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this maneuver can justify a gear upgrade via a self-created discount, selling the item that you are upgrading. i have run this one a couple of times this year. while i am still spending money, that i'm spending less somehow justifies the upgrade.
when i purchased my marmot/dana designs mid-sized backpack years ago, it was on clearance; i sold it earlier this year for about $15 less than what i originally paid, after several years of generous use, to pave the way for a new gregory backpack of roughly the same size. main bugaboo with the Dana was the complete lack of an external pocket for a water bottle or anything else one might want to have handy. with REI discounts and the switcheroo, a gregory baltoro set me back about $120. say what you want about gregory, but i'm really enjoying this backpack.
one of my go-to knives for trips always irked me a little because it had a partially serrated blade, which i didn't really need. it also had a black coating on the blade that made it look needlessly scary. everything else about the knife (a kershaw avalanche, no longer in production) was really great. i recently sold it on a knife forum to help fund a replacement, a spyderco with a sort of reverse liner-lock (the paramilitary 2) that had a lot of the same knife steel as the Kershaw, plain, non-coated blade, a better lock, more comfortable scales. total cost for the new knife, 65 bucks shipped (full retail is $170, but you can find most knives, new, at a healthy discount somewhere on the web). by 'reverse liner lock,' i mean that the locking mechanism is on the spine rather than under your fingers, but it operates with the same high level of security as a liner lock. it's a great feature, because it means your fingers aren't under the closing blade when you unlock and close it.
feel free to share your gear upgrade strategies....