Buying second hand – what and why?

What does it mean to buy second hand?  Second hand means that you are not the original owner of the product.  So buying second hand means that the items is being purchase from someone else that purchased it new.

Buying second hand doesn’t mean that the item is used and worn out.  Typically the item has been gently used but not always.  I have purchased items from second hand store and online classified ads with the tags attached.  Sometime people buy things and change their minds and have lost the receipt and then cannot exchange them.  Others were given gifts that they didn’t like and didn’t have a receipt to exchange them.  So they either donate them to second hand stores or thrift store or sell it to recoup some cash.

Lots of people think of buying second hand in reference to second hand clothes.  This isn’t always the case, there are tons of second hand book stores, second hand furniture stores and second hand stores that sell everything, cookware, house wear, shoes and more…

With the kids growing up so fast, I mostly tend to purchase second hand clothes for them.  It is amazing what you can find.  This summer, the thrift store had a sale day and had all kids clothes for $1 a piece.  So I purchase all their boys khaki shorts.  $5 for 5 pairs instead of the store prices of at least $15 a pair.  So my son didn’t have to wear his hand me down jean shorts that he got for his cousins all summer.  Hand me downs are great too.  There is always someone who has children older than yours and believe it or not, they are happy to pass along their clothes to others who would make use of them.

I have heard people say, I don’t wear second hand clothes, why should my kids…  That is a choice you make, it is understandable that clothes might be too personal an item to buy used.  How about other things like furniture or books.  I filled a 2 bedroom apartment for 5 people with dinning table and chairs and couch and desks, shelves and beds for less than $600 including the 3 new mattresses for the kids.  Pretty amazing, check out the details here.  Buying new would have cost us so much more.   I knew what I wanted for the limited space we had and eventually I found it on the online classified.

I was looking for a double boiler at a second hand store but had no luck.  I didn’t really want to buy a new one because I wasn’t too sure if I would get much use of it.  After a few visits to the store, I was fortunate to find one.  I used it frequently when I first purchased it but haven’t used it too much lately.  Since I didn’t pay a lot for it, it is ok, comes in handy when I need that second pot!

Why do you buy second hand?  You give items a second chance.  Items are not going into landfills, and you end up saving a ton.  It is amazing what you can find if you just look.




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