Unlike some of the clothing you may find at a second-hand shop, the practice of thrifting itself never goes out of style. The long-lasting tradition of turning unwanted items into precious hidden gems lives on and thrives, benefitting buyers, sellers, donators, and often the community at large.
Here’s everything you need to know about the art of thrifting, so you can start discovering awesome finds and incredible deals next time you go thrift shopping.
What’s the Big Deal With Thrifting?
The purpose of thrifting for one person may not align with why someone else does it. But, of course, this outcome seems natural when you take a hobby that combines saving money, hunting for hidden treasures, and a sustainable effort to support local communities.
There are several great benefits that make thrift shopping awesome. Let’s take a look at some of the biggest.
The Economics of Thrifting
One of the biggest reasons thrifting remains such a popular way to shop is the financial side of it. Buying second-hand is a terrific way to save money and find higher quality unique items in the process.
Think about it: when someone is good at spending their money wisely, we literally call them thrifty!
Thrifted goods tend to have lower price tags than their still-in-packaging counterparts, but it’s not just that. They are also often of a higher quality than newer mass-market retail products. As a result, browsing your local thrift shop is a great way to find top name-brand items at a bargain basement price.
Second-hand goods have typically lost much of their marketability but little of their underlying value. For example, consider how a new car depreciates significantly the moment the first owner drives it off the lot. Is a car really worth 20% less after someone has driven it for a day, or do we sometimes give unreasonable value to the arbitrary quality of newness? That is the power of thrifting.
One final note, when you donate to a resale store, your donation is usually tax deductible. So it’s possible for all parties to save some money through thrifting.
The Psychology of Thrifting
As well as the financial reasons that thrifting makes sense, it also has some psychological benefits that buying new goods doesn’t.
Shopping is often an exploratory activity, a hunt for the eclectic and exciting. While we sometimes shop for a specific thing to meet a need, we often don’t know what we’re looking for until we find it. Thrifting is a great way to engage this hunt and find incredibly storied and unique purchases.
Many consumer goods these days are made to be purchased, used briefly, and then thrown in a landfill. This throwaway culture keeps us trapped on the hedonic treadmill and is a poor use of our planet’s resources. Thrifting gives new life to goods that have already fulfilled their service elsewhere. This sustainable approach to limiting consumer waste is highly emotionally rewarding to many thrifters.
Thrifting also lacks some of the psychological downsides of shopping new, such as excessive guilt or buyer’s remorse. Freedom from these uncomfortable feelings is often an emotional reward all its own.
Getting Nifty and Thrifty
Thrifting may not be for everyone, but it certainly has something to offer to anyone willing to try it. There are as many ways to thrift as there are types of products you can find.
Whether you’re looking to save money on family and household essentials, find gently used hidden treasures, or engage with your community in a way that supports various charities, thrifting is a great direction to go.