Get Better Than “Black Friday” Prices All Year Long

Posted on November 21, 2012

It’s that time of year again and retailers are upping their advertising for “Black Friday” deals for day after Thanksgiving shoppers.  Wouldn’t it be nice to get better than “Black Friday” prices all year long, without long lines, and with guaranteed low prices without spending the night in a cold parking lot?

Here’s an easy, but often overlooked way to do just that: go secondhand!  (Did you notice we didn’t say “buy secondhand.”  One of the many advantages of going secondhand is that it doesn’t always require money.  Many used items are given or swapped, rather than sold for cash)

Perks beyond the pricetag:

  • Support your local economy: Consignment stores and pawn shops take “buying local” to a deeper level since the product “suppliers” are people who live in the area.  Going to locally owned consignment and pawn shops supports local businesses and your consigning and/or pawning neighbors.
  • Reduce transportation emissions:  consignment stores, pawn shops, antique stores, garage sales, classified ads, and thrift stores sell used goods from the local community.  New items often travel across the globe to store shelves
  • Reduce packaging waste:  Take a look at the stuff around your house and think about the shrink wrap, padding, tags, tape, glue, twist ties, advertising, etc. that came with it.  Secondhand goods use much less packaging and most of that packaging is the packaging it originally came with.
  • Reduce other waste:  The secondhand market would not exist without customers.  If none of us used secondhand goods, then who would use all of our stuff when we were done with it?  Who would buy all of the used stuff at charity run thrift stores or swoop up all of the items circulating on freecycle?  Giving away or selling stuff you’re done with is only part of the equation.  Keeping used goods out of landfills by consuming them yourself is another important component.


Here are some resources for finding used items.  Those without links can be googled with your city name to find resources near you:

  • Thrift Stores (most of these support charity, for an added bonus)
  • Garage Sales
  • Pawn Shops
  • Consignment Shops or Events
  • Antique Stores
  • Swaps (bring stuff you’re done with, take what you need/want)
  • Classified Ads in Your Local Newspaper (in print or on their website)
  • Online Classified Ads on Websites Like Craigslist
  • Freecycle (get items that local freecyclers are giving away and post items that you wish to give away, no strings attached)
  • Ask Around (Post on your facebook page or send out an email.  Someone you know may have the item gathering dust and taking up space in their house)

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