IM GONNA POP SOME TAGS… JUST KIDDING

Stef Wood

My name is Stef and I am a shopaholic. Unfortunately my lifestyle or incomes does not support this so I wanted to write a post about a concept that is near and dear to me. SUSTAINABLE AND RESPONSIBLE CONSUMING!

I first started to visit thrift shops as a way to cure boredom with my siblings.  We affectionately dubbed rummaging through second hand stores as "FUN RUNS." Since then I have become aware that the level of dopamine that is released when you find a treasure is not only addictive, but I started to understand the the importance of purchasing second hand. I also make a habit of artisan shopping and supporting local handmade crafts people. This has become increasingly important during pandemic with immeasurable corporate job loss.

During my career as a thriftee, I have gotten some serious scores which include Authentic Coach items, Hunter boots, the dress for my wedding reception, Timberland's etc…etc..etc...for a fraction of the retail price might I add.

So why do I thrift? I have an ok job, a roof over my head and food on the table don’t I feel bad buying second hand items and buying up items that other less fortunate individuals could be purchasing? Well, while that has most definitely crossed my mind, here are a few reasons why I subscribe to the local, handmade and thrifting lifestyle. So, here goes.

WHY THRIFT?

In short, because Wal-Mart does not need our money.

Because small local artisans do a happy dance when you buy from them.

Because a sale from a struggling family can be the difference between a food bank and groceries that week.

Because there is no tax on second hand porch pickups.

Because it puts money into the hands of local everyday people instead of the CEO of a large company.

Because it prevents discarded unloved items from ending up in a landfill.

Because it reduces your carbon footprint to buy second hand. Think about the environmental cost to produce and transport new items.

I CAN'T THRIFT SHOP STORES ARE CLOSED!

Even during pandemic closures of second hand stores there are still ways to support the thrifting community and small handmade businesses.

* You can like, share and comment on local artisans posts. I must point out that the price that crafts people sell their items for, barely covers materials and their time creating. Next time you don't want to spend premium price on a handmade item, be observant of this fact.

 *You can scope out apps such as Kijiji, Varage, Poshmark, Let Go among so many others. During these times where curbside and porch pickups seem to be the latest and greatest thing we have to be observant of some concerns...mainly safety.

 

SAFETY WHEN ORGANIZING MEETUPS OR PICKUPS!

If possible because of the Covid-19 situation we find ourselves in, try not to meet up in person.

If you are being asked to meet at a private location... DON’T.

If you are asked to come inside the house... DON’T. If it is a large piece of furniture, have the seller move it outside or if it is absolutely necessary to go in the house, bring a friend and tell someone the address of where you will be.

ALWAYS give a pickup address to a friend or family member and let them know what time you are heading over. Connect with them after you have returned home.

If someone is making things difficult for you or asking strange things of you... think twice.

I had a porch pickup scheduled for today and then the lady asked me to come to the back door and knock. I inquired why we could not do a porch pickup. She responded that she did not know “why this is so hard for me” and that she was waiting on me and I better get there quickly.  We had agreed that I would come in the afternoon. This seemed sketchy and I figured a 5 dollar Buddha poster was not worth my time and safety. BLOCKED

 

NEGOTIATING PRICES!

YES YOU CAN! 

WOW awesome you scored something for even cheaper than posted! This is great but keep a few things in mind.

If “price firm” is mentioned in the post, they have already made up their mind. Price is firm…full stop.

Politely negotiate prices if you do not feel that the item is worth what is being asked.

I try to round down to the nearest bill. For example if something is 8 dollars, I will ask if they will take 5.

Try not to low-ball someone (that is asking them to honour a price that is way lower than what the item is worth).

A good way to negotiate is politely.... “Do you think you would you potentially take (X amount) for this?”

If it is a yes... express how appreciative you are, it’s a win win situation. They are getting rid of their item and you feel like you are getting a great deal.

If the answer is no, that is that, do not further push it. You will annoy them and they will likely sell to someone else. Some people are actually looking to sell their items that they paid good money for. Others are just looking to get rid of things that don’t serve them. Nevertheless it never hurts to ask.

A FEW MORE TIPS 

Only purchase things you need or that spark joy. Don’t just purchase something because it was a good price. The joy (and dopamine release) is in the hunt!

Here are some places where I have gotten some serious scores, Value village –various locations, Varage sale app, Plato’s Closet Oshawa and Pickering, Talize Whitby, Second Chance in Bowmanville and It's Worth Repeating in Courtice. Then there is always Marketplace on Facebook.

Keep in mind all of these tips! Stay safe and happy thrifting!