Buying in Second Hand (online) shops, Car Boot Sales and Flea Markets

Buying Second Hand | ecogreenlove

I love flea markets, I love second hand shops. If I can find something I like, or something I think it would be useful or “pretty” but is cheaper than if I would buy it on a store… I really wouldn’t mind if it was already used, as long as is still functional. I support this market because I think is part of an “eco-lifestyle”. What would be the point of upcycling and reusing if I’m buying more and more stuff from the big companies/stores? To me, I’m supporting the local business but also I’m avoiding the big consumerism. “Somebody’s trash, may be somebody’s treasure”. And if that comes with the “plus” of helping some charity cause, even better!

I found some information (with statistics and all) that may be interesting for you as well. Hope is useful as a guide to a more ecological ethical-shopping lifestyle (is not only about clothes). This infographic I found it on The Note Passer and it pretty much summarises it all, if you want to know the statistics please keep reading:

Shopping Ethically [Guide] | ecogreenlove
“I have challenged myself to shop ethically for clothes, shoes, and accessories from now on. This challenge is forcing me to reevaluate the way that I shop. I created the graphic below to visually represent the questions I ask and the choices I make when I want to buy something. Mapping it out helped me work through the decisions and options available and I hope it will help others too.

First, I ask myself if I really need the item that I want, which slows down my consumerism (a financially positive side-effect). Maybe I already have something similar. Maybe I’m just impulse buying. Depending on what it is, I might just upcycle or borrow. If I determine that I really need the item, I’ll then decide if it needs to be purchased new; getting something that is already in the consumer stream is the best option and there are many places to find second-hand or vintage options: Twice | Ebay | Thrift stores | Vintage stores | Etsy | Yerdle | Craigslist | Swapping parties | Flea markets

If it turns out I can’t find it second-hand or need it to be new, I’ll look for an ethically-made option. This is where all of my research comes in handy. If it turns out I can’t find an ethical version, I at least want to buy a quality item rather than a cheap, throw away version. There is a great movement happening for USA-made, quality, artisan work with companies like Made Collection and Archival. Buying local is another responsible alternative.”

by Elizabeth Stilwell

The second-hand market: what consumers really want to buy

By Mindi Chahal on The Marketing Week

The market for bargains is booming, fuelled by the economy, ethical buying and ease of purchase online. But research shows age and gender both impact on what consumers want from their bargain basements. (see infographic below)

A third of consumers are buying more second-hand items than they were 12 months ago and more women are happy to rummage through vintage or used items than men, according to new research shown exclusively to Marketing Week.

Thirty five per cent of women and 25 per cent of men say they are buying more used products than new compared with 12 months ago, according to a study by Global Market Insite (GMI).

GMI European marketing director Ralph Risk says: “There will always be a strong second-hand market because people are looking at how they maximise their return on income and it’s now such an established marketplace. Sites like eBay and Amazon, where you can buy these products online, are strong in themselves and they will always be looking at how they can maximise sales.”

At least seven in 10 shoppers have purchased second-hand books, and DVDs and CDs are also popular. Women are more likely to buy different types of second-hand items, in particular books, adult clothing, accessories, jewellery and shoes, while men are more likely to buy DVDs and CDs.

Sue Ryder Care has more than 400 charity shops, which raise money to improve health and social care across the UK. Retail director Dana Curry says: “The research is reflective of traditional patterns. Our average shopper is female and apart from buying ladieswear, they buy a proportion of the menswear. We find, as in the research, that men tend to buy CDs and books and we shape the layout of our shops along those lines.”

Those aged 25 to 64 are the most likely to have purchased second-hand books and furniture. Since similar research was carried out in 2009, people are also buying more second-hand CDs and DVDs, an increase of 8 per cent and 7 per cent respectively.

The rise is causing an issue for retailers selling these items new, particularly on the high street.

“Buying CDs and DVDs second-hand is a nice fit because you do not need to test them or try them on. It’s another avenue for customers,” says Risk. “High street retailers have many challenges that they are overcoming in terms of getting people into stores, so when people find the convenience of shopping at home and money-saving in second-hand, it puts a lot of pressure on the high street.”

Risk believes mainstream shops are still important because they offer an experience for customers, as long as retailers ensure they are engaging with the purchase. However, in the current economic climate, people will always look to save money. Indeed, not only are they buying used goods they are also sharing products they already own.

The channels and reasons for choosing used items differ by age group and gender. Charity shops are the most popular offline destination for second-hand shopping. Almost seven in 10 (67 per cent) have bought items in a charity shop and they are more popular with women than men.

The older the respondent, the more likely they are to have purchased used items in charity and second-hand shops.

Ebay is the most popular place to buy second-hand items online. However, older respondents are less likely to purchase online: 26 per cent of those aged 55 to 64 compared with 7 per cent of 18- to 24-year olds. Meanwhile, garage or car boot sales are most popular with almost all age groups.

Of those who buy online, over two-thirds are attracted by being able to shop from home, 54 per cent say it is easy and 54 per cent cite the variety.

“Potentially, the younger age group has more pressure on their resources so they may use online [shopping], where they can have multiple screens open, comparing prices across sites,” says Risk.

When asked to nominate one main reason for shopping second-hand, saving money is mentioned most, particularly by the 18 to 24 age group. Older respondents are more likely to say that buying second-hand enables them to buy something for themselves while supporting a charity – more than half (54 per cent) of those aged 55 to 64 compared with 23 per cent of 18- to 24-year olds. Women are more likely to cite a love of a bargain, supporting charity and greener motivations for buying second-hand.

Risk says: “Going to a charity shop may be perceived as undesirable, but the younger generation are more comfortable with purchasing online, whether it’s for new or second-hand goods.”

Sue Ryder has seen more younger consumers shopping in its stores, as well as younger volunteers, particularly as it increases its vintage and retro stock (see Marketers’ response, page 19). The charity is partnering with the London College of Fashion on a project to raise awareness of the importance of recycling and to install in its students the idea of ‘fashion with a conscience’.

The project is due to start in March 2014. Twenty groups of students from the womenswear design course will create a capsule collection of six outfits, two of which must be made from Sue Ryder donations. The finished garments will be on display in 10 Sue Ryder shops around London during National Recycle Week in June 2014.

“There have been conversations about whether there are too many charity shops coming on the high street, but there is a market for them,” says Risk. “This marries up with some of the motivations of people – they like the fact they are purchasing something and supporting a charity.”

According to the study, the younger the respondent, the more likely their buying habits have changed in the past 12 months. Risk says that the younger age groups are the most fluid and this is reflected in the results of the research.

Only 40 per cent are buying the same mix of new and second-hand compared with a year ago. The biggest age difference is for buying fewer second-hand and more new items: 18- to 24-year olds are much more likely to do so than other age groups.

For consumers aged 25 and above, second-hand buying behaviours are broadly in line with research conducted in 2009 but with two notable differences. Respondents in 2013 are less likely to have purchased a second-hand car compared with those in the 2009 survey, at 30 per cent versus 44 per cent. They are also less likely to have purchased second-hand furniture (non-antique), at 27 per cent versus 37 per cent in 2009.

Risk believes that car purchasing has suffered generally. He says: “It will be interesting, now that the economy is starting to turn around, to see whether car purchasing, both new and second-hand, will start increasing again.”

It is clear from the research that the trend for second-hand buying will continue to rise, particularly when analysing the reasons that people shop for used items. Donating to charity while picking up a bargain looks set to continue to resonate with shoppers.


Looking at the purchasing behaviour of ’second-hand shoppers’ (those who have shopped second hand), the research breaks the data down by what people buy in relation to gender and age group – ranging from 18- to 64-year olds. It reveals differences in the motivations and channels people prefer when buying pre-owned items. GMI questioned 1,000 shoppers about their buying behaviour in the past 12 months.

10 ways to get a great bargain at your local flea market

by Daniela Pain of Canadian Home & Country on Flea Markets Insiders

  1. Put your game face on.
    Don’t act overjoyed when you spot something that you must have. Pick up the item, note the price and then look at something else. Then return to your item and calmly express interest.
  2. Know your price.
    Think about the maximum amount you are willing to pay for the item before you start bargaining. That way you will appear confident and won’t have to trip over your own words when the vendor asks you how much you want to pay.
  3. Turn on the charm.
    It never hurts to be friendly. Engage the seller in some conversation so you can form a relationship. If you appear threatening and cold the vendor won’t want to give you a deal.
  4. Go low.
    You starting price should be half of the price you are actually willing to pay. The vendor will then give you a price, lower than the original. Be prepared to go back and forth a few times. You will soon find a deal that you both like.
  5. But not too low.
    Know the value of the item and when to stop bargaining. You do not want to insult the seller by trying to get the item for less than it’s worth. Also, if you are going to engage the seller in bargaining, they probably think you are going to eventually buy the item. Don’t start haggling if you aren’t serious about making a purchase.
  6. Hesitate.
    If the seller’s final offer it too high, hesitate and look worried. Then tell them that you’re going to look around while you think about it. The vendor will probably start up the bargaining again. Remember, they are also there to make a profit.
  7. Point out flaws.
    Don’t be afraid to use any damages in the item to your advantage. When trying to get the vendor to lower their price, point out that there is a chip in the bowl.
  8. Be patient.
    Go to the seller late in the day. If it’s around closing time the vendor might be willing to give you a better deal so they can make a buck and get rid of some of their goods.
  9. Be polite.
    Always thank the vendor – even offer a handshake. It’s important to build a good rapport. If you form a relationship you might get a better deal on other items in the future.
  10. Have fun.
    Approach the situation with a smile, and don’t feel defeated if you don’t get your desired item for as good of a deal as you’d hoped for. That’s just part of the game!

More sources

These are some links where you can get more information when going to a Flea Market, like How to spot a gem according to HellaWella, Flea markets you must visit in europe in 2014 (top 15 mega flea markets) by Flea Market Insiders, Benefits to Sellers, Benefits to Buyers and Legal Aspects explained on My Market Day.

Hope that for now on we can check the calendar of our local charity/second hand shops or flea markets and get these tips in action. If you like it, share this information and let me know what you think about this article!

Be Eco: Join the Green and Share the Love!

Be Eco: Join the Green and Share the Love! | ecogreenlove

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ecogreenlove is a completely free website that offers information, tips and guide to live a more sustainable life. We are two persons doing everything: from research, design, P.R. to posting on social networks.


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