The environmental argument for buying anything used is strong. An impressive amount of resources and energy go into the shipping and manufacture of new items. Buying a previously owned item, be it a house, car, furniture, clothing, or household item, avoids the hefty environmental cost of manufacturing and production. It also minimizes the distance an item travels, since most sales are local – you aren’t having materials shipped internationally to produce an item that is then shipped from a factory in Asia to a distributor in the US to a store near you or directly to your doorstep.
Buying second-hand items also saves money. Depending on what you are looking for, you generally save 30-80% off the new sticker price.
- Because items cost less, we can afford significantly nicer furniture than we would buy new – solid wood versus particle board, for example.
- Many craigslist sellers have multiple items on offer, and will throw in freebies or reduce prices if you come to remove a dresser from their home before they move.
- It goes full circle – you can re-sell your used furniture on craigslist, often for a similar price. This is really handy if you want to change your look, upgrade to a larger kitchen table, etc.
- When you move, craigslist buyers come to you and take things away that you don’t want. They even give you money for this service.
- There is a sense of adventure that does not exist in a store. Finding the perfect item & negotiating a good price is surprisingly fulfilling.
- The possibilities are endless. During my furniture search over the past month I’ve seen a children’s dresser with a perfect meter-high depiction of the Frozen characters on it, vintage Coca-Cola products, a full set of lime green kitchen cabinets, and more.
- The opportunities are endless. Say you wanted all of your furniture to be white or turquoise. I learned a handy set of tricks over the past few weeks to make exactly that happen.
Disclaimer – always be wise with craigslist rendezvous. Try to go as a pair during daytime hours. Don’t invite buyers into your home – have items ready to go by the door for them.
Second disclaimer – I am willing to buy almost everything second hand – even Joey’s diapers. But I do draw the line at mattresses. We elect to purchase those new as they harbor a variety of yucky things.
Third disclaimer – I also frequent consignment and thrift stores, but I prefer craigslist when I’m looking for specific items (set of six wooden chairs, tile top table, etc) since you have so many more choices.