You never know what you’re going to find. Every time I visit a thrift shop or browse Craigslist, I stumble across something that stirs my imagination. Take the regulation sized bowling pin ashtray I saw last week. Imagine the room that was in! There had to be bowling trophies on display, right? And dark 70’s paneling? And a home-built bar?
Buying second hand is the most environmentally friendly way to shop. There is no manufacturing cost, not even the cost to recycle. No cargo ship or train had to bring that item from China to you. You’re doing the earth a favor. You might also be putting a child laborer out of work.
Old Fashioned Thrift.
I like saving money. At thrift shops, I buy labels from shops I’d never enter because they are out of my budget. Also, it’s convenient to try on clothes from a dozen stores, and discover ones that fit and ones that don’t. Now, I know which stores to avoid if I find myself at a mall (which has not happened yet this year).
Patience is a virtue, and virtue is its own reward, right? Yes, but it certainly is nice when patience pays off in a more tangible way. I could have gone to Target and bought a reproduction Cosco Step Stool, or I could have bought an original on ebay or etsy for $100, but after a year stalking Craigslist, I found a vintage Stylair for only $20. The rust is vintage, too.
Most thrift shops are fundraisers (or job training) for charities. By shopping there, you are supporting a worthy cause. If you don’t consider it worthy, you don’t have to shop there.
Whether it is furniture from an earlier generation, or fashion from a prior season, shopping second hand means you and your home do not look like the rest of the neighborhood. Tired of the new neutral already? Go to a thrift store; they still have black … or brown … or navy … or white … or beige. Are you tired of your square plates now that all your friends have them, but afraid you’ll be jumping from one trend to another if you replace them at CB2? You’re right; you will be.
I am not attached to my decor. I get tired of looking at the same old things. When I’m buying items second hand, I have no qualms about changing them out as often as I please. If I buy a table on Craiglist and sell it a couple years later for half what I paid, I’m happy. It’s like renting furniture, but cheaper. Also, these are not my family’s heirlooms. I might be reluctant to paint my grandmother’s table, but I have no reservations about painting your grandmother’s desk.