The Benefits of Thrifting and Using Second Hand

Thrifting and buying second hand products has become a popular trend throughout recent years. It is a favorite hobby for many people and has grown thanks to social media. All thrifting entails for a shopper is to visit a thrift store, yard sale, or an online marketplace and buy gently used items at a discounted price, resulting in giving the items a second life and saving money. In fact, the word “thrift” comes from 1300s Middle English, meaning “prosperity, savings” and was formed from using resources methodically to prosper. In the article, “Thrifting through the Ages: How We’ve Strayed from Central Values,” professor of practice and a fashion expert at the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts, Dennita Sewell, stated that “The secondhand trade is one of the oldest forms of clothing for the common man.” However, the type of thrifting we know today wasn’t developed until the creation of organizations such as the Salvation Army and Goodwill in the mid 1800s to early 1900s. Fast-forward to 2023 and the habit still has similar roots from its origin with additional advantages. Thrifting and using second hand has a multitude of benefits that range from personal rewards to positive environmental impacts, including the ones below. 

  1. First and one of the most important benefits is that thrifting saves you money. Research has found that purchasing second-hand can save a person around $500-850 a year on clothes alone. Also, keep in mind that thrifting doesn’t mean just clothes. Places like Facebook Marketplace and others are great for finding household items, toys, office supplies, and much more. I know people who have found televisions and party decorations through thrifting. Lastly, once you are done with your item, turn it around and re-thrift it. You can make a profit and provide a new life for products that you once thrifted. 
  2. There is usually something for everyone. Thrift stores have a wide range of items for shoppers of all ages. If you are on the hunt for a specific item, try a second-hand shop first, before buying new. You just may find it. Don’t forget – the inventory at thrift stores changes all the time. For example, recently I was looking for kitchen stools. After a few trips to the thrift stores, I found exactly what I wanted, with some extra money still in my pocket. 
  3. While there is something for everyone, items are more unique and one of a kind. Part of the wide range of items also includes the ages of the objects. Products could be modern and recent or they could be 20 plus years old filled with nostalgia. Vintage clothes, furniture, and knick-knacks from years past could be found. In addition, higher quality brand and brand name items could be on thrift store shelves. Coach purses have been spotted by buyers, as well as Gucci bags. 
  4. You can mix and match the pieces to create personalized items. I love finding older items and refurbishing them with a little paint and creativity. Old window panes can easily be turned into picture frames. The stools I mentioned that I bought are brand new, with a little sanding and paint. Another idea is to find plates and candleholders and turn them into serving plates. The options are endless as you never know what you’ll find. 
  5. Purchasing second-hand is also environmentally friendly. Hundreds of items, that still have life in them, are thrown into landfills each year. New clothes and other items use large amounts of energy and resources, and in return create massive amounts of pollution. Then, add in the increased demand for brand new items, causing the increase in new products and the environmental impact is disastrous. When a person buys second-hand, they are keeping items out of the landfills, oceans, and other natural areas longer, thus helping the environment.  Also, thrift store items usually come in less packaging, creating less pollution. 
  6. In addition to being eco-friendly, thrifting assists the economy. Buying second-hand means your money is going into a local business and/or contributing towards a good cause, rather than going into the pockets of a big-box store. 
  7. Items can come already pre-assembled. Toys that usually come in a thousand little pieces can get really old to put together, as well as needing five different tools to set up a piece of furniture. When products come already assembled, as they do in a thrift store, you will not only save money, but time. 

Thrifting and buying second-hand items is a thrill and a challenge. You are able to be creative, while encouraging others to do the same. If you haven’t given thrifting a chance, what are you waiting for? Obviously, the pros outweigh the cons and these are just a few of the many, many benefits of thrifting and buying second-hand offers.


Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Stay up to date with our events and get exclusive article content right to your inbox!

Latest Stories

Other Featured Articles


All Article in Current Issue

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Stay up to date with our events and get exclusive article content right to your inbox!