For several years now, purchasing second-hand items has been an integral part of my behavior. In reality, I either search for used items or opt for new but durable, locally-made products.
BUYING USED CLOTHES
When my children were born, I bought a lot from thrift stores, unable to justify buying new at full price for clothes they would outgrow in three months. However, as they grew, the choices in thrift stores seemed to diminish. Today, they wear both used clothes and locally-made creations, including many adaptive clothing items.
Personally, I love supporting my fellow seamstresses or sewing my own pieces. Thus, I rarely shop for clothes in thrift stores, but at least, I wear quality, durable, and locally-made garments!
Nevertheless, I find thrift stores extremely convenient!
THRIFT STORE TO THE RESCUE
This summer, during a trip to Lac Saint-Jean, for some reason, I packed the children's bags as if we were going on vacation in the south—no coats, no long pants, no long sleeves. On-site, the temperature ranged from 10 to 14 degrees.
Instead of buying new emergency clothes at full price from Rossy, I went to the only thrift store in town and surprisingly found everything we needed! A good dozen pieces for $40.
FINDING WHAT WE'RE LOOKING FOR IN THRIFT STORES
In November, my daughter needed a new winter coat urgently (last year's was obviously too small), and we needed one quickly because it was getting really cold. I thought it might be challenging to find a used coat quickly, especially with a picky child who wanted a pink coat with blue and purple 🙄
I was heading to Costco, thinking I might find a coat there and decided to stop at Renaissance thrift store on the way.
It's crazy because there was ONE winter coat in her size, and it was exactly pink, blue, and purple.
This adventure restored my faith in used items; you just have no idea!! Even when there's doubt that you won't find what you're looking for, it's fascinating how sometimes you can find exactly what you need!
With this "new" faith, I quickly found on Marketplace: winter boots for my two children, snow pants, and a new coat for my son. You know, when there's a will, there's a way...!
This reminds me of another used purchase anecdote:
BUYING 3 STROLLERS IN 4 YEARS
Let's go back a few years...
For our first child, we bought our dream stroller on Kijiji! Six months later, as we were going to Europe for a week, we found it wasn't practical at all for this trip... so we sold it and found another one, our dream stroller for that context, on Kijiji. A year later, we needed a double stroller for the arrival of our second child! So we sold the travel stroller and found a new dream stroller, again on Kijiji.
We've never had a new stroller in our lives. In fact, it's a bit like we rented strollers for 4 years... And the beautiful thing is that we always had the stroller of our dreams despite everything, according to the context of life we were in.
USED CHRISTMAS GIFTS
The number of things we've bought used! Even for Christmas gifts.
Mega blocks! Best used purchase; sometimes they even come in a big bin! We even found a mega block table that had been given as a Christmas gift to the children.
Honestly, kids don't see that a gift is used. It's a gift, and it's all they want in the world. How does the fact that it belonged to someone else before change anything in their lives?
Years ago, my daughter wanted a cotton candy machine for Christmas. No way I was buying that new! In fact, it was either used or no cotton candy machine at all. I found a used one. Plus, it came with enough powder to make cotton candy for 5 years!
It's the kind of purchase where I thought: Is it really necessary? No. Will it make my daughter happy? Yes. Can I sell it when we're no longer interested in making cotton candy? Yes, absolutely! So why not have it for a few years and sell it later? It's a bit like I rented this cotton candy machine. If it breaks, well, it will still have cost me less in the end, and it will have completed its life cycle.
Another Christmas, we bought a Lego Harry Potter castle on Marketplace for my son. Another Christmas, it was a full collection of LOL Surprise dolls AND the camping car for a very interesting price. Every time, the kids were screaming of joy.
Buying used is not only beneficial from an ecological perspective, but clearly, it also has a significant economic advantage!
Above all, it brings a certain pride, a sense of accomplishment, and sometimes, when you make discoveries or come across the exact item you were looking for, it's as if all the planets align for you, and you feel like you've found a TREASURE!