Buying secondhand goods is a clever way to save cash and cut carbon. But you need to pick and choose.
Upcycling is one way to get a needed item by repurposing an old one. If that’s not an option, then another way to save money and reduce the carbon footprint is buying secondhand goods. The problem is people don’t know what are good things to get secondhand and what things we should avoid get second hand.
Why buying secondhand goods is good?
There are a few reasons why buying secondhand goods is a good idea:
1. It’s cheaper. Secondhand goods are usually a lot cheaper than buying new. This is because the previous owner has already paid for the item, so you’re only paying for it again.
2. It’s good for the environment. When you buy secondhand goods, you’re reusing items instead of buying new ones. This means that fewer items need to be produced, which is good for the environment.
3. It supports charities. A lot of secondhand shops are run by charities, so by shopping there you’re supporting a good cause.
What are some things to avoid buying second hand?
There are a few things you should avoid buying secondhand:
1. Clothing. Secondhand clothing can often be stained or damaged. It’s better to buy new clothing so you know it’s in good condition.
2. Electronics. Secondhand electronics can be difficult to return if they’re faulty. It’s usually better to buy new electronics so you have a warranty.
3. Mattresses. Secondhand mattresses can be full of dust mites and other allergens. It’s better to buy a new mattress so you know it’s clean.
Three tips for buying secondhand goods
We recommend that you check for damage. When you’re looking at secondhand goods, make sure to check for any damage. This will help you avoid buying something that’s not in good condition.
We recommend you ask questions. If you’re not sure about something, ask the staff. They should be able to tell you more about the item and whether or not it’s a good idea to buy it.
We even recommend you haggle. Don’t be afraid to haggle when you’re buying secondhand goods. This can help you get a better price.
Expensive secondhand goods
There are a few things to keep in mind when buying expensive secondhand goods like furniture, functional pieces with craftsmanship value like lamps, watches.
First make sure you trust the seller. If you’re buying an expensive item secondhand, make sure you trust the seller. This will help you avoid being scammed.
Second, check the item thoroughly. When you’re looking at an expensive secondhand item, make sure to check it thoroughly. This will help you make sure it’s in good condition.
Third, get a warranty. If possible, get a warranty for an expensive secondhand item. This will help you if the item is faulty.
Best places for buying secondhand items
There are a few good places to find secondhand items:
Secondhand shops. Physical store secondhand shops are a great place to find secondhand goods. They usually have a wide range of items, and you can often haggle for a better price. Clearly online Ebay, Craigslist and nowadays Amazon carry secondhand goods and have made life very difficult for physical shops. In addition to those, there’s a huge proliferation of smaller, niche-focused secondhand stores, especially in clothing due to the rise of fast fashion. And finally, check out Facebook which itself has a used-goods platform that users set up and post their goods.
Garage sales are a great place to find secondhand goods. You can often find good deals on items, and you can haggle for a better price. Local publications or driving around and looking for signs on weekends are ways to find these.
Online classifieds are a great place to find secondhand goods as well as the time and places of sales. You can often find good deals on items, and you can often haggle for a better price because it’s so informal.
What if you want to sell your old stuff?
Similarly if you’re looking to sell your old stuff, there are a few things you can do:
Sell it online. There are a few online platforms where you can sell secondhand goods, such as eBay and Craigslist.
Sell it at a garage sale. You can have a garage sale and sell your old stuff that way. This is a good option if you have a lot of stuff to sell.
Donate it to a charity. If you don’t want to sell your old stuff, you can always donate it to a charity. This is a good option if you don’t want to deal with the hassle of selling it.
Anna Lauer is a writer, gardener, and homesteader living in rural Wisconsin. She has written for Mother Earth News, Grit, and Hobby Farms magazines. Anna is writing a new book about growing your food for free and an ultimate guide to producing food at little to no cost. When she’s not writing or gardening, Anna enjoys spending time with her husband and two young daughters.