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Second Hand Shopping – How to Buy Used Things

Second Hand Shopping – Definition, Advantages and Where to Buy Second Hand

Want to buy second hand more often in the future or just want to learn more about buying used? Then you are absolutely right here! Quite rightly, second hand goods are currently experiencing their second spring. It is environmentally friendly, cheap, fair and not least, available both on the Internet and locally. The boom is particularly noticeable in the clothing - any:r third fashion consumer:in also buys "second hand instead of "new".₁

In this article I would like to give you everything you need to know about second hand. From the definition, advantages and popular second-hand goods, to the places to buy and sell on the Internet and locally on site. Let's go!

Here you can find a short overview in advance:

  1. Definition
  2. Advantages
  3. Items
  4. Contact points
  5. Closing words

Definition: What does Second Hand actually mean?

Fashion is particularly fond of buying second hand

By second hand (German: aus zweiter Hand) one understands Goods that have already been used by someone but are still in good condition and in working order. Who buys secondhand, buys something used. For example, worn but still as good as new pants, dresses and sweaters, a two-year-old smartphone, an interesting book or a vintage chair.

Advantages: Why buy goods used?

I have already mentioned some of the advantages, but here I would like to explain them in more detail. After all, they provide the fundamental motivation for avoiding buying new and preferring a used item instead.

Conserve resources and protect the environment

No new material consumption, no production, no packaging waste, no pollution. - who buys goods used, already protect the environment and the natural resources of the planet earth.

The Second Hand purchase contributes quite decisively to a more sustainable lifestyle and also promotes acceptance of the resource-conserving Principle of the circular economyas is the case, among others, with stores such as Medimops is exemplified. This makes it even easier for consumers to buy used items more often than new ones.

Save cash

Another and for many quite decisive argument for second-hand goods, is the cost savings. Since they have already been used by other people, the nevertheless used goods in mint conditionsuch as dining tables, clothes, children's toys or even tableware sets, can logically be had at a much lower price. Through sustainable action can therefore save hard cash.

Enjoy individual diversity

Consciously buying second-hand counteracts the production of cheap mass-produced goods in a wonderful way. On the one hand, because you don't even get the temptation to buy a new product - on the other hand, because many second-hand goods (also due to their past) real unique pieces are and stand for individuality.

Value things

Anyone who buys secondhand respects and values both the work of those who were involved in the production, as well as the material, the natural resources and, of course, the product itself. In addition to Respect and appreciation the second-hand purchase is also a real, personal Statement against the Disposable society.

Important Notice: These are some of the most important Advantages of Second Hand in the short version. Behind the link I explain these and other reasons again in detail.

Items: What is suitable for second hand purchase?

Buying things used at the flea market and on the Internet

You can buy pretty much anything used! So it would be much easier to simply list the things that you should rather not buy used. I just do both - because I want you of course also an overview and at the same time some inspiration for what you can get everything so second hand.

What all can you buy used?

So which consumer goods can save money and avoid buying new in a resource-saving way? The following second-hand goods (and matching examples), among others, are particularly popular:

  • Fashion (e.g. worn jeans, evening dresses or knitted sweaters)
  • Books (e.g. novels and non-fiction books read)
  • Household utensils (e.g. used cutting boards, dishes and sieves).
  • Electronics (e.g. second-hand smartphones, computers or sound equipment).
  • Decoration (e.g. curtains or vases)
  • Jewelry (e.g. necklaces or watches)
  • Instruments (e.g. saxophones or guitars)
  • Furniture (e.g. dining tables, wing chairs or cabinets)
  • Office items (e.g. stapler, hole punch or file folder)
  • Toy (e.g. Lego bricks or wooden building blocks)
  • Board games (e.g. Monopoly or Mensch ärgere dich nicht)
  • Vehicles (e.g. classic cars or motorcycles)
  • Game consoles (e.g. PlayStation or Xbox)
  • Movies and music (e.g. on DVD, CD or record)
  • Antiques (e.g. books or artisan furniture > 100 years)

What should you rather not buy used?

As cheap and environmentally friendly second hand goods may be - here are honestly also some things that you should better not buy used, especially for health reasons:

  • Mattresses, which may contain, for example, bed bugs or mold.
  • Bicycle helmetswhich may no longer offer sufficient protection because they have already witnessed an accident.
  • Soft toyswhich children also put in their mouths and are breeding grounds for germs or lice. That's where the word "flea market" takes on a very special meaning 😉 .
  • Shoes, which have already been worn by someone with a different foot shape, which can cause foot malposition.
  • Vacuum cleaner, which contain germs or allergens that accumulate not only in the bag, but on the entire device.

Places to go: Where to buy and sell second-hand goods?

You are inspired and motivated, Buy things you really need used and sell things you no longer need as second hand goods.? Then there are now really countless opportunities - online, as well as offline. Here I would like to introduce you to the best second hand addresses on the Internet, as well as locally in your area.

Second Hand on the Internet

Whether classified ad portals, online stores or platforms for refurbished technology - here are some places to go on the net to get second-hand products and offer them yourself:

  • Medimops: If you are looking for used books, movies, music CDs or console games, you should definitely stop by here.
  • Amazon*: Also at the e-commerce giant you can get used or returned goods (from basically every product category) cheap and save resources.
  • ebay classifiedsOf course, the popular classifieds portal may not be missing among the places to go for used goods on the Internet. Here you can buy and sell almost everything second hand.
  • ABOUT YOU: Under the term "Second Love" you will find at the online clothing store a wide selection of secondhand fashion in mint condition.
  • eBay*: Of course, you can also offer and sell used goods on eBay itself.
  • Backmarket: Used, technical devices, such as smartphones or laptops are checked and professionally renewed by Backmarket. The company is a flagship in the Refurbished-Branch.

Do you know of any other good places to go for used items? Then feel free to share them with me and the community in the comments.

Second hand local on site

These days, most second-hand deals take place online in the digital world - but there are classic ways and means to score a bargain or two in the analog world, too. You should try out the following places:

  • Flea markets and bazaars: Flea markets or bazaars are held at regular intervals in actually every town. Just keep an eye out in the daily newspaper for the dates. Whether on a small scale in the garage or on a large scale in marketplaces and other open spaces - there you are guaranteed to find and sell one or the other highlight.
  • Secondhand store: Of course, there are also countless stores that sell used goods. Often specialized (e.g. in clothing), but often with a much wider range.
  • Auctions: Whether auctions or household liquidations - every now and then you learn about one or the other additional possibility to get used, but as good as new items at reasonable prices away from the usual places to go.
  • Classified ads in daily newspaper: The principle of ebay classifieds also exists in the offline world - classified ads in the daily newspaper. There you can also offer, buy or request used goods.

Second Hand Purchase - Sustainable, fair, cheap, appreciative and absolutely uncomplicated!

Furnishings can also be bought second hand

Buying and selling used offers the ideal opportunity to protect the environment and save or earn money. Second hand is usually worth it. Especially if you're looking for usable items like toys or books that will only be of use to yourself for a limited time anyway.

Just because something is second hand, it does not mean that this item is inferior. On the contrary, often the quality and workmanship of older goods is even higher. And longevity is, after all, the decisive factor when it comes to sustainability.

I hope that I could help you with this article about second hand. Do you have any questions, suggestions or tips? Then I look forward to your comment.

Stay sustainable,

Christoph from CareElite - Plastic-free living

PS: Preferring second hand is a wonderful way to specifically avoid trash. What else you can do to relieve the garbage cans, you can now learn in the detailed blog article about the Zero Waste Lifestyle.

₁ O. Feldforth; Norddeutscher Rundfunk: Gebrauchte Kleidung - Second Hand im Trend (as of 01.05.2022), available at [20.01.2023].

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* Links with asterisks are so-called Affiliate links. If you click on it and buy something, you automatically and actively support my work with, because I get a small share of the sales revenue - and of course the product price does not change. Thank you for your support and best regards, Christoph!

Christoph Schulz

Christoph Schulz

I'm Christoph, an environmental scientist and author - and here at CareElite I'm campaigning against plastic waste in the environment, climate change and all the other major environmental problems of our time. Together with other environmentally conscious bloggers, I want to give you tips & tricks for a naturally healthy, sustainable life as well as your personal development.

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