Buying used versus new

Story by Tuesday Wustrack

It feels great buying brand new things, doesn’t it? I love trying on new cute clothes in the dressing rooms, throwing on and off different styles and colors of jeans, tops, dresses and shoes. I love buying a brand new book and cracking it open for the first time.

And yet, somehow it always makes me feel a little guilty because I don’t really need those new things. The people who do need them are not usually going on shopping sprees for the fun of it. So I’m making a conscious effort to stop buying new items and switch over to buying used. And you should too.

America is a consumer nation—a lot people want the next best thing. They want to buy it brand new. And they want to buy it now. But where do all of the old clothes, music, books and household items go when people move onto the newer things?

Some just throw everything in the garbage, which then ends up in landfills. This is so baffling and frustrating to me, not only because it negatively affects our already deteriorating environment but it is also wasting less expensive goods that people can afford.

In fact, Goodwill gets more than two billion pounds of items every year, according to its website. That’s two billion fewer pounds of clothing and household goods that go into landfills. That is a huge positive impact on the environment! If more people bought used items, our world and the people in it would benefit even more.

There are tons of used stores, in which you can purchase perfectly good items. Some in the Eau Claire area include Goodwill and Savers. I’ve gotten a lot of household items and books from Savers, and I bought clothes from Goodwill to make my Halloween costume this year.

While donated clothes might not be the most trendy, there are other resale shops around that are in the business for that reason. Cherry Pickers has some cute options. I’ve seen a lot of American Eagle, Abercrombie & Fitch and Buckle clothes there.

There are also a lot of websites where you can get cheaper, used items, like Craigslist, where you can also buy larger items like furniture for your house. This is a great option for college students who can’t afford to buy brand new furniture.

My favorite items to buy used are books and DVDS. Amazon and Better World Books are fantastic websites to purchase used items. I have never had any trouble finding any school books on those websites, and it’s cheaper than buying them new. I can’t tell you how many books I got for less than $1. They’re all like-new quality as well.

So after all that, I really can’t understand why anyone wouldn’t want to buy used goods. While there are certainly things you may want to stick to buying new, I urge you to at least look into the used items first before automatically buying new. You will be helping the environment by not being wasteful, and you can feel good about doing it.