Thursday, May 3, 2012

Secondary markets: Save money, save space.

Maybe someone else will want this.

Take advantage of the secondary market. If you buy new stuff it's used once you get it home anyway. Buying used will build community connections and give someone their space back, without needing to use the resources to have something new manufactured.
By selling your stuff you can recoup space in your house, pocket some money, and help someone who's looking for just the thing you want to be rid of. If one man's trash is another man's treasure we just need to connect the dots.
People often look at used for houses and cars, but it can work for smaller items too. 
New is easy, shiny and expensive. It typically means fresh materials The secondary market takes a little more energy, but has payoffs beyond simply buying less expensive stuff.
Cheap acquisition: The things you buy in the secondary market are cheaper, sometimes significantly so, than buying something new from the store. If someone's selling something, they're usually eager to part with it and reclaim the space. Even though it's probably going for below market value it's still a win-win.
All that clutter carries a mental burden, and some of that stuff is certainly under-utilized, and you could part with it and reclaim the space. Even if you're not on the short list for an episode of 'Hoarders' you could probably do with less clutter.
If you don't need it, you don't have to store it. You can sell it instead.
Open space is valuable. Sometimes empty space is worth more than the thing you have filling it. There was a story about someone who parked his vehicle in airport parking, flew across the country, rented a car for a week there, then returned, discovering that parking his car cost more than the rental car did. The empty space where you could put a car was worth more than the use of a car.
There are social and environmental benefits of the secondary market too.
Buying and selling within the community is one way to build the social connections that help a community thrive. The trust, the spirit of helping out your neighbours makes life a little better within the community.
Environmentally, getting the benefit of someone's gently used couch, baby clothes, decorations or what have you means that new ones don't need to be manufactured to fill that need. That's less resources harvested to provide the same benefit.
Community resources like the Habitat for Humanity Restore, thrift stores, Freecycle, for sale or want-ads in the classifieds, or electronic listings like Facebook groups or Kijiji can facilitate these secondary market transactions.
If you need it, why not get it used? If it's in your way, why not sell it to someone who wants it?
You might also like:


  1. Thanks for stopping by. - p.s. The pink bag is already sold.