Op shopping, Facebook marketplace, GumTree, garage sales, markets… All plenty of opportunities to save the planet and grab a bargain! Purchasing second hand reduces the production and waste cycle. Eventually the items will become unusable and end up as waste, but this will have saved an item or a few depending on how many uses each items gets.
Some items I always purchase new: white goods, underwear, socks. That is a line each of us need to draw in the sand, but with bit of TLC the former grime and questionability of not knowing where an item has been, can be removed. Hot water and soap can clean most things, and a trip to the washing machine or soak before wearing will ensure everything is sanitary.
- Shop a size below and above your usual, but make sure you can try things on before purchasing and be honest with yourself! One of my favourite pieces of clothing is white denim jacket that is a size 8. Normally I’m a 10, but it fits my arms and the bottom sits closer to my waist which cuts my figure attractively.
- Look in unusual sections e.g. if you’re a female look in the male section. I didn’t know about this tip until just recently and I’m eager to try it while on my endless quest of looking for pants that aren’t jeans!
- Don’t shy away from repairing items, but be honest about your capabilities and what you are willing to do. I purchased a jumper and didn’t release their were holes in the pockets, but I sewed them up! However, I wanted to shorten and hem a skirt, but couldn’t get it straight and have left it sitting on my sewing desk.
- If you have something specific in mind you will need to have some patience, but the cost savings are excellent! We bought most of our furniture online, but it took about a year of curating. Some items we found straight away, but others like bar stools and a bed took a little longer.
- Try not to impulse buy. Look regularly to help speed up the above point, but only purchase things you really want or need. But don’t be afraid to resell if something isn’t what you want down the track!
- Think about how much you’d be happy to spend if an item doesn’t work as planned/advertised. We bought a BBQ off Facebook for $30 and it was a real steal for the price. Even if it doesn’t end up working I’m happy to waste the money for the chance to get the item cheaply.
- Resell your own items or donating. I always try to resell first because MONIES, but then donate to op shops/shelters after that. Other people may love your items and charities will appreciate the money.
I wish I had of gone to the op shop more for glory box items. We definitely shopped second hand on Facebook for all our furniture (I don’t think any of it is brand new), but when gathering kitchen items in my teenage years I didn’t think of looking at the op shop. Some of the crockery and plates are really gorgeous.
I also love the impact op shopping has on my wallet. When I started to really enjoy clothing therapy I couldn’t spend much money, therefore rediscovering op shops in the past year has been wonderful. I also find my body shape is harder to dress for and op shopping is a great way to find unique items to build a closet I love.
What are you tips on buying second hand?