As I sit writing this, I can count at least 15 items (just in my front room) that were acquired for much less than the retail value. I’m not talking like 30% less like a good sale. And I’m not talking about only small items either–several items are large pieces of furniture.
In some cases, buying pre-loved goods has saved me hundreds of dollars. In my living room sits a love seat that we purchased pre-owned. We waited months for this specific love seat to show up on the Facebook Marketplace.
And we were rewarded for our patience–we paid only $150 for a love seat that retails for approximately $700. It had only one minor blemish–a white mark that is covered by the cushions.
I tell you that not to brag, but to show how much money buying used items can save you. I have a nice home that I’m proud of, because of my thriftiness. And you can have that too.
Perhaps you are just starting to think about buying pre-loved items due to a small budget. Or maybe you weren’t thinking about it at all, and just happened to stumble upon this article. Or you could be a seasoned thrifter, well-versed in the pursuit of a jaw-dropping deal.
No matter where you are in your journey, we all share something in common. Every single one of us must deal with the temptation to buy it new.
It is difficult to stay patient, and its easy to think that if you could just buy it now, life would be better.
There are several reasons I often don’t give in–let me share them with you.
Keep Your Budget in Check
This is the biggest reason I got into thrifting and buying pre-owned. We live on one income and let’s be honest–money doesn’t stretch very far in-store these days.
Its very easy to resist buying new if you simply can’t afford it this month.
But even if you can afford it, take a look at your long-term goals. We want to pay off our debts, and we know we’ll get there sooner if we resist the temptation. Especially if the item is not an immediate need.
If you only spent $30 a day on unnecessary spending, you would waste ten thousand dollars in only one year. Every penny saved adds up, and some of the biggest savings come from having the patience to buy pre-loved.
Keep Items Out of the Landfill
The longer I live frugally and shop pre-owned items, the more I care about what the manufacturing process does to our earth.
My husband good-naturedly teases me sometimes for “turning into a hippie,” but I don’t care.
What I do care about is the impact of fast fashion. I care about keeping items out of the landfill, and being a responsible consumer.
So instead of buying a new set of glassware when 2 cups broke, I searched Goodwill and found replacements.
And when I’m consistently change sizes through the pregnancy, post-partum, and weight-loss stages, I don’t buy brand-new clothes. Instead, I scour thrift stores and selling apps to source myself a stylish, ethical capsule wardrobe in my new size.
Sometimes, my desire to keep items out of the landfill leads me to spend more money up-front. I own several quality pairs of boots, which I bought pre-owned. Even pre-owned, though, I paid far more for them than I could have paid by buying new in store.
However, I have confidence that each pair of boots will last me 20 years or more. Which means that in the end, I will actually save money and keep items out of the landfill.
Support a Good Cause
While there has been some controversy in recent years about Goodwill, don’t let that put you off of thrift stores altogether. I source pre-owned goods from many sources, including Goodwill, but you have many other options if you would rather not support them.
Many of the thrift stores that I frequent are local stores attached to community food pantries. These thrift stores often boast great prices. Another added bonus is the staff–with a small staff, it is easier to make friends with the staff. And when you make friends with the staff, they often give you first dibs if they know you’re in search of something specific.
The Salvation Army and St. Vincent de Paul are other great options if you want to support a good cause. I think the Salvation Army is most known for their homeless shelters, but in reality they do so much more, including prison ministries and addressing food insecurity.
No matter what mission is near and dear to your heart, you can typically find a thrift store connected to it.
If you need help finding thrift stores that are local to you, check out The Thrift Shopper. The Thrift Shopper is an online, national directory of thrift stores. The directory is community-sourced, so it doesn’t always show all the thrift shops in your area. However, its a great place to start.
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