Saving Money on Everyday Items




There's no denying that if you can save money, you'll take advantage of it. Everyday there are ways to save money. Over the past few years I have discovered the best way to buy everyday items for way cheaper than a store will sell it for. I was involved in a college business project that required you to find the best ways to save. After a ton of research and experimenting this is what I have found to save money.

Teacher Notes

Teachers! Did you use this instructable in your classroom?
Add a Teacher Note to share how you incorporated it into your lesson.

Step 1: Ebay

Let's start with this, eBay is a hidden gem for buying products. Most people think of eBay as a place to buy people's used things such as video games, or celebrity autographs. It is way more than that, it is your own personal supplier for items of you needs. EBay has millions of Chinese based stores on their site, these stores will sell you products for the same price as they would sell to a store. As see in my diagram drawing factories or China sellers will sell to stores such as Walmart for cheap low prices. Walmart will then turn that product around and sell it to you for multiple times the amount.

Step 2: Skipping the Stores

To save money you start by buying off eBay. By doing that you will skip the stores such as target, walmart and best buy. You will save a lot of money by going through eBay. EBay does not have any hidden fees for buying from them. You pay what the item price is and that's it. Very simple.

Step 3: Pros and Cons

As you see I had 4 items from eBay and from stores, they were both the same products. On the eBay side I only would have paid $19.94 for those 4 items. While on the store side I would have paid $53.27 for those 4 items. That's a huge difference of money, you save $33.33 dollars by going through eBay and buying from China retailers. There are pros and cons to all of this though.

Pros for buying from eBay -

Cheap prices
Easy to do at home

Don't need a minimum price for free shipping (most items offer this)

Customer service is always great, never had issues.

Cons from buying from eBay -

Need a PayPal account if you don't have one. Buying with PayPal is free and secure though.

Buying from a China supplier will take a little less than 30 days to get to your house.

Items may get lost rarely coming from China. But the supplier will always usually replace for free or give a refund.

Step 4: How to Do It

Basic eBay 101 here, I've learned after using it for a long time. After searching for the item you want, make sure to select buy it now, that will let you buy the product right on the spot, you won't have to bid or wait for the products time to run out. You also want to go with the lowest price filter so you can the best for your money.

Step 5: Comparing Prices

As you see in my photo comparisons of products from stores vs eBay, eBay is cheaper everytime. Now you're probably wondering if the quality from eBay is cheaper, it is not. It's the same quality as something Walmart or target would sell you.

Step 6: Finish

As I said eBay is a little hidden treasure. Whether you choose to save money by buying from them is up to you. You won't be able to get all your items for cheaper than a store such as furniture, but what you can save on helps in the long run. This project actually made my college professor start buying from eBay. Thanks for looking and please vote for me! Hopefully you'll enjoy the savings that pileup over the year by buying from eBay!!

On a Budget Contest

Participated in the
On a Budget Contest

Be the First to Share


    • CNC Contest

      CNC Contest
    • Teacher Contest

      Teacher Contest
    • Maps Challenge

      Maps Challenge

    7 Discussions


    4 years ago on Introduction

    We buy almost all our food from Denver foods. We made an account, picked out the items that we wanted, and bought in bulk. Then the food comes in a truck. For smaller families, buying in bulk would not work, so a couple of families can split the food. Same thing, only it's with food instead of things


    4 years ago on Step 5

    Be careful with anything that plugs into a wall. When stuff comes directly from china / Asia there quality control can be nonexistent. They wont be UL listed or CE / FCC compliant.

    It sounds crass, but you may take a chance on ruining your phone or burning your house down.

    Also, a lot of fake electronics are of very poor quality. Buying something cheap multipul times isn't saving money.


    4 years ago

    The thing about Instructables is that they are based on information about how to do things. They are informative, hence their value and the reason that we use and enjoy the site. This one does a good job explaining how one can save money by choosing to buy their needed products from a specific market. Apparently the 'comments' section is where opinions go, when users don't realize that theirs isn't the only acceptible one (and should have been kept to themselves as this website isn't an editorial forum or soapbox). And the presence of Chinese goods and the demand for them in the U.S. isn't a symptom of problems in our economy, blow-hard flag-wavers, it's both a sign of our prosperity and simultaneously our unwillingness to work for the extremely low wages that are more acceptable overseas. 'Whats that you say, poster of comments to this Instructable?'
    "Our economy is in the crapper rabble rabble rabble!"
    'Wanna work for $4 a day?' "What are you, a communist?! That's Un-American Rabble rabble rabble!"


    4 years ago on Introduction

    Long time ebay SELLER here---this is a "Not Exactly" sort of "Instructable and is basically SPAM. By buying "directly" from China you have NO control over the item quality. You WILL have an extremely hard time if something is wrong and you will find it hard and very expensive to return. Yes--lots of stuff that is sold in the US (and elsewhere) IS made in China. However eBay's CEO and the incoming CEO have actually admitted that THEY are sending things--like vintage travel bags etc--TO CHINA AND HAVING THEM COPY THEM AND THEN SELL THEM ON EBAY AS VINTAGE.

    I recently purchased something that was NOT avail in the US and discovered that the item (a cool phone case) turned the usefulness of my husband's fancy new Note 4 into--a paperweight. Now I have a $30 item; in fact TWO because the seller had no clue WHAT I was asking and sent ANOTHER rather than giving me instructions on how to RETURN--which is EXTREMELY EXPENSIVE. Don't forget--our US Govt and PO cut a sweetheart DEAL with China Post--they pay almost NOTHING to send goods here; we pay thru the NOSE to return them esp the way ebay INSISTS you do this. Takes forever too.

    So---think often on exactly WHAT you might be getting into before using this method.

    As some people should think often before they post what is basically SPAM for ebay. A company that treats it's small sellers--ie--you n me--like pond slime. However--they "heart" the Chinese knock off sellers! Want more info? PM me. Happy to help.

    3 replies

    I really like your comments. I will never purchase any thing from a foreign country because of this. We all need to buy American when ever possible. The quality of objects made in these foreign countries do not stand up to our standards in the USA. You have to be so careful about everything, kids toys, animal food, clothes and a lot of other things that you wouldn't really think would make a difference. My dad always said that you get what you pay for and that if it seems to good to be true, it probably isn't.


    Thank you--I am not "Anti China" or anti-non-American items per se; what I have a problem with--as do lots of people--is the quality. I have some things made "Off shore" that are great and some things made in the USA that were not worth the money we paid. Guess it depends on the kind of item.

    We buy items FROM China that are imported---or we buy things made with Chinese components inc almost all of our computer and cell phones. I find it--odd--that people will write to me using their iPhones complaining about things made in CHINA!! Parts for our cars are made off-shore; we don't really have a choice on that. IF you are using a computer to respond to or view this site--chances are you are using components made in China and Japan and other off-shore countries--I don't know of a single company using ONLY USA made parts to build computers. I could be wrong; maybe there are companies doing this that I don't know about,. Or maybe you built your own with only USA made parts!

    And yet--my Japanese label motorcycle--a Honda Valkyrie--was made right here in Marysville Ohio. You cannot imagine how many "American made bikes only" guys give us greif while admiring the looks and reliability of this gorgeous machine! I DARE you to find me a 15 year old Hardley that has NOT had to be rebuilt or had major parts replaced---other than maintainence and a $5 clutch spring we have had to do NO REPAIRS. Not ONE. And we have 60k on the clock---and live where you can't ride half the year. Yet---they cry about how their bikes are "Made in Milwaukee"--but they can't RIDE them half the time! (My cousins Hardley has been in the shop for almost a YEAR now--they STILL have not FIXED everything--and no this was not wrecked!) And it's only a few years old! LOL--sorta!!!! You can't really be a biker with NO BIKE!

    So I guess it depends on who designed and made the specs and where it was built as far as reliability goes. I will take my two Japanese bikes--we also have a 1982 Suzuki--and my two Honda CRV's and my Mazda SUV and Mazda sedan--we have a big family!---which have been relatively trouble free over the Buick we maintain for a relative that constantly has "issues" even tho it is a pampered extremely low mileage garage kept machine!

    ANd--ironically--I found our Valkyrie via eBay--it turned out to live a few towns away. So--I am certainly NOT "Anti-Ebay". I have sold there on a regular basis for 15 years now and have three sales accounts.

    I DO think that this particular "Instructable" is a bit out of line--these people did not make ebay; they have (Probably) nothing to DO with how ebay is run--if they DID I would have more than a FEW words for them not all of them kind!!!---and it is just a commercial for buying Chinese stuff using ebay as a medium. Not what I expect to see here.

    I was replying to the person who did this Instructable. I know what you are talking about though. I have a Honda and my husband has a Harley. He does not always use true Harley parts because of the high cost when the others work just as well. I am not against E-Bay either as I have purchased from the site. I do not get anything off of E-Bay that is from over seas. Your reasons given are why. I do buy things in the stores that are but I can see and touch what I do buy. Have you ever tried to go into a store and buy everything American made. I do not believe it can be done. I wish I could though as this country needs to up our economy. Not gonna happen as long as foreign countries can flood our markets. I think this Instructable is stupid and I expect to see better quality (and smarter) ideas on this site. Did not mean to offend you. Sorry