this post was submitted on 16 Mar 2024
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Buy it for Life

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A place to share practical, durable and quality made products that are made to last, with an emphasis on upcycled and sustainable products!


Things that are well-made and durable (even if they won't last a lifetime) are A-Okay!

Unlike that other BIFL place, Home-made and DIY items are encouraged here, as long as some form of instruction is included in the body of the post.

Videos links are not allowed as post titles, but you may use them in a text post.

A limited amount of self-promotion is accepted, IF the item you are selling aligns with this criteria:

  1. The item must be made with sustainable or recycled materials.
  2. If electronic in some way, the item must be open-source.
  3. The item must be user-serviceable (if applicable).
  4. You cannot be a large corporation.
  5. The post must be clearly marked with a [Self Promotion] tag in your title.

founded 1 year ago

EDIT: The consensus on the proposed rule change seems to be to remove the rule, and to re-investigate it if it ever becomes an issue. Let's see how it goes!

Heyo everyone, hope you're doing well!

For the past week or so, I've been thinking about tweaking the rules slightly. Specifically, the requirement that a suggestion/recommendation must still be in production.

In previous community chats, a consistent complaint about the reddit BIFL was that it was inundated with random vintage items, some of which could be hard to track down.

However, there have been a couple times that I've held back recommending an item because its no longer in production, even though it's fairly commonly available second hand. In addition, buying used is very much in-line with Solarpunk ideals, as it reduces waste, carbon emissions from increased production, and if purchased locally or from an individual, helps keep money out of the hands of corporations.

With that in mind, I think it may be wise to remove that rule, but wanted to get the community's opinion first. Yay, Nay, or do you have a different idea?

As for the secret project...

Thanks to's efforts, BIFL now has access to its very own wiki page! (The wiki itself will receive an official announcement at the start of next month with more details, so keep it on the down low 🤫).

Today I've been puttering around with it, and put up an experimental wiki-page for the BIFL Community.

So far, my plan with it is to slowly add in all the various things that the community recommends, taken from posts and comments, along with price information and any little tidbits the commenter mentions about the item (You can see how I'm formatting that in the Rain Gear catagory). But I'm open to any other suggestions you may have on how else we can utilize this new wiki! :D

Lastly, if you have any other general recommendations, ideas, or thoughts for the community, don't hesitate to throw 'em down in the comments!

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[–] LibertyLizard 17 points 4 months ago (2 children)

Mixed feelings. I love the idea of buying used but I think it depends on availability. If it’s something that’s readily accessible, that’s great. But I wouldn’t want to see posts bragging about people who own some rare artifact that now costs 10x what a new one does, even if it is more durable. But maybe that will be rare enough to not be an issue? Since there is not much content here currently, erring on the side of permissive might be preferable.

[–] 11 points 4 months ago (1 children)

My main objection to old and rare items is that the ones people rave about are very likely just objectifications of the survivorship bias. For example, people rave about how great old refrigerators are, but most of them (the old refrigerators) died a long time ago. In any population there will be statistical outliers but that doesn’t say anything about the whole population. If anything, if an old item is rare, then it’s probably not BIFL because most of the item’s population has disappeared.

[–] 3 points 3 months ago

Refrigerator posts are the worst. Some vintage electrical items, like Kitchen Aids, which are still manufactured and appear to be unchanged in design but actually use different quality components between versions, are definitely worth a discussion and, sure, perhaps the 1950s motors are way better than modern ones.

But refrigerators, microwaves, old stoves, etc. are rarely comparable to a modern energy efficient (and safe) appliance that people are actually looking to buy.

[–] ProdigalFrog 4 points 4 months ago

But maybe that will be rare enough to not be an issue? Since there is not much content here currently, erring on the side of permissive might be preferable.

Those are my feelings as well. I think if that ever became an issue as Lemmy continues to grow, we can always revisit the issue to try and prevent it from happening.

Thanks for your comment! :)

[–] 16 points 4 months ago (2 children)

There is so little traffic on this group that there's no reason to add more bureaucracy. Worry about a rule expansion if the problem becomes significant.

[–] 3 points 4 months ago

This was my thought too. Maybe once there is too much traffic to handle we can talk about a vintage day or something but until then share everything.

[–] 2 points 3 months ago

Agreed. And if it leads to furious discussion about suggesting vintage items, all the better.

[–] 7 points 4 months ago

If we can't buy it then we can't buy it for life. I support this rule.

[–] 7 points 4 months ago

Love the wiki.

I would love to see second hand posts. I think we should initially believe in the community to not make brag posts.

If we start seeing brag posts, we can add a rule that posts about items no longer under production must have a link to a reasonably priced used seller of said item.

[–] 5 points 3 months ago

imo 2nd hand should be allowed but only if it's relatively well available & should be marked if that availability is only regional

[–] 5 points 4 months ago

I'm for allowing anything, readily available or not.

[–] stabby_cicada 4 points 4 months ago (1 children)

I completely agree that second hand goods and clothing are a vital part of anything punk. Especially if there's a particular brand or model that's routinely found secondhand in good condition, due to its durability or whatever - that's the sort of information we should share with one another.

I wouldn't want to see too harsh a sourcing requirement for secondhand goods, even. It's not like you can prove a statement like "I see these at yard sales all the time" even if you do. And even posts about things that are rare and difficult to find are valuable posts, because they let people know "hey, if you see this at a yard sale, you should grab it".

Maybe require that every post has a sourcing statement - "this is where I got X" - and require that either the item is still sold or you acquired it secondhand recently indicating the item is currently available secondhand. That will disallow the "I inherited this refrigerator fifty years ago, they don't build them like this anymore, I refill it with bootleg Mexico CFCs and it runs like a dream" kind of posts and still allow for secondhand and vintage stuff.

[–] ProdigalFrog 5 points 4 months ago* (last edited 4 months ago)

Maybe require that every post has a sourcing statement

I think this might have a chilling effect. Ultimately, I don't think posting or commenting should be too arduous, otherwise a non-trivial amount of people may not bother, and this place is already fairly low traffic.

At least for now, with Lemmy's current popularity, it would be fairly easy for me to remove the unhelpful brag posts.

Thank you for adding your thoughts! :)

[–] 3 points 4 months ago (1 children)

Why not have a rule where you must put [used] I'm the title for used/vintage items, and everything else must still be in production?

Also love the website idea. If you need any help finding/ researching items for different categories, I'd be glad to help. The internet could use a database of products still in production that aren't harmful to the environment and last a lifetime. I already have some ideas in mind that I've purchased that can certainly last a long time. You should probably set up an alt email address that people can also send you direct recommendations in (although maybe open any links in something sandboxed just in case - never know).

Lastly I think the site should maybe add software as well, considering how rare single purchase lifetime licenses are becoming (or recommendations for open source software that has a long time being updated or an alternative revenue model, like how Home Assistant does).

[–] ProdigalFrog 2 points 3 months ago* (last edited 3 months ago)

If you need any help finding/ researching items for different categories, I’d be glad to help.

I wouldn't mind the help! I think the best thing for that would be to create posts of your recommendations here. That would not only help add new content, but also act as a repository that I can slowly get through to add to the wiki.

A software section would be interesting, brings to mind The Whole Earth Software Catalog.

[–] 1 points 4 months ago

To be honest, if there's something vintage that's not very available, I'm not sure I would share it online. I'd be afraid that if this item deteriorates, I wouldn't be able to afford a replacement.

I would remove vintage posts just when they come across as a brag