Shopping Saturday: Second-Hand Shopping

Earlier this week we talked about spring cleaning, and giving away the excess stuff in our houses. We shared a sampling of the various charities, organizations, and businesses to which you can donate or sell items for which you no longer have a use.

Today the focus is on the other end of this, second-hand shopping. There are several reasons, both environmental and economic, to consider buying gently-used items rather than brand new.

First, buying used items contributes to a green lifestyle by reducing waste and reusing items that would otherwise end up in landfills. Every year enormous amounts of energy, water, plastic and other materials are used to make new clothes, consumer goods, and the packaging to contain them. When you purchase a second-hand item in place of a new item, you reduce your environmental impact.

Don’t forget to bring your reusable shopping bag!

Secondly, second-hand shopping can save you money. Most of the time second-hand items are available for a fraction of the price of new clothes or furniture. If you are buying from a small locally-owned business, that money goes back into the local economy, or to a great charity if it’s a shop like Goodwill or the Salvation Army.

Finally, for the fashion-conscious, shopping second-hand shops provides you with a variety of unique choices. You can find sporty, chic, or girly clothes that none of your friends are going to have. The same is true of furniture and other home decorations. Shopping this way is adventurous and allows you to be creative and resourceful. Second-hand shops can truly make your style yours!

And of course, we can’t forget books! In Mobile, be sure to check out Bienville Books on Dauphin St.

So how can you find a good deal when buying secondhand?

Here is a list of items that are best to buy used. It includes things like furniture, tools, and of course clothes! This way you are saving money and helping the environment.

Also, keep a running list in a small notebook or on your cellphone of the items you are looking for. Whether it’s lampshades, picture frames, dress shoes, or Nancy Drew books,  if you have a goal in mind when you walk into a second-hand store, you won’t be as overwhelmed and you’ll have a better chance of finding what you’re looking for and not spending money on things you don’t really need.

You can also consult this guide for further advice about second-hand shopping:

Tips for Thrift Shopping

Now as far as where to shop, there are countless stores and shops out there just waiting for you! Here are a few in Mobile, reply in comments about other stores around Mobile Bay that you love to shop. And if you’re not form the coast, let us know where you shop where you live!

Seconds on Sage

Penelope’s Closet


Salvation Army

Divine Consign (women’s clothes)

Divine Consignment (furniture and home decorations)

Bienville Books