This year, I’ve been determined to be frugal in regards to my children’s sports and activities. If you aren’t careful, Dick’s, Amazon or any sporting goods store will nickel and dime you for one sport, for 3 months.
My kids play softball and baseball. If you know me, I LOVE this sport. I was around it a lot growing up. I love watching it. Especially the Chicago Cubs. And especially my kids.
At ages 10 and 11, they outgrow apparel like it’s their job. I mean, I guess it is. So every year we buy new cleats. Every year we buy new pants. Every year, we buy new batting gloves. If we’re lucky the mitt lasts a few years. And bats… well, those need to be upgraded to a bigger size about every other year as well.
*Batting gloves: $15
*Extra pair of socks: $10
*Bat bag: $60
And that’s low-ball prices and bare minimum equipment.
So this year, as the season started to roll around (and I had just got done reading a great book called Seven)I was determined to not give into the big box business and give them my money. Plus we just moved and had some remodel/repairs to do.
Enter: Frugal Julia
We went to Dick’s when they had a sale and coupons and the kids each picked out a pair of cleats. They also mentioned they needed new bat bags each. To be honest, their bat bags are in working order. Sure, the little zipper is broke and it’s a pain in the butt to fit both the bat AND the helmet, but whatever, it’s functional. The incessant whining over “needing” a rolling bag wasn’t ending either. So I gave them a choice.
“Look, you can keep the cleats we got, or you can wear a pair that a lady from church gave us. If you return the cleats, you can get a new bag. If you keep the cleats, you gotta use your old bag.”
They both wanted the cleats.
Fine by me.
So my search for other used items began. Especially when my daughter picked up her backpack-style bat bag and one of the straps broke.
Enter: Craiglist, Facebook and Ebay searches: Baseball bags, baseball pants.
After finding a few decent posts, I sat on it for a few days so as not to make an impulse purchase. $20 for a used bat bag that was still in really good condition and can last both our kids for a few years. Done.
The pants… I’m hesistant. My kids are so lanky that I hate buying clothes without trying them on. So I emailed a few posters back and forth. One was selling 5 pairs of pants for $20! Awesome! But like an hour away, so I asked them to ship.
They said sure, but that they would need to charge for that. Understandable of course. So, as with any resale site, I tried to bargain a little. Maybe I can get them to lower the cost a little? Should only be about $7 with a USPS flat rate shipping box.
“Would you take $23?”
Of course I knew the possibility that they’d say no. Or maybe counter offer. Instead, I get this response.
“No, but for that price you can come pick it up and pay cash.”
Maybe I’m naive. Maybe I expect more from people. Maybe I have a small hope that others think the way I do. And while we are all special in our own ways and our uniqueness make the world go round, I have a hard time believing that some people just don’t know how to be nice. Again, call me naive.
Any other response and I probably would’ve agreed.
“Well, shipping will be more than that and I really need to cover shipping costs.”
“No, I can’t really lower the price anymore. But thanks for being interested.”
“No thanks. I’d like to recoup my costs.”
To which I probably would’ve said, “Ok, what will you charge?” and you would’ve had a sale. Instead, your rudeness just lost a deal.
I know. This is petty stuff in life. But it really makes a huge difference when you speak courteously to someone. Even if you’re offended by the offer, there’s still a way to be professional. I see it all the time on social media, especially local resale groups that resell used items like this. People will be absolutely rude to someone because they posted a used couch for $500. If you don’t like it, or don’t agree with it, just move on.
One of the golden rules in life is to be treated the way you would want others to treat you. Maybe you have an argument that you don’t care how people treat you. Fine. But just remember that being kind has a lasting impression.
I’ll wrap this post up with the Women’s Pro/Am powerlifting meet that we just got back from. Every person there was respectful, kind and professional. We even got the nicest email from a man who was there with a few lifters who said that EliteFTS folks were beyond welcoming to the ladies lifting.
THAT is why I do what I do. THAT is why I treat people that way. Because those lifters will remember that and pass it on to others. Not remember ME, but remember how they were treated and treat other people and other lifters in the community the same way.
My used baseball apparel shopping continues, and I’ll gladly give my business to someone else.