Purchasing and bartering used items directly from local people can keep our world a cleaner place and re-align our unjust corporate system. Shopping second-hand is smart. It takes some creativity and there is most definitely a learning curve but once you get started you’ll rarely want to step foot in a Walmart, Target, CVS or Lowes again.
An entire economic system is actively buzzing beneath the greedy, resource-hungry big-box culture. Shopping at thrift stores, flea markets, garage sales, auctions, estate sales, local specialty stores and on craigslist is gaining in popularity because second-hand goods save us money and save our resources.
When you purchase second-hand and/or locally produced goods your dollars stay in your neighbors wallets and out of the hands of disgustingly rich stock holders and CEO’s. Your dollars aren’t supporting overseas sweatshop labor or minimum-wage (domestic sweatshop) labor. Your dollars aren’t filling in wetlands or building a new big box store three miles from the same big box store! (Infact, when you shop second-hand your dollars often go directly to charity.)
Second-hand shopping provides more variety and higher quality goods than mega-retail chains which cater to the everyman and no-one at the same time. Chances are if you’re a person with diverse interests you’ve noticed that chain stores don’t carry specialty items. Blockbuster only carries newly released films… Radio Shack’s focused on gadgets more than electronic supplies… Home Depot carries limited specialty tools and consumables and Michael’s now carries more scrap booking supplies than they do fine art materials.
It’s simple – mega chain stores don’t fulfill the needs of unique and creative people who think “outside of the box.”
Where can one find high quality goods and specialty items? Answer: thrift stores, flea markets, garage sales, auctions, estate sales, local specialty stores, farms, curbs, dumpsters and on craigslist, freecycle and other online forums.
Below is a list of links to get you started. Just be forewarned… Buying, selling and bartering used and/or locally produced goods is a fascinating and potentially addicting hobby. If you dreamed of hunting treasures as a child your dreams are about to come true.
To lear more about this topic, check out Audrey’s Blog, http://www.giantflea.com/
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