“More Good From The Bad"
By Capt. Fred Davis
Published: Thursday, March 26, 2009

With new car prices so high and bank loans hard to come by, the used car lots look pretty attractive. Used cars are often a bargain and in times like we are experiencing, they offer a good option. Although there are many good used vehicles around, caution must be used when shopping.

In hard times, some less honest used car dealers may offer deals that seem too good to be true. Remember the old saying…. those deals probably are too good to be true! There are deals out there however that may be very good. Families that had two or more vehicles have had to cut back because of insurance costs, license tabs, maintenance, etc. These “extra” cars are flooding the used car market and offer some very good deals.

When shopping, be wary, ask to see receipts for repairs and maintenance or take the car to a mechanic for a check over before purchasing it. Doing so would likely be to your advantage and perhaps the seller may split the cost. It never hurts to ask because it could save you from a major repair bill later. Some dealers sell used cars with a warranty for a set period of time, seek them out.

In days gone by, it was a common practice to barter or trade. If you had an item you could trade for a service it would mean two people are able to save on one transaction. Of course the tax man wants to be included in the deal.

Money can be made on scrap these days. The scrap yards are paying a fair price for various metals. Yards that deal in auto parts are finding an increase in sales of used parts.

As I mentioned in my last column, everything doesn’t have to be new. Some young people are catching on learning that old sometimes means “better.” I’ve seen plastic wagons that couldn’t hold up to the old Radio Flyer metal ones. The same can be said for sleds and toboggans. The plastic products just don’t perform like the old ones did. A case of newer is not always better.

Now that lots of people are canvassing garage and yard sales, keep an eye out for garden tools. You may want to use a few this SPRING (yes it is coming) to plant a garden. If you’re lucky enough to live near a farmers market (like I am in Port Austin) or if you pass by a road-side stand, you may find it cheaper to shop there than to do it yourself. The fresh foods are soooooo good, remember availability of fresh produce is still one of the great things about living up north.

If you visit a garage sale that has a bunch of used fishing gear, keep in mind you can use it locally. Watch for a drop net so you can catch your own bait or go out and dig some up after a good rainstorm. A fresh caught fish dinner (any kind) and fresh picked garden veggies serve as another great reminder of the wonders of Huron County.

News of added employment with government dollars coming to our county provides hope to our large number of unemployed. Wouldn’t it be great to get additional paychecks issued in return for OUR tax money being invested
in OUR county? If you’re one of those lucky enough to get one of those new jobs, remember to share the wealth in your home area so more may realize a return for investments made here.

I can’t say for certain but with all the projects taking place in and around the Thumb, living here could be a big plus in more ways than we know.

Capt. Fred Davis is a retired charter captain and nationally published author of boating articles. His “As I See It” appears Fridays in the Tribune and Boat Smart articles are published in each edition of the Thumb Resorter plus on line at www.captainfredsboattips.com

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