a whole lot of kids clothes, toys, and games to get rid of. After sorting out the worn, broken, missing-pieces stuff to get rid of, we organized the rest of it. Let's have a yard sale, I figured, There's a deal now in which yard-sale brokers, if I may use that term, read the Craigslist ads and come around scarfing up stuff and re-selling it themselves on eBay, like the NYCity bankers looting of Russia in the 1990s.. like a really, really low-budget version of that.

Well, enterprising business is A-OK, and we still may have a yard sale, but I want to do this on a personal basis, getting these items to kids who would like them. We don't at all mind giving them away. The problem I'm running into is that the my wife tells me the Church people don't want used stuff, and I can't figure out who does, that is, besides Goodwill. That's not very personal, dealing with a big organization whose AA employees likely don't care what happens to this stuff. Also, see below.

It's nearly Christmas time, and I'm thinking of the long-ongoing US Marines' "Toys for Tots" program. They want new stuff. I may sound like a curmudgeon here - that's the idea, in fact - but with the time/money the Marines organization puts into this, along with the individual well-meaning volunteers, wouldn't they pretty much break even just having a new toys budget and getting discounts on masses of toys for the kids? That wouldn't be a community thing, I understand. However, then what's wrong with some used but working toys with all the parts? No, not good enough for today's tots whose parents can't afford toys?

My point here is of my surprise that most Middle-Class, Working Class, about any class, Americans seem to think themselves too good to acquire used clothing, toys, or games. It's embarrassing to them, I gather. That wasn't the case when I was young, and we weren't poor either.

Here's the modern worry about Goodwill. It's "Fast Fashion" that's a big problem. Fashion, hell! How about just being glad to get something to keep your kid warm and entertained?

Will the fact that the American economy is a ponzi scheme that's been strung out on FED-induced low interest rates and a Reserve currency - the former about done with, and the latter ?? - ever get Americans to understand that the 70-year long prosperous Middle-Class lifestyle can't be held onto forever via debt?

Too bad there aren't many Great Depression Era people around with the strength to knock some sense into spoiled Americans. They are going to need it.

Tuesday - October 17th 2023 1:05PM MST
PS- Thanks for finding one, Adam. I'll check it out! :) I'm not a Chevette guy, but my sister bought a new 1980 model and I remember driving her to the dealership to pick it up. (The salesman who sold it to her wore a plaid jacket!) Those performance numbers are lame, but I'm surprised the 0-60 time isn't worse. I've come across larger more powerful cars with more or less equivalent acceleration.
Adam Smith
Tuesday - October 17th 2023 11:46AM MST
PS: It's 𝒂𝒍𝒎𝒐𝒔𝒕 an antique...

70 HP and 82 Ft Lbs of torque!
0-60 mph in 13.8 sec!

As the Kool Aid man would say... Oh Yeah!

(Bidding ends in 51 minutes. Will it sell?)

Tuesday - October 17th 2023 11:28AM MST
PS: "78,681 miles"?! That's 1,800 miles per year, as drivin by a little old lady who only drives to Church on Sundays, ever since she found out her husband had bought a *Che*, not *Cor* vette and divorced him.

AND, it's got the High Output engine - 3 more HorsePower!!
Adam Smith
Tuesday - October 17th 2023 10:07AM MST
PS: Good afternoon, everyone,

I found one! For sale!

1980 Chevrolet Chevette, 4 door, in silver.
1.6L H.O. I4 Automatic with 78,681 miles.

Tuesday - October 17th 2023 5:13AM MST
Yes we are richer, and clothing costs less compared to your income. If you open your closet, is it not full?
The built-in closet is relatively recent. Clothes used to be stored (for those who had multiple sets) in a wardrobe, a piece of furniture that is quite rare now.

Yeah a friend of mine had a Vette too. He even used that same line on a girl. It worked about as well as you would expect.

I expect there are a few people out there still maintaining a Chevette somehow. It takes all kinds. But they were really not very good cars - my friend's wouldn't go over about 65 unless you drove it off a cliff.
Monday - October 16th 2023 7:28PM MST
PS: I drove a Vette for a while, J. Yeah, it was the kind you're talking about, but it does sound better on the phone to a girl "yeah, I'll come by in my Vette".

Try to find a Mustang II. Mustang II, boredom ZERO! (The commercial was honest at least - there'd always be something to do, such as Fix Or Repair Daily - FORD.)

That sounds like a great relationship with your neighbor.
Monday - October 16th 2023 7:09PM MST
PS - "I well remember Øb☭ma's Cash for Clunkers program, Adam. It was heartbreaking for those of us who like the old stuff."

It's my theory that that's what happened to all the Chevettes: Cash for Clunkers. No, they weren't very durable cars - in fact, they were kind of disposable - but they made a zillion of them and now it's like they've all been abducted by aliens. Go on eBay and you'll typically see a dozen '61 Corvettes (or more) and zero '81 Chevettes. No drivers, no projects, no parts cars, no nothing. I'm not lamenting that, just observing.

As far as clothing, our neighbors have FIFTY grandchildren, so for the 16 years we had kids clothes that no longer fit, we had no problem moving them along. As payment (I suppose) out neighbor would occasionally bring us the best bread and pastry I've ever tasted in my life. We got the better part of the deal, in my opinion.
Monday - October 16th 2023 6:32PM MST
PS. I have quite a few Hawaiian shirts almost all purchased at Goodwill or salvation army for $5 or less. They are great for concealed carry cover. Seems like some of the second hand stores are now culling the good ones for sale online and getting a premium for them
Monday - October 16th 2023 5:53PM MST
PS: Back to the clothing, M., maybe it's that clothes are so cheaply made that people wear them out quickly and are used to buying clothing at a high rate. The clothing that we didn't throw out would be perfectly fine for babies or kids. I'd have no problem buying these things for a dime on the dollar.

I guess Goodwill has enough for everyone...

"Can you be nostalgic about an era from before you were born? I think that should be a different word, but I have no idea what." Yeah, I think that's a perfectly good use of the word, but I ain't Webster or Wiki.
Monday - October 16th 2023 5:47PM MST
PS: "You have much more clothing than your parents did (unless e.g. you're a plumber and your father was an executive). This has been happening for at least two hundred years." I'm not sure what you're getting at here, M. Do you meant that we are all richer (we've been but I don't think it will last) or that the amount of clothing in people's hands is all just accumulating?

I'm thinking of kids here (including the same thing with toys). I guess there are kids whose parents are too poor to get enough clothing and toys, or we wouldn't have, for example, that Toys for Tots. To me, that's my best example. I can see people being worried about jigsaw puzzles and Legos, as one missing piece ruins the "experience", but we have plenty of toys that are in good shape and working. (Or, they don't really do anything but are fascinating for toddlers and babies.) We've got a bunch of kid's books.

We could have afforded new stuff, but we went to yard sales and Craiglist for used stuff just because that made sense for everyone.
Monday - October 16th 2023 2:29PM MST
"wouldn't they pretty much break even just having a new toys budget and getting discounts on masses of toys for the kids?"

Yes but then doners couldn't feel good about themselves. Like with most charity. Food banks really like cash, since it means they can buy in the food that doesn't usually get donated. I mean how much canned fruit can you eat?

Your complaint that kids today (or Americans) are too good for used, is making assumptions that have not been true for a long time.

You have much more clothing than your parents did (unless e.g. you're a plumber and your father was an executive). This has been happening for at least two hundred years.

I'm not a clothes horse, but I moved a few years ago, and I ended up throwing away or donating about three quarters of my clothing, once I was confronted with the alternative of moving and storing it (even though the new place is larger). Of the many pieces, I think I regretted getting rid of about two.

Yes, there are people who shop in used/donated stores. But they are generally like my niece, who wears stuff for "nostalgia" - and certainly doesn't shop there for the prices as such.
Her current craze is for eighties stuff - and she's in her early 20s. Can you be nostalgic about an era from before you were born? I think that should be a different word, but I have no idea what.
Adam Smith
Monday - October 16th 2023 11:59AM MST
Monday - October 16th 2023 11:58AM MST
PS: I well remember Øb☭ma's Cash for Clunkers program, Adam. It was heartbreaking for those of us who like the old stuff.

I'll check out your links. #SAD&EVIL
Adam Smith
Monday - October 16th 2023 11:29AM MST
PS: Good afternoon, Achmed,

If you donate used toys and things to the charities, how will the ponzi scheme economy keep going?

And is this not a way to train the next generation of consumers to buy new things (often on credit) instead of using perfectly good (often better quality) used things?

Kinda reminds me of the cash for clunkers thing a few years back. Gotta destroy those good engines by putting saltwater/silica in the oil and running them until they burn up. Can't have people reusing them.

So many good cars and parts wasted. #SAD

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