The case for used goods

I didn’t always buy things used. I was, and sometimes still am, quite the spendthrift. (hey, it’s a process) I am currently trying to see how long I can go without spending any money at all. I know I’ll have to grocery shop soon, but I plan on sticking strictly to my list and then going back to the challenge.

Books are my weakness. My BIG weakness. I had over 1000 before I cleaned a couple of hundred out for the new year. I’m an English major, that should tell you how much I love words. But these days I’m buying used. There are a few used bookstores within a 20 minute drive and I frequent them all. When I can’t find what I’m looking for there, I’ll go onto one of the online retailers and buy used from them. It’s still less expensive than buying new, shipping charges and all.

Clothes. I used to buy them all at department stores, regardless of sales. I shop at thrift stores now for the whole family. If I can’t find it there, I pay attention to sales and coupons at the department stores. Vintage is a thing.

Furniture is another thing that you can buy used. Antiques are often lovingly cared for and can last for generations if taken care of properly. A used dresser from the thrift store can be a great buy as long as you’ve checked it out to make sure nothing sticks or sags. Again, there are things I don’t buy from thrift stores like couches (generally the cushions are shot) and mattresses (I just don’t know what someone else has done there). But, dressers, bookshelves, tables and chairs, all good purchases if you can find ones you like.

But, why?

Well, for one thing, it’s cheaper to buy used. Pretty much always. If not, I’ve comparison shopped the used models and know what a good deal looks like for that item. Some things, like appliances, should be bought new if you can’t find a model less than five years old for a decent price. Anything older than that and you lose a ton of efficiency. In any case, don’t buy bells and whistles that you don’t need.

For another thing, it’s better for the environment. I hate to beat a dead horse here but, every thing bought used is one less thing going in a landfill and one less thing that needs to be made new. You can look at clothes, furniture, and books and tell if they’re on their last legs or if they’re ready to hold up a good long while more. Why not buy something that someone else decided they no longer needed when you do need it? There’s nothing icky about used items as long as you clean the item thouroughly after you’ve bought it. I’m assuming you wash department store clothes before you wear them, so why should it be any different with used clothes?

Something that saves me money and is good for the Earth? I’m there.

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