Gardening Tools on the Cheap

comments (3) July 1st, 2009

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ChrisMcLaughlin Chris McLaughlin, contributor
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Photo by Daisy under the Creative Commons Attribution License 2.0.Click To Enlarge



Photo by Daisy under the Creative Commons Attribution License 2.0.

If you're like me, every now and again you hear the siren call of new gardening tools. If you're like me, you take a look at the household account and figure out just how much you can skim off of the grocery money without sending up red flags.

Of course, if you have the cash go ahead and cough it up. At that point, you hit Starbucks and head to the nearest Home Depot, OSH, or what-have-you. If you are going to go hog-wild and purchase brand-spanking-new tools, please buy the best you can afford. I promise it'll be worth it. (Heck, if you have that much money - pick me one up, too).

If you're like the majority of the country, you just might be forced to think along different lines. Here's where cleverness scores more points than what's-her-name's superior SAT scores. The first thing you do is hit Starbucks, then pick up the phone and call your parents. Your best bet for a quick score is to make every attempt to get dad on the phone. Just sayin'. Next, call other relatives, friends, church members, and anyone else you've conversed with for longer than 20 minutes. Ask them if they have any extras lying around.

As long as the tools are sturdy, they can be refurbished for their second life with you. Rust can be removed, edges sharpened, handles can be sanded and even painted if you'd like. One time, I did exactly that and painted the handles with alternating colorful rings all the way down the handles. They were not only super-cool-looking, but they were a cinch to find in the garden.

Another idea is to get up early Saturday morning, hit Starbucks, and peruse your local garage sales. You can look at Craig's List online in your area and or try another organization called "Freecycle." When I first discovered Freecycle, I honestly couldn't figure out why this hadn't been thought of sooner. It's brilliant, really. Free stuff lands in your email and the items are right there in your neighborhood.

All you do is register, and when something pops up that you want, you just claim it as fast as you can. Then as you run across items you don't need or use anymore, instead of tossing it or trying to sell it; put it on the list for give-a-way. Bless another family with your junk. Of course, someone is bound to bless you with theirs, hopefully, in the shape of a rake.


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Comments (3)

dayhut writes: Flea markets often have tool sellers.
Be prepared to dicker, as they often price their wares too near new to be of use to budget gardeners.
These guys tend to operate on the Greater Fool concept, believing a greater fool than the last will surely come along. Here I'm not talking about genuine vintage stuff, but common garden tools.
I look for tools without plastic. Good quality, older tools rarely have much of it. Metal and wood are preferred and things should be firmly riveted together.

So, know what you need, and what you can pay - then offer that. Solid, sound old tools shouldn't cost more than about half of new.
Be prepared to walk, though, if you can't negotiate a fair price.
After all, you can always get new for new money.
Don't be the greater fool the scalper has been waiting for.

Posted: 4:29 pm on May 21st
sleeplessinvancouver writes: dollar stores!!
Posted: 9:12 am on March 31st
roymaduro writes: Who goes to Home Depot for quality tools, nobody!!!!!
Posted: 6:31 am on July 14th
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