I buy a lot of our stuff secondhand. From clothes and purses to outdoor play equipment and furniture. It’s not because I can’t afford to buy full retail, I just like the thrill of finding a good deal. If you’ve never perused the aisles of consignment or thrift stores, you’re missing out! Browsing through the racks is a favorite pastime of mine. That cute boutique dress I wore last Thursday? Consignment. The gently used baby stroller I stroll around the park? $5. Buying second hand not only provides valuable teaching moments for our kids, but it also supports local businesses, and the environment.
New to buying used? Here are 4 great reasons to not sleep on buying secondhand.
- Helps the environment – I don’t know about you, but I despise all the packaging that comes with buying something new. The Styrofoam, plastic, copious amount of boxes, and tags. Ugh! Plus, producing products uses a lot of gas emissions, energy, and water. This goes for clothes, sporting gear, or even cars! By buying what already exists, you’re putting less demand on these manufacturing facilities and the travel it takes to distribute. Another plus? Previously worn clothes, shoes, and linens tend to be softer and less stiff because the “new clothes/shoes smell” have faded or been washed away. That stiffness is caused by toxic chemical finishes – gross!
- Saves money – In this unstable economic climate, I’m all about saving a buck or two. Most of the time, I can snag kids’ clothes by buying off-season at a fraction of the price – sometimes up to 90% off. Did you know Americans collectively spend over a trillion dollars a year on nonessential things? That’s crazy! Need a snow blower? How about new winter boots? Back to school clothes? Check out Facebook Marketplace or high-end consignment shops before hitting up big box retailers. Not always, but most of the time they’ll have what you need. Once you get over the “ick, someone else wore/used that!” mindset and think of it extending the life of an item and preventing waste, you’ll discover the amazing world of thrift finding! Plus, you’re able to get more bang for your buck which means you get to buy more than what you bargained for.
3. Supports local business – We have a lot of great resources for secondhand stores in the corridor. From Puddle Jumpers, Stuff.Etc, and Once Upon a Child to Style Encore, The Daisy, and Habitat for Humanity ReStore, there are so many local businesses to support and explore. Rummage through racks of cool artwork, snag an antique mirror for the hallway, pick up a new Christmas dress for your kid, or a designer purse for yourself! Make your dollar go farther by keeping money locally in the corridor. Some consignment and secondhand thrift stores even use proceeds to give back the community! And every year, the kids and I donate a bunch of old clothes, toys, and household items – it makes for a great lesson about giving back to those less fortunate.
4. Unique finds – I think one of my favorite parts of secondhand shopping is coming across unique, boutique-y finds! Adorable clothes, vintage Christmas glasses, old school pogo sticks, timeless jewelry, etc. They’re things that I wouldn’t find at a big box retailer, or would have to pay big money to have it shipped from a boutique. Plus, luxury brands that I’d never be able to afford full price. I snagged a Coach wristlet for $8 last month! Sometimes shopping without a mission is the best way to discover something really cool. And finding it for a deal? Well, that’s just icing on the cake.
When you’re not used to buying used, it can be daunting or even frustrating to rummage through racks of mismatched things. You may not always find exactly what you’re after, but there is always something waiting to be rediscovered – you just have to give it a chance! Support local, support secondhand.
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