If you need a photocopier but can't afford to pay hundreds of dollars for a new one, here's an idea you may want to copy.

David Lipman, a manufacturing company agent who works out of his home in Kirkland, Wash., wanted to buy a used copier for under $100. He left his name at several photocopy machine sales offices and asked them to get in touch with him if they took in a trade for a new machine.

"Often a company will give a buyer a $500 allowance on a trade but scrap the old machine because it might hurt sales of more profitable new equipment," says Lipman.

One firm, realizing that Lipman wasn't a good prospect for a new machine, agreed to sell him an old one for $75.