Saving money is one of the main reasons millions of shoppers turn to the second-hand market each year. In reality however, the benefits of the second-hand economy extend far beyond the dollars in our bank accounts. We’ve decided to celebrate this by rounding up five of our favorite unexpected benefits of buying used goods below.
1. Your Money Goes To Local People
Anybody that believes in the mantra of supporting the local community, should take part in the second-hand market. Shopping in local thrift stores or buying used goods from those living in the neighborhood means that you’re also contributing directly to the local economy.
In contrast, buying from big businesses brings with it no guarantees that your money isn’t being used to pay for imported goods.
2. You’re Not Supporting Sweatshops
Sweatshops are renowned for long hours, poor working conditions and low pay. They have become a depressing symbol of globalization. They’re particularly prevalent in the fashion industry, where demand for the latest trends sees consumers continually update their wardrobes.
A whole host of big businesses based in the United States have recently seen themselves caught up in scandals involving the exploitation of overseas workers, in return for the import of cheaper goods. Choosing to buy second-hand goods instead, sends a message that this exploitation will not be tolerated, but hitting large businesses who exploit workers where it hurts – their profits.
3. You Receive Better Customer Service
A recent report by the free online marketplace Gumtree, revealed that a third of consumers are hesitant about participating in the second-hand economy, due to trust and safety concerns.
The reality is that the second-hand market can provide consumers with both financial protection as well as customer service that goes far beyond what you’d receive in a shopping center.
As an example, paying via an online service such as PayPal, guarantees fundamental buyer protections such as the right to return an item, if it develops a fault within a certain timeframe. If you’re buying in person, you can ask a seller to prove that a product is in good working order. A friendly seller may even be willing to show you how to set up a product or provide you with tips on how to get the best use out of it.
4. You Help The Planet
Expanded urban sprawl and an increasing population will see humans produce 3.4 billion tonnes of waste per year by 2050.
Recycling reduces one’s impact on the planet, but still uses substantial natural resources to convert materials into reusable products. So what’s the answer?
Unless there are significant technological developments in the decades ahead, the second-hand economy and upcycling are likely to play a significant role in reducing waste and sustaining human life on planet earth.
5. Shop For Different Products Every Day
Unlike traditional stores, the second-hand market evolves at a lightning pace. New products are dropped off at thrift stores or posted online continually. There’s no such thing as “seasons”. It’s an “anything goes” marketplace where even the most obscure products can be found.