1st Hand Knowledge on 2nd Hand Shopping
The benefits of shopping vintage and the best ways to go about it.
At a younger age, I had a fear of purchasing second hand (other people had touched them..which apparently to my younger self, was “gross”). And then, one fateful day, I went to a second hand store to pick a piece for a costume party and have never looked back since. Not only is it a great deal from a monetary perspective, but it allowed me to take fashion risks I may not have otherwise took, as my investment was lower, so if it turned out to be a fashion dud that I never wore again, guilt feelings were minimal.
Purchasing second hand furniture has even more savings capabilities. A brand new living room set can cost you thousands, where as purchasing one second hand can be anywhere from $10-$100. I have furnished an entire apartment for under $200. It certainly did not resemble a page out of Martha Stewart Living, but for a student apartment, it looked pretty good (in my books). While you can head to any second hand store to purchase furniture, an even better bet is hitting up sites like Kijiji and Craigslist. Not only can you often get stuff for free on there, but if it is not free, most people are open to negotiation.
As a student, the purchase of second hand books can be another great money saver. Your on-campus bookstore will likely have used books to purchase, and while this does save you money, you can save even more by buying directly from other students. Keep an eye on flyers on the wall, but if your specific books aren’t being sold by other students, check out sites like Amazon and Ebay. If you are willing to go one edition back (example: you are supposed to buy the 6th edition but instead you buy the 5th), the cost often goes from $150 for a new text book down to $5. Talk about huge savings. Usually differences between editions are minimal, but a great way to check, is on sites like Amazon, you can look at the Table of Contents for a book. Look at the contents of the newest edition versus the one you want.. chapters look similar? Done deal. Often, for reasons beyond me, professors get you to buy an expensive text book, and then never refer to it the entire semester, and then you wind up crying yourself to sleep over the costly book that has never been opened. But, if you got it 2nd hand, super cheap, you are laughing.. literally.. at your other classmates who were not as wise as you.
The great thing about getting into the second-hand groove is that when you are done with your stuff, you can sell them for likely almost the same amount you bought them for. Or you can give them away knowing it is ok, as you did not spend much on it anyways. Keep in mind that when both buying and giving items away, research into the organization you are giving it to. Look into the causes different stores support, and base your decision on that. Not only will you being doing good for your wallet, but also for society and the environment (recycled goods means less items in landfills!).