The Sneaky Little Way I Managed to Score High-End Kitchen Gear on the Cheap

published Jul 2, 2019
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Before I was married, I lusted over a KitchenAid stand mixer for years — I had catalogs hidden under mattresses, incognito tabs open to the Crate and Barrel website, and occasionally I’d slip out to a Williams Sonoma shop under the cover of darkness. But I could never justify the price. I figured I would just wait until I got married and put it on my registry for some distant aunt to buy it for me. That is, until I shared my secret with my most deal savvy friend.

She immediately asked, “Why aren’t you looking at Craigslist? Stand mixers are on there all the time!”

This I had to investigate …

Huh. I had originally assumed that once you owned a stand mixer, you never went back. Well, lo and behold, I found a beautiful, yellow, never-used KitchenAid stand mixer with all the attachments on Craigslist — for less than half the price of a new one.

The listing said it was from a recently divorced woman who wanted all memories of her marriage out of her house. I figured she couldn’t be the only person feeling this way, so I started searching resale websites for other items I had once only considered as wedding registry material. Soon I was the proud owner of a Vitamix blender, espresso machine, and sous vide — all from recent divorcees who were happy to rid themselves of these pricey tokens of their dissolved marriages.

Planning a wedding is a stressful time and placing things on your registry is one of the few completely joyous acts. Just about everyone puts high-end kitchen appliances on their wedding registry, but sometimes couples can get carried away with the image of who they might become in this union. If that marriage later falls apart, you might be left with both the bad memories of your relationship and the guilt of never once having used those escargot forks you were certain you needed. And that’s when I swoop in, happy to relieve them of their unwanted goods and help them move on to the next stage of their lives. That way they can use the extra cash and extra space to decorate a new home for themselves to flourish. And I can have a Grind-Your-Own-Meat attachment.

When my time to create a wedding registry came around, did I feel a bit sad skipping out on these “momentous” appliances? Not at all. If anything, it made everything I put on my registry feel a little more special. Buying things used when I wanted them — not when the marriage industrial complex told me I earned them — took the pressure off when it came time to resell. If I’m going to be honest, I knew I would eventually sell that sous vide, because who has four hours to cook a steak? I was able to get the cash and none of the guilt of my now-deceased grandmother buying it for me. I think that no-guilt bonus is worth the hours spent pursuing resale sites.

There are times when I’m using my one of my appliances and I find myself reflecting on the people who I bought them from and that moment when I briefly entered their lives at its most challenging. I hope that I might have helped them by checking off one thing of their to-do list, not adding stress during a stressful time, and, yes, taking a copper toaster of their hands. I think about how there are so many things that need to mesh in order to make a marriage work and none of them can be found on a wedding registry.

And, by the way, if anyone is looking to unload an Instant Pot, let me know!

This post originally ran on Apartment Therapy. See it there: How I Scored High-End Kitchen Gear on The Cheap (And You Can Too!)