Buying second-hand

Posted by: Anonymous

19th May 2022 10:15am

We recently asked Cafestudy members about their attitudes towards buying second-hand products.

It would seem there are a whole range of reasons why Cafestudy members are mostly extremely positive towards this.

Apart from the fairly obvious reason of saving money, one of the main motivations is around helping the environment by buying second-hand as a great way of reducing waste and making do with products that are already available rather than buying new.

When buying second-hand, far from being inferior, Cafestudy members often considered second-hand products such as furniture are often better quality than new products.

Buying second-hand products are also viewed as being more unique in many ways. Clothes have different styles. Old vinyl, antiques, fashion items and rare items can be found in second-hand stores and online through Ebay, Facebook Marketplace and Gumtree. Cafestudy members buying products this way often felt empowered on finding bargains and getting great value for their money - as well as helping the environment. It's a win win.

Of course buying products through second-hand stores such as Vinnies also comes with the added incentive of supporting different charitable causes.

If you haven’t thought of second-hand products then maybe you should in future. Cafestudy members recommend rather than searching for a specific product, just go into a store and buy on impulse. Who knows what you could find once you start looking.

Top tips

There are many different types of products available second-hand but here are some top tips from Cafestudy members on some different products to get you thinking:


"I always buy second hand tickets on viagogo the evening of the event, they are dirt cheap, they always work (despite the media always saying all the tickets are fake) and I have scored bargains and great seats! I never pay full price for concerts anymore!"


"I particularly look for second hand tools as quality tools are very expensive and I often want a tool for a specific project so it doesn't matter if the tool is well worn, as long as it still works good and often they still work better than a brand new cheap tool. Quite often the seller will include some of the accessories for free as well."


"If I buy secondhand from Gumtree or op shops or Facebook marketplace, I can get much sturdier items - real wood instead of chipboard, especially - than I could for the same price at Kmart or Ikea. Real varnished wood doesn't warp, disintegrate or swell etc from moisture / heat anywhere near as rapidly as chipboard /mdf etc. which seems to almost have disposability in-built. But I'd rather buy good wooden furniture secondhand."


"Cars are my favourite thing to purchase second-hand. They have character, are easy to fix and best of all I am a girl and talking mechanics with the boys is always fun. We have had mechanics in the family for years so I am totally familiar with this area. When you learn how to fix things yourself, anything at all the money you save will blow you away."


"I update my computer every 2 to 3 years. I find the gamers update their new equipment every 2 years or so and I purchase from them, saves me heaps of money and its top quality. Other electronic equipment like mobile phones, laptops and tablets seem to have the same thing happening with people always updating their equipment. So look for bargains."


"I've found beautiful imported glassware worth hundreds for a few dollars. I have furnished my home with many wonderful pieces and saved thousands in the process. It's my simple way of helping to recycle goods in a throwaway world, and live frugally."

Office furniture

"In my home office, I have a second-hand wooden desk with three drawers ($25), second-hand standing fan ($5), second-hand multi-plug board ($2), second-hand office chair, sideboard and bookshelf (all free). Sometimes while scouring for sweet deals, you can find freebies too and make significant savings. It's very satisfying. My cheap thrills!"

Hope this inspires you to consider second-hand products and thanks to Cafestudy members for all your inspirational feedback!

Comments 26

  • 15th Jan 2024 10:34pm

I love shopping for pre loved, used items. For myself and my kids. Always find great items and at such affordable prices. Its awesome. Saves money. Can't go wrong.

  • 19th Nov 2023 12:56pm

Honestly, I find it so much more enjoyable to buy second hand items. It’s not even for a moral cause or something, I just feel more happy when I purchase something that I can imagine it was someone else’s, I can imagine the story behind it, and also I genuinely like vintage things a lot more than new modern things. Adding to it, second hand shopping is a way of fighting against the consumerism that is causing so much waste and trouble for the planet. It’s a win win.

  • 13th Oct 2023 09:59pm

people nowadays, tend to get rid of very usable items just to keep up with the "modern" trend, regardless of the efficiency, usefulness and ability of "outdated" items to perform as required. therefore, used item are as reliable, effective and functional as a lot of "modern" items. cheaper and reliable.

  • 19th Sep 2023 07:13pm

"One mans junk is another mans treasure" whether it's second hand or pre loved theres always a bargain or gem to find around the corner. From opshops to curbside pickups if you are creative enough and can see potential in an item why not. I just love restoring old furniture to it's former glory and giving it a new life. Opshops offer great variety of preloved items. Hey! You may even find your next favourite piece of clothing that was never in your budget outside of that opshop😉

  • 30th Aug 2023 07:50am

I like to shop for second hand pre loved items as find it fun and enjoyable.

  • 3rd May 2023 05:58pm

I always check out the second hand clothes in my area. I also source second hand textiles for my crafts. This adds a fun dimension to my shopping

  • 3rd May 2023 01:14pm

I buy second clothes sometimes because of sustainability and budget reasons.

  • 9th Apr 2023 01:34pm

My Mother was always shopping at op shops all her life , she had some beautiful clothes people used to ask her where she got them all from especially with a husband and 5 children to care for but she used to go all out...with having clothes , shoes , handbag and earrings that all matched ........I myself love Op shops as well ...there is so many lovely clothes , shoes household goods and they are such great prices that people can afford ............the main one I go to donate all the money to the aged care centres I volunteer at the staff are all so lovely and easy to chat with ...........enjoy ...

  • 2nd Mar 2023 06:12pm

I don't mind buying second hand clothes as long as the price is fair and the item is in excellent condition.

  • 14th Jan 2023 11:35pm

Bought my whole " Black Tie " wedding outfit for $$16 from my local Vinnies Store. Ie Black Trousers, White Shirt, Black Shoes and Bow Tie.
Definitely not my scene and i thought of giving the show a miss when i first got the invite. If i wasn't the big note i am , and spruiked up the shop ( i do welfare assistance as a associate member of St Vincent De Paul Society ) no one would have been any the wiser where the gear came from.

  • 9th Dec 2022 02:29am

Buying second hand is both good for your own bank account and for the environment. Win Win!

  • 20th Nov 2022 09:14pm

I like to buy clothes from op shop/secondhand shop. Sometimes we just need outfits for only that occasion. So, there is piece not go on anymore. It’s wasted! That’s why we can buy secondhand clothes and save money if just use 1-2 times or not use anymore

  • 14th Sep 2022 03:17pm

My 89 year old Mum & myself go 'op' shopping every week. Neither of us purchase new clothing very often at all. I love that it saves money and that it also helps the environment as there is so much clothing going into landfill all the time :)

  • 21st Aug 2022 06:59am

A good second hand products are better for the environment and I love to buy many items secondhand especially clothing.

  • 14th Jul 2022 06:38pm

Society is slowly realising that we have to get better at managing resources. While some people stubbornly insist that they "need' to buy new, i think many people realise this greedy attitude is not sustainable

  • 15th Jun 2022 12:04pm

I love second hand . As I spent done years in Europe , ‘Brocante’ is very much the thing in France and not frowned upon at all. It’s so very important to recycle in our lives and with a bit of creativity , anything can work well through both a functional and design perspective.

  • 11th Jun 2022 02:29pm

I’m bargain hunter all my life ,but you have know when bargain is bargain,sometimes you pay more for old stuff than a new one,ju visit some opshops

  • 10th Jun 2022 06:17pm

I love finding bargains on Facebook Marketplace. Especially as I make terrariums, I have bought terrarium bottles at such a great price. Someone else’s trash is someone’s treasure. Also I have bought second hand mobile phones off EBay. I try to update our own phones every couple of years and then sell our old ones. Never had a problem.

  • 10th Jun 2022 02:26pm

The feedback just confirms my thoughts, second hand works for most items, just you have to be careful with electrical and mechanical products.

  • 9th Jun 2022 07:37pm

I don’t feel comfortable in second hand clothes

  • 9th Jun 2022 07:37pm

I never feel comfortable in other people’s clothes

  • 9th Jun 2022 04:41pm

All for it as long as it's worth it and I'm not buying someone else's problems. I'm not keen on second hand shoes, phones or computers but most other things I will at least research 2H before buying new. Many op shops are starting to charge too much for inferior clothes that aren't worth their asking. The franchises are the worst for this. I like the smaller lesser known local shops where you rummage and their prices are fair.

  • 9th Jun 2022 11:20am

I try to look at Marketplace or gum tree first before buying new items. Also with Covid it has slowed my spending as I realised I don't need as much!

  • 7th Jun 2022 04:24pm

Materials: quite often i have a project i am doing around the house and will check facebook market place, gumtree and ziilch to see if there are any free or cheap materials i can use for a project. An example of this is i got some free broken aluminium roller shutters, dismantled them and turned them into sturdy horizontal window shades for our north facing windows - they look great and keep out the direct sunlight in summer and much stronger than polycarbonate alternatives for sale on ebay or at Bunnings.

  • 1st Jun 2022 10:52am

I have bought musical instruments and gear second hand on gumtree, otherwise I buy new for the warranty and knowing things work and will have a long life, therefore be value for money for me.

  • 26th May 2022 04:57pm

Buying second hand even in the op shop can sometimes be almost as expensive as buying new. I have my favourite op shops I check out. It's hard because I am tall and have really long arms and legs. I found some lovely 100% cotton blouses for my Mum who had chronic dermatitis in a charity "garage" sale which they had regularly. They probably still do but I live the opposite of town now and can't drive. I bought a great entertainment unit through Facebook Messenger that had been custom built. The people were renovating and selling the furniture they removed. We looked some oldish, some of them damaged toys at a garage sale once and they were charging practically the same as brand new that didn't need repairing and in some cases parts replacing. By the time we bought the parts to do repairs it was more expensive than new.