Friday, January 07, 2011

Vacuum Cheaper New Than at Goodwill

I need a vacuum. I need a vacuum to clean my car and to clean out my heating vents periodically and to do sundry tasks like cleaning couches, etc. I went looking for a used vacuum beginning two weeks ago. I was shocked to see prices for dirty old vacuums with full bags and broken pieces at thrift stores.

Goodwill was selling a decent vacuum for almost $40 that had a chewed on electrical cord that in places showed bare wire. I offered $20 for the vacuum after showing them the dangerous wire, and they refused it, said instead they'd throw it out. How stupid.

There were selling a Bissell vacuum for $59, also dirty looking with dirt in its canister and missing parts. A similar vacuum new at Kmart, which isn't the cheapest place to get a vacuum was under $90.

I found a new shop vac for under $40 at Kmart and got it. Oh yeah, they also were selling used shop vacs at Goodwill for outrageous prices, more than what I paid for the new one.

What is up with that? Stupidity is it or greed or just that customers assume a thrift store won't bilk them so the employees mark the crap up? Why can't they do simple tasks like replace a bad dangerous cord, or at least clean up a product, like empty the no-bag dirt and hair filled canister? Is that too much to ask when they're asking $59 for something Goodwill paid zero dollars for?

Kmart didn't get $35 for the Shop Vac I bought. The manufacturer got a cut. The shipper got a cut and finally Kmart gets a cut and someone got paid to make that, too.

Goodwill wants pure profit off shit and do nothing to even see that what they're selling is clean or working or safe.

I also got some vent covers at the Habitat store in Corvallis. I admit I go in there sometimes just to feel at home. I have known some of those employees/volunteers a long long time. My vent covers are corroded to non functioning status. I also intend to seal the duct edges as far down into them as I can. This is an early 70's built house and the duct work is not great. In the spring, ants crawl up from them into the house. They get into the ducts through the badly coupled unsealed joints in the under the house ducting. Someone built this house quickly, lazily and messed up on quite a few things.

Like the vents for the bathroom fan and stove fan. They vent up into the attic and end there, even though above them, in the roof, with ducting down, are roof vents. The ducts were not extended from where they poke from below into the attic, a mere two to three feet up to join the ducts extending down from the roof. How fricking lazy is that?

The guy paid to inspect this house prior to my brother's purchase of it didn't note that problem. He was blind to it, rushed or just was lousy, not sure which, maybe all three. He also did not pick up on numerous electrical problems.

I hope one day my brother and I can rewire the house. It would not take long with two people, just pulling new wire through attached to the old. We could easily access the attic to make it quicker and simple by taking out a piece of sheet rock on the garage wall side. I can envision the entire job, if adequate preparations were made the night before along with a plan of action and the equipment needed, taking four to six hours tops and costing little more than the new wire. It's not rocket science, really, just grunt work.

What else needs done here? House needs painted in the next two years and some siding replaced. Roof will need replaced in next five years maybe. And what to do with the decades of hardware placed on the roof by prior tenants, from an old style huge antenna, to a dish network antenna to a stovepipe hooked to a wood stove that is too outdated to ever be approved by homeowners insurance and is decorative and space consuming only now.

If those things are now removed, it creates possible leak points on the roof. The house roof looks like a porcupine with all the contraptions up there.

What would I like on my roof? Solar panels, that's what.

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