Taking Stock: a reconditioned laptop and a cheap bike
Confidence on a bike is a very thrifty gift to pass onto your kids. Tartan Dad cycles to work every day. It costs less than public transport and much less than the petrol and parking would if we bought a second car to use – even factoring in the cost of wear and tear (the bike: Tartan Dad is thriving on it). I want the Tartan Weans to have that health and thrifty option when they grow up, so we have been saving up to buy Tiny Tartan his first Big Boy Bike. This month, we reached our target.
Then Tartan Boy accidentally dropped the laptop on the floor.
A reliable pc repair shop is a good thing to have up your thrifty sleeve. Priceless Computers have been repairing our computers for years, saving us well over a grand we would otherwise have spent on replacements . This laptop, though, they couldn’t fix. So we had to blow the bike budget (and then some) on a new laptop. We considered buying a reconditioned one on Ebay but worried about the hassle of having to post it back if there were any problems with it. Then we discovered that PC World also sell reconditioned laptops and let you bring them to your nearest store if there is a problem.
Three days later, and £250 pounds poorer, we had a small, very light, touch-screen laptop. The laptop is immaculate and works perfectly, and it cost us £100 less than we expected to pay for a very basic brand-new laptop. We could have got a reconditioned laptop cheaper on Ebay or Amazon: I paid extra for the peace of mind. Would I buy reconditioned next time? Definitely – in fact, I don’t think we will ever buy one brand-new again.
(Sadly, PC World are not sponsoring this post – perhaps I should have suggested it to them and got the laptop for free…)
It looked like Tiny Tartan’s bike was going to have to go back on the wishlist for a while, but a friend suggested The Bike Station,
a charity dedicated to promoting cycling and other sustainable forms of transport. Included in their wide range of services is a bike recycling scheme. They take old bikes – nearly 10,000 a year – and recondition them before selling them on – children’s bikes start at £20 each and adults at £45. So Tiny Tartan got his new bike after all and left us only £25 poorer.
I am almost as delighted as Tiny Tartan.
So, I have spent most of the money we had saved over the last few months, but gained the insight that where there is a will, and a willingness to take second hand, there is a way to get what we want for less. Although, on balance, I think I would probably have preferred to just keep the money…