Wanted: Used, preferably not abused, but nonetheless well-loved stuff

By: Melanie

I love brand new shiny things. But I also love almost brand new sorta shiny things, especially when they're a great deal. Plus, I love the feeling of giving a perfectly good piece of furniture or item of clothing another kick at avoiding the can by shopping at stoop sales or on websites like Craigslist or Kijiji.

Of course, the downside to this kind of thing is the guesswork and risk involved. Is the seller being honest about the condition of the item? Is there some kind of flaw with the item that is leading the seller to sell, that I will discover after the deal has been done? Will I be kidnapped and tortured by the seller? I tend to go to the worst case scenario with this stuff. At any rate, as with buying used anything, there is always an element of the unknown.

Mind you, I have bought brand spanking new rainboots that cracked within a couple of months, and hot-off-the-slats IKEA furniture that splintered upon assembly. New is not necessarily better. These days, new doesn't even guarantee a grade of Satisfactory.

So it turns out that either way it's a gamble. And I figure, why not give something not-so-new a try? It's cheaper, it's creating less waste, and you'll be doing someone else a favour as well as yourself. Win-win-win. Plus, when it falls apart you'll be much less devastated than if you had paid full price for the piece of crap.

Besides, I'm turning 35 this year and I'm starting to see imperfection in a new light. Age is beauty, lines show character, and scuffs and stains are the mark of an item that is well loved.

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