When you are shopping for yourself or for gifts, your first thought is probably to look for new items. Buying new items is convenient, but carries a higher cost for your pocketbook and for the environment. Here are some reasons for buying second hand items (jewelry, musical instruments, electronics).
The most obvious reason to shop used is to save money. Second hand goods can cost up to 50% less than new items. Some of the best used items to buy include the following:
- Jewelry: jewelry is always a good investment, and high quality metals and gems generally retain their value even when they are used.
- Musical instruments: instruments are a smart second hand buy, especially if you are purchasing for a child to use or for a hobby.
- Sporting goods: new sports equipment can be very expensive; purchasing equipment for such sports as skiing, tennis, hockey, or golf can help with sticker shock.
- Toys and games: children quickly outgrow or get bored with their toys, and they tend to turn over quickly, so used toys are a great option to save money.
- Electronics: tech trends change quickly, so it is relatively easy to find gently used electronics at a low second hand price.
Support Local Companies
Pawn shops provide financial benefits to the sellers of the items they display. They are also usually owned and operated by community members, so the money you spend at a pawn shop stays local instead of flowing back to a large, corporate big-box store.
Preserve the Environment
Every item we use and discard in our life has an impact on the planet. The old saying “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure” is particularly important when it comes to reducing our environmental footprint. Buying secondhand items is good for the environment in a number of ways.
- Create less waste by saving an old item from the landfill
- Save the natural resources required in creating new items, such as wood, oil, and metals
- Reduce pollution levels that exist in the process of manufacturing new goods, including the use of pesticides, fertilizers, and toxic chemicals, as well as the emission of CO2 and greenhouse gases
- Save water and energy, which are required in large quantities to manufacture new products
- Reduce paper and plastic used to package new items for sale and shipping
Find Unique Items
While it’s true that you can save money and do a lot of good for the community and environment by purchasing second hand items, it’s also true that you can score some amazing finds. When you buy new, you are limited to the same mass-produced items sold in the same chain stores where your entire community shops. Shopping used allows you to find vintage goods, unique out-of-stock items, or inexpensive pieces that you can DIY to create something one-of-a-kind.
Buying second hand items (jewelry, musical instruments, electronics) is a great way to benefit the environment, support local businesses, save money, and find unique, quality items. Every used item you purchase is a step towards zero waste.