More and more people are discovering the benefits of buying second-hand items. Whether it is the thrill of the hunt or more practical reasons, there are clear benefits to buying gently used items. As a life long DIY’er, I have always appreciated upcycling items and I am excited that more people are starting to catch on! Today I am sharing 7 reasons why people are starting to buy vintage and gently used items.
*To learn more about where you can find second-hand items, check out my list of the best places to buy vintage!
7 Reasons Why You Should Buy Vintage
1 | It’s Good for the Planet
By turning someone else’s trash into your treasure, you can keep more items out of our landfills. While some items can be harder to find than others, there are so many great gently used items for sale! Once I became aware of these great deals, I started to notice them more frequently. Even items that are left on the curb for free started to pop out when driving around town. I found this fantastic iron arbor on the side of the road that is perfect in my English garden.
2 | Better Quality for Less
You can often find gently used items for a fraction of the price if it was purchased brand new. It is very easy to find quality furniture for the same price (or less) as a mass-produced item built today. Don’t get me wrong, I am not against items that are mass-produced or made out of particleboard. You can also find lots of these items at thrift stores for a fraction of the price! But there are furniture pieces that I want to withstand many years and prefer that it be made of solid wood.
For example, when I renovated our dining room, I really wanted a credenza made of solid wood. I found lots of products that fit my needs at big box stores, but I was concerned that the material would not hold up after 10+ years. I found this gently used, solid wood credenza for half the price of brand new pieces made of particleboard. The original piece was not my style, so I painted it black and it looks like new! I am confident that this will last for years.
3 | Unique, One-of-a-kind Style
I recently began visiting estate sales and all of the items in the homes were accumulated over years and years. This is a place where you can find unique items that are not always sold in bulk at the local store. I love finding unusual pieces that can become a talking piece when people come over to visit. I found this lamp and woman’s bust at the home of a Marie Antoinette historian and it was a really fun and memorable experience to attend this estate sale.
4 | Save money
Any gently used item will not be the same price if it was sold brand new. You can even find brand new items that were never taken out of the box being sold at a discount because it is not in the store. You can find these opportunities on Facebook Marketplace quite often.
5 | Less Stress on Ruining Item
This is a great reason to buy second-hand children’s clothes! Kids grow out of their clothes so quickly and stain them so easily! Buying gently used clothing can reduce the stress of kids getting messy! Gently used kid’s clothing stores like Once Upon a Child have great selections of clothing in all sizes. You can also sell your children’s clothes to this store and MAKE money. Local garage sales and friends with older kids are also great places to acquire used clothing.
The same concept applies to furniture and decor. I have been wanting to try this color blocking artwork trend but did not want to ruin a perfectly good piece of art. I found a print for $.50 at an estate sale and decided to try this DIY project. At this price, I felt much more comfortable experimenting without the risk of ruining artwork that was expensive. The same concept can be applied to furniture. Buying second-hand furniture is a great way to reduce the stress of keeping it in perfect condition.
6 | Fun Activity for Friends & Family
Walking through thrift stores or attending estate sales can be really fun! I love calling up a friend and planning a trip to a nearby antique shop or upcoming estate sale. The thrill of the hunt is really fun to experience with a friend. I love seeing what items get the attention of others that I overlooked. This exercise is a great way to think more creatively and in a different way. Shopping with others can inspire you to try a DIY project or start a unique collection.
7 | Nostalgia and Appreciation of History
I am always amazed at how many items can cause a wave of nostalgia for my own past. Like finding glass jars with Looney Toons characters etched on them that my family used as cups growing up. Every second-hand item has a story. Whether it sparks memories from your own life or causes you to ask questions about the past, it is a fun activity that creates interesting conversations.
This baseball print hung in my husband’s childhood bedroom and now hangs on our little boy’s wall. This is a great example of decorating with items that have meaning and a story behind it.
There are many benefits to thrift shopping but it can take more time than buying from bulk stores. The more practice you have, the easier it will become to find items that you need. I would recommend starting small and build from there. The more you practice, the easier it will be to buy vintage and gently used items!