Shopping secondhand, thrifting, going to the consignment store. Whatever you call it, buying used clothing, home decor, and many other things can save you money.
Whether you shop used out of necessity because that’s all you can afford, you choose to do so to save money, or any of the the other wonderful reasons t shop at thrift stores listed in this post, shopping secondhand can help you find unique items for your family.
1. Saving Money Doesn’t Mean You’re Poor
Just because I choose to buy whatever I can (clothing, home furnishings, etc.) used, doesn’t mean that I couldn’t buy those items new. It just means that I choose to put that saved money toward other things.
If youu don’t have enough money to buy things new, thrift or consignment stores are great places to get high quality clothes for a lower price.
While you could get clothes for a similar price new at a big box store, that price at a used store can often get brand name items for a fraction of the price they would cost to buy new.
Buying used to save money for something else can help you work toward your money goals.
Whenever you save money on something, you can put that money to use somewhere else.
For example, buying used clothes for my son has allowed my husband and I to work on paying off our student loans quicker. Once we are done paying those off, we will be able to use money we save by buying used to save for things such as a house, our children’s college, and retirement.
2. Buying Used is More “Green”
By buying items that other people no longer want, you can give those items a new life.
This means that instead of contributing to the market for new versions of those items, you can do double duty and also keep “old” items out of the landfill.
This reduces the demand for these items and hopefully also for the materials used to make them.
While you buying these years instead of new isn’t going to make a huge difference in the clothing, toy, or other industries, even a little bit helps. Every time you reuse an item by buying it used instead of new, you are both extending the life of the older item and reducing demand for new ones.
3. Buying Used Can Help You Find Unique Items
Thrift stores can be an awesome place to find items that stand out. While I guess sometimes that can be good or bad, you’ll have to decide based on your personality.
If you want items for your wardrobe, house, or apartment to be unique and not look like whatever one else has, check out the variety thrift stores.
If you’re like me and don’t want something to stand out in an overly loud or colorful way, you can still find your average home furnishings and staple wardrobe pieces secondhand as well (see Point #4 below).
4. Secondhand Stores Offer a Variety of Clothing Styles
While I love shopping at thrift stores because they can save me money, I also love the fact that I can find clothes in my style.
I’m not really that trendy of a person when it comes to fashion. Because of this, I can very rarely find something that is my “style” new.
A lot of clothes at thrift stores can be pretty out-of-date (okay, a lot out-of-date), I usually have better luck finding clothes for myself than buying what is currently in style at new stores.
I tend to dress mostly in solid colors or simple patterns or silhouettes. For most of these types of clothes, such as jeans, long sleeve T-shirts, or knee-length skirts, they don’t tend to go in and out of style as often as some of the “louder“ styles and designs.
Since pieces like I mentioned above tend to be simpler and not go out of style, they can also make good layering pieces for more “trendy” pieces.
5. Best Place to Find True Vintage Items
If you want a place to find affordable vintage items that are not just re-creations, thrift stores are the place to go.
A lot of times when people clean out their or their loved one’s attic, items they don’t have a use for will make their way to a thrift store. Sometimes these items are actually worth quite a bit more than what they are selling for in the store.
This is often because neither the people doing the cleaning nor the people at the thrift store know how much an item is worth.
While this is slightly disappointing for the people selling the item (or donating it), hey, it’s a score for you.
If you would like some specific vintage pieces, whether they are clothing, furniture, or decoration, I would make a list of what you’re looking for on your phone.
Next time you’re at the store, look at your list when you get there so you will know what to keep an eye out for. Who knows, maybe you will score some awesome vintage finds!
6. Many Secondhand Store are Locally-Owned Businesses
Especially with the renewed interest in supporting locally-owned businesses lately, shopping at your local secondhand, thrift, or consignment store, can be a great way to support businesses in your community.
Most secondhand stores (outside of a few larger well-known brands like Goodwill and Salvation Army) are run by people just like you. If you would like to go thrifting, supporting your local businesses while finding some great deals and items is definitely a win-win situation.
Some of these smaller thrift stores are often run by local charities or organizations, so your purchases could help fund food, clothing, or other necessities for those who need them.
There you go! Buying used can be a great way for you to find what you’re looking for while supporting your local economy and the earth. What more could you ask for?
What are your favorite thrift store finds? Have you purchased anything you later found out you got a great deal on?