Angie's List: Used to New - KULR-8 Television, Billings, MT

Angie's List: Used to New

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Sue Ellen Scheppke is like many of us and wanted to stretch a dollar. She had a light colored handbag that started to get pretty dirty, so she had it repaired instead of buying a new one. She says she, "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."

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 a shoe store manager says, "We 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.'"

When it comes to clothes, Angie Hicks, the founder of Angie's List says, "I think we can all admit that we tend to fluctuate sizes every now and again and we tend to toss out the clothes as they don't fit, instead try taking them to an alterations company because they can actually help those clothes continue to look good even though they may not be the perfect size today."

Furniture is another area you can make "used" new again by re-upholstering it or changing the padding. Vitian Robinson, who does upholstery says, "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."

Scheppke adds, "If it's something that you really like, like a piece of clothing that fits just perfectly and that you wear a lot and know goes with a lot of things and it's going to be hard to replace, I think it's really worth it to take it to someone that can repair it."

When you find a repair company, Angie's List recommends taking a small item in to test to make sure you like their work. And if the cost to repair is high, you may be better off buying new.

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