Sometimes the cheapest things end up being the best investments. Seriously, the dollar store has pretty much everything you could ever need, and there are bargains everywhere from Ebay to thrift shops. It all just depends on where you look.
u/MrAnimeFanime asked: What was a sketchy cheap buy, that ended up being one of your best purchases?
A solid investment.
Seed packets from the dollar store. While in college my boyfriend and I were broke. Really broke. But I still wanted to do something to celebrate spring. We were getting a few cheap things at the dollar store when I noticed they were selling these seeds packets from a big old bin that you had to dig thru. 4 for $1. No tax. I immediately begged to buy one despite our strict budget.
Boyfriend was incredulous I'd want to buy sketchy seeds but dutifully handed me a quarter. I ended up picking out tomatoes.
Well we got home and I carefully placed about 3 seeds in washed out cans. I watered them and watched them sprout. I loved tending to my little garden. I ended up with 3 beautiful HUGE tomato plants. It was a bumper crop. More than we could eat.
I sold the extra produce to my classmates. Made like $25. Good seeds!
I was traveling in Japan and needed nail clippers. All I could find is this cheap pink Hello Kitty grooming kit.
These clippers are the best I ever owned. They have stayed sharp and functional for 20 years. I'm very protective of them. Everyone in the house knows, you don't touch Dad's pink Hello Kitty nail clippers.
We love a good flannel.
Dad bought me a flannel jacket for $2 (from the equivalent of a dollar store) in 1994. Wore it for everything you can think of. Wore it yesterday. Still going strong after 25 years
Edit: pic taken today by request. The jacket https://imgur.com/gallery/2gFBZKc
Nice of them to give him advice.
Guy said there were a bunch of bricks in his back yard he wanted to get rid of. $5 for all of them if you'd come pick them up because they were "larger than regular bricks and were very heavy."
I grabbed a friend and headed out because I needed some cheap brick for the edging of my garden.
Guys house was across the river and in some really run down looking neighborhood...really glad I grabbed my friend at this point. We pull up and the guy is waiting outside, and he looks like he's 80 but I know he must have been a 35 year old guy who just smoked 10 packs a day... So the guy takes us to his back yard and shows up the pile of bricks, which turn out to be 50+ antique Louisville Fire Bricks.
So I look at the guy and tell him, "I'll take half of them...and as payment I'll give you $20 and some advice." And of course the guy is looking at me like I'm an idiot, but he accepts my money and helps me and my friend load up about 30 bricks. After I close my truck and get in the car to drive off I tell him to google the antique fire bricks and adjust his craigslist listing...
I went back to look at the listing a few days later, and he had changed the price from $5 for the whole pile, to $5 PER BRICK, which was the going rate at the time. Nowadays they go for $20/brick...
BEST BUY EVER!
Bought my kitty for 20 bucks on Craigslist from a druggie. I had never had a cat before and this little meow factory has been my best friend ever since.
$5 bras are the best bras.
I was traveling from a different city straight into work, where my uniform was a white shirt, with a conspicuously black bra. Wasn't stopping home, so I did stop on the first corner store I found and bought a five-dollar white bra that looked roughly my size as they had nowhere to try them on. Just to wear one night.
10/10, comfiest bra I ever owned, wore it every day of my life for about a year. It gave in at some point - it was still a 5 dollar bra. But damn, I dream of the day when all my bras fit that well.
That's a super lucky Lyft ride.
I was giving these college aged young women a Lyft ride. One asks how "that Craigslist thing went" so my ears perked up. The other says something like "he complained it went back too far, just don't put it back so far, duh."
Eventually I deduce they are talking about a recliner - which I've been looking for one for some time now. I interject and ask about it. Lady has a Laz-E-Boy electric recliner she just wants 20 bucks for. I'm like, "listen I know it's sketchy but if you've got Craigslist rando's in your house Lyft at least gave me a background check."
We pull up, I end the ride, and follow these ladies into their house. I knew I wanted it as soon as I laid eyes on it.
So, this college chick is helping me stuff a recliner into my back seat and all I can think is this is how Buffalo Bill kidnapped that girl in Silence of the Lambs.
Twenty dollars for a recliner so lazy it reclines for me.
At the end of a long road trip with some mates, I bought a $20 pair of sunglasses in a gas station just outside Chicago. They fit me better than any pair of sunglasses ever did, or ever will, and they made me look awesome. For years I constantly received compliments about them and was asked where I got them.
I lost them after 5 long years and have hated myself for it every since. They were so no-name they didn't even have a brand name on them at all, so I have no idea who made them. I have no way of finding that gas station, either. I've literally spent hundreds of dollars trying to find sunglasses that come close to that same perfect fit/style, but I can't.
The Bra of Mystery.
First strike: I bought it from a grocery store.
Second strike: It was marked down to $2, and plastered with stickers reading, "Final sale!", "No returns!", "We're not liable if this kills you!", "I'm sure there are people who love you!" and the like.
Third strike: Upon ringing it through, the cashier did a double-take at the screen, looked at me with great concern, and asked if I was sure I wanted to buy it.
After failing to self-combust and send me straight to hell, it wound up being one of the nicest bras I ever had. Wore it for two years before the inevitable underwire tit-shanking.
I still wonder what they thought was wrong with it.
A nice surprise.
I randomly found a wedding videographer online and booked him for a very affordable rate for my wedding assuming it wouldn't be very good quality. Two weeks after the wedding, he emails me a high quality, well-edited video. He had a drone I hadn't noticed because he was outside of the venue getting b-roll with it before I even started getting ready for the big day. I was floored and now I recommend him to everyone who ever plans to get married ever.
Edit: He has definitely upped his prices since then (he did the videography for my wedding last summer) and rightfully so, because he does great work.
What a steal.Giphy
Traded a kid in middle school a sandwich size ziploc bag of lego pieces for a ps1 and thought I got best deal ever. But when I got home it didn't work at all.
My dad opened it and found a couple broken pieces stuck inside and fixed it up and it worked perfectly after that. Made me learn how easily a deal could be too good, but at least that kid felt stupid after I told him how easy it got fixed.
I buy things off Wish that are a serious gamble. For those who are unfamiliar, wish is an app where you can buy things for seriously cheap, and sometimes they're just that — cheap. I once bought a long line trench coat for $4. Either it was going to be shitty, or it was going to be a great $4 well spent. 2 years later I still wear it during the fall and I still get compliments on it! I love wish sometimes!!
I bought a 1970s matchbox car for my father's birthday from ebay. It was a very old car and description said it was used. The pictures of car were quite blurry. It was 15 dollars and 4.33 for shipping. I bought it. The box came and I opened it to find the car in mint condition. The box it was in hadn't even been opened or scratched even.
Apparently the guy inherited a complete matchbox car collection with cars in their original boxes and was selling them off for cheap prices like 15 dollars. I checked online people were selling this car for $250. The lowest I found was $95.
I had been searching for a sofa bed for less than $100 for months to put in my music/multi-purpose room when I finally found an old, kind of worn-in looking one for $50. I was psyched, it fit the aesthetic of the room perfectly, so I brought my buddy with who offered the kind lady $30 for the thing. She said, "How about you give me $50 and take anything else you want in this garage!"
We ended up making out of there with the comfiest rocking-style chair, throw pillows, and a coffee table. We only stopped there because the bed of the truck was full. She also let us take pictures of the Toyota Camry she is selling, so I've been in contact with her about picking that up on the cheapy cheap, too. I've met some awesome people by trying to buy s**t cheap on Craigslist.
When my Dad was stationed in Mexico in 85-86, he bought a Mexican blanket for a couple of bucks. To this day we still use it as a beach blanket and the colors haven't faded at all. He's had that blanket longer than he's known my Mom.
Considering the quality of that blanket I'm surprised it wasn't worth more.