HOW TO: Second Hand

For most of us, when we need something, our minds automatically say, “Let’s get brand new!” The truth is, there can be a lot more worth and fun shopping second hand, whether it be for everyday-use items or specialty items. I was inspired to write this post by my boyfriend and his circle of friends who regularly trade and sell unwanted hobby supplies in order to purchase wanted hobby supplies. This is, of course, how he justifies spending the money to me, but the strategy has merits! I recently tried it on for size when I decided I wanted to upgrade my camera. I was in a tough spot because my camera was a GOOD camera, but I wanted to push myself to take more creative photographs, which my current camera was not capable of. So, I found a professional grade camera second hand, and turned around to sell my entry-level camera to help pay the cost. Stoked!

This only propelled me further to start thinking about the things I shouldn’t spend money on buying brand new. For instance:

  • Dishes. They aren’t like buying shoes second hand — you can properly clean if not sterilize dishes. Heading to the thrift or antique store, you can score cool mismatched dishware from all kinds of eras and quite often find whole sets as well.

  • Baskets and other containers. Sometimes it is easy to overlook cool baskets and containers at thrift shops because they are currently being used by the shop itself to display other goods. Most likely display containers are also for sale and a whole lot cheaper than buying brand new, whether it be to organize a room or to put together a gift basket.

  • Books. Unless you have to have the latest poplit, finding classics or even poplit from the past decade is worth picking up at a secondhand bookstore. Save more by selling your read or unwanted novels back to the very same shop.


  • Collectibles. Many of us were collectors as children or young adults, and now we have quite a collection that we no longer have space for. Sell those collectibles and use the money to fund your current passion.

  • Appliances/Tools/Furniture. Don’t hang onto something for that “what-if.” If you no longer have use for an appliance, a tool, or if a piece of furniture no longer suits your taste or doesn’t fit into your space, sell it to someone who does have a use for it and use the money for something you do need. Moving into an apartment without a fridge, don’t get crazy and blow your savings on a new fridge that may or may not be needed in your next home. Pop onto Craigslist and get your appliances secondhand.

For me, moving forward I’ve decided to get my camera parts secondhand when I can with the exception of perhaps memory cards and of course cleaning equipment. I’m actually very excited about turning this new leaf. Not only does it make economical sense to purchase second hand when I can, it helps keep waste down. What Bougie doesn’t care about that?