Angie's List: Used to New

Everyone wants to stretch a dollar in today’s touch economy. Angie Hicks shows you how to do just that with your wardrobe and shoes without giving up on the outfit and donating it.

“Consider getting it altered or getting your shoes repaired,” says Angie Hicks, Founder and CEO of Angie’s List, “you can really make your money go a long way."

Sue Ellen Scheppke's handbag was lightly colored and started to get pretty dirty, so she had it repaired instead of buying a new one.

"Did a little dying of the bag and it lasted me through another summer and I was really pleased because I enjoyed the bag and it was good quality. It wasn't something that I just wanted to toss after one season,” said Scheppke.

Before tossing a purse or a pair of shoes, consider repairing them first. The average shoe repair costs between eight and twelve dollars.

James Coffman is the manager of Eckstein Shoes, he says his company can actually stretch a shoe length and width, “So if it's a little tight or it just doesn't feel right we can actually stretch the shoe size because a lot of people say "oh I got a great deal on this shoe, but it doesn't nearly fit.”

Most people can sympathize with fluctuating waistlines and clothing sizes, but Angie recommends getting ill-fitting clothing tailored instead of tossing it to the curb.

“They can actually help those clothes continue to look good even though they may not be the perfect size today."

It’s the job of seamstresses like Lucy Qi to alter and fit clothes for their customers; she says the new trend is altering clothes people purchase at second-hand stores.

“Some people try to go to a secondhand store and buying clothes that were a good deal or they try to go to the clearance and buy something and come here to fix it and now I notice some people go back in their closet to check what they have and bring it here to update,” added Qi.

Clothing and shoes are not the only things that can be brought back to life, upholsterer Vitian Robins tells folks how they can fix up furniture for the fraction of the cost of buying something new.

"Over time, let's say your couch, and it all depends, different couches have different stuffing, but you'll start to notice that your foam is starting to sink where you're having a harder and harder time getting up off the couch. You'll find yourself scooting to the edge to lift yourself up,” said Robins, “Just by us coming in and replacing that foam in there, everything else on the couch is good, we just come in and take the old foam out, put a brand new piece of foam in there whether it's a firmer foam or tall foam but something to give it a bit more life."

After finding a repair company it’s important to take a small item in first to test and make sure you like the work they do. This pre-trial will also let you know if the cost of repair will be too high, making buying something new worth the purchase.


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