When you look around in your room, chances are that you can find at least one second-hand item. With good reason because purchasing second-hand items can save us a lot of money among many other advantages. Not only is there a rise in consumers going to thrift shops, but also in online second-hand sales on websites like eBay and, the Dutch version, Marktplaats. Consumers are seeking bargains from home, which is why online secondhand is expected to grow 69% between 2019 and 2021. The economic uncertainty drives consumers to shift to thrift, because not only can they save money, but also make money by selling their goods.
Advantages of buying second-hand items
The most obvious advantage of buying second-hand items is saving money. You can get great quality for only a small percentage of the cost. This goes without saying, but some advantages are less obvious.
By going to thrift shops or buying online second-hand items, you are actually helping the environment. Buying a brand-new item online requires manufacturing, transport, and packing, before eventually ending up in a landfill site. This causes a lot of damage to the environment. Take into consideration what you consume daily, and how much you actually throw away, it is hardly surprising the environment is suffering. Excess waste can be prevented by buying products that would be thrown away despite being in good condition.
Not only are you contributing to the environment, but also to reducing labor in less developed countries, which will give you a clear conscience. Many big clothing companies take advantage of workers who are working for a minimum wage in overcrowded environments. This mass production of among other things clothes and furniture by multinational companies causes many small local businesses to close down. Shopping at second-hand stores means that you are directly contributing to your community and helps to keep the local businesses running.
Disadvantages of buying second-hand items
One disadvantage of buying used products is that there is often no warranty given. So, if it breaks down, you will have no chance to get your money back. Furthermore, the lifespans of second-hand items may be quite limited. Some products, like electronic items, are nowadays made to last for just a few years before the new one enters the market.
In contrast to the mainstream online market, which is usually easy and efficient, looking for products in the second-hand market can be very time-consuming. A big percentage of the products in thrift shops have minor damages or are outdated. So, finding the product that you are looking for in the second-hand market is not the easiest route, which is why not all consumers find it tempting.
So, next time when you are looking to spark up your room or update your wardrobe, second-hand shopping could be your go-to. It might take a little while before you find what you are looking for. But it does help you save money and contribute to the environment, which makes it worth a try.