Whether we talk about clothes, furniture, a standing lamp or even a laptop, it’s always a good idea to first look into second hand or refurbished items. Here’s why.
1. It’s Cheap!
You knew this.
But the quality of many items is still amazing! A lot of clothes, especially children or baby clothes, even have their price tag on because they went totally unused!
Refurbished computers and phones or second hand technology like televisions or PC monitors are all well tested and any dysfunctional parts are replaced.
The price you pay for high quality items is often only 50% of the original price, and sometimes only a tenth.
I think that before making any purchase, one should ask oneself if one really wants this item. This sounds obvious, of course, but how many emotional purchases have you made yourself already? Anyway, buying cool stuff at a fraction of the original price minimizes the impact of emotional purchases or plain mispurchases.
Also, buying second hand is preferable when you are low on cash or when you simply need your cash for more important things. For example when starting a new business, you need to keep your expenses as low as possible in order to make your runway as long as you can. Why in the world would you buy a new laptop when you can get an even better one at only half of the price? Why would you buy a new desk and a coach for your office, when they throw those at you for only 10% of the original price? Know your priorities.
2. It’s Fun!
When buying second hand, often you get in touch with normal people like you and me (without a psycho urge to sell you something for big profits). You never know who you meet when you pick something up at someone’s home. It makes for a nice chat and you fulfill one of your most basic human needs, which is being social.
And when buying from a local shop, you support your local entrepreneurs, which is very nice.
Also you never know what you’ll find! There is a good chance that you find unique items among some ordinary stuff, which is pretty neat.
3. It’s FREE*!
Free from corporate marketing that is. You know that capitalists manipulate you into buying stuff with (often fake) ads and fake reviews. When looking around for second hand stuff, whether you really need it (like a frying pan or a laptop) or you’re just looking for interesting items, you are able to judge all by yourself about the quality and pricing of a product.
4. It’s Sustainable!
Buying second hand reduces the demand for new stuff and thus reducing environmental impact and the stress on resources, infrastructure and so on. The more we buy second hand, the bigger the impact.
Especially clothes and technology have a high environmental impact. Cotton is known to need insane amounts of fresh water to grow and the production of clothing is often very inefficient, requiring lots of energy and toxic chemicals. Swapping out some parts of an older computer can often make it as good as new.
Giving things a second life also reduces waste, as there is no influential, annoying and over the top packaging.
5. Best Places To Look For Second Hand Stuff
- Local second hand market websites, like https://www.tweedehands.be in Belgium for example.
- Facebook Marketplace.
- Physical second hand stores, like Oxfam or De Kringwinkel in Belgium for example.
- Refurbished laptops, phones, servers and other office equipment websites.
- Google is your friend.