The way we shop has significantly changed with the development of the Internet and consequently the massive growth of e-commerce.

While many giant retailers that were already successful in the brick and mortar realm have smoothly transitioned to significant profits in the digital world, there are many new business concepts popping up that put a new twist on our traditional concept of shopping. One such business is second hand online shopping. Within this field, there are different business models such as connecting buyer to seller personally, such as eBay, or using a third party, such as a retail website, that connects the buyers and sellers through a middle man.

Second hand shopping used to only take place in the thrift shops, trendy boutiques and massive flea markets that were a major go-to for the ruthless bargain hunter. Today, you can find many other options for those that are looking to get high quality, perhaps designer items, for a low price-tag. Some people have never bought second hand, and are not really interested in it, no matter what the discount. With the continued growth of the second hand e-commerce market, this question should really be thoroughly investigated: why should you become a second hand shopper?

The most obvious reason is, of course, the price. Second hand items will typically be at least half-off the original price, if not more. You can also find some luxury items second hand, that perhaps would not be realistically in your budget before, such as with websites like rebelle, an online retailer that sells second hand high end designer items such as Chanel, Louis Vuitton or Prada. One variable that is a big determinate in the value you are getting for your price is the quality and degree of use. “New” or “Like New” second hand items are the best case scenario, where you are basically paying a fraction of the price for a practically unused item. When you purchase a second hand item in person, you can determine for yourself how much it has been worn or used. When purchasing online always ask for pictures of the actual item, and not a generic product image. Also consider looking through the return policy, in case the product does not appear in the quality as it was described to you during time of purchase. Saving money by purchasing second hand can also go to other uses such as… more clothes maybe?

Another great reason to purchase second hand, which is sometimes overlooked, is that is a truly sustainable practice. “Reduce, reuse, recycle” is absolutely fitting for the second hand shopping model. When you purchase used goods instead of new ones, you will cut down on the manufacturing demands that are required to produce more new clothes. Many times, a lot of man-made goods are simply thrown out and end up in landfills, providing a valuable channel of reuse is a great way to give new life to an item and do your part to save the world! By purchasing second hand you are also creating a two-way flow of recycling. When you purchase second hand, you will be more likely to be inspired to sell your used clothing as well. Next time your girlfriend asks “I love those new shoes, where did you get them?”, you can say you got them at a great new second hand online shop, and perhaps inspire them to look there next time for a new item as well instead of purchasing it new.

Online second hand shopping also has the added benefit of convenience that isn’t present in the traditional second hand shopping model. You can be out on the go, searching through the databases of many different sites within just a few minutes of each other. Although it is fun to sort through clothes at the local shops, digging for a steal, you may not always have time for that. Online shopping can even be done on applications such as depop, a mobile application connecting buyers and sellers. You can buy and sell directly from your pocket!

Lastly (but of course not limited to), a great reason to purchase second hand is the potential to get great vintage, super interesting or totally unique items. You don’t have to rely on the designers “New Spring Collection”, instead there is a constant flow of new merchandise arriving daily on second hand online shopping channels. You can be sure to find something that no one else has, and make it your own. Plus, who doesn’t love the thrill of scoring an absolutely amazing item for a great price??