Do exercise constraints; we may end up buying more
The proliferation of consumer-to-consumer (C2C) marketplaces creates a market for pre-owned items. It is a good place to buy and sell unused and under-used items. Such marketplaces are also known as re-commerce.
I have been using a local marketplace for several years to buy and sell stuff. I was initially sceptical but the items bought have been cheap and good that it has been a top choice to find my buys and sells.
Ask ourselves: Are we having more and more space for items that we don’t often use? How often do we use them?
Examples: Books, children’s clothing, toys and books, luggage, sports items, bicycles
Take a look at our house, are there items that we have not been using for a long time and may not use soon? Time to de-clutter by selling or giving them away. A big portion will be our children’s items. As our children grow beyond their clothes, toys and books at different stages, these items are often stored and accumulated.
Ask ourselves: How often do we use the items until spoilt and beyond repair?
Examples: Cars, mobile phones, watches, wearables, tablets, clothes, bags, laptops, tech gadgets
There is a limit to how much we can have. Often, we tend to give ourselves reasons (excuses) to justify our purchases. Some give themselves reasons to splurge frequently. They upgrade to the latest and/or better gadgets and models.
In short, this gives us a good opportunity to buy their quality items at a good bargain when they decided to de-clutter.
C2C marketplaces have been my default choice when I need to buy things; they are cheaper. Once an item is bought and the buyer decides to sell it for whatever reason, the value of the item drops.
Used items at a cheaper cost also provide a good way to start something new (sports), we are likely to use them for a period (kids’ toys and clothing) or we are unsure and we buy to try first.
People sell for many reasons.
New or fairly new
Some are recent purchases. They bought them on a whim. They used a few times and do not like the item. They thought they will like it but they do not.
Some are gifts for loved ones but the latter do not like them.
It can be lucky draw prizes that they do not need.
Sometimes, priorities change and the items are left unused.
Some are freebies or bundled with a good discount with some purchases (examples: laptop with a hard disk, laptop bags, mobile phone with a free earpiece) and they do not need them. This happens during big sales events.
Or, they bought the wrong sizes (especially clothes and shoes).
Some bought to start a new hobby such as sport hobby. Unfortunately, they did not succeed and sustain. The items are left lying around in their homes.
As good as new
There are some items where used items are as good as new. One example is books and textbooks. So long as there are no missing pages and in decent condition, it is still a good read. Others may include home decor, toys, tech gadgets, sports equipment, music instruments, home tools and many other durable items.
Some chase the latest models and versions. Hence, they sell the “older” models (which are only 1 to 2 years ago) to fund their new buys.
Most things are made to last
Most items are made to last. Some usage does not deteriorate the usefulness and quality of many products.
In terms of price to quality, used items are definitely good bargains compared to buying new ones. Depending on how new. underused and unused, good bargains are at least 20% cheaper.
It can get much cheaper if the sellers just simply want to get rid of the items quickly (especially if they are rich and just want to get rid of the items). They are not interested to spend time haggling to get a few dollars more.
Some items are less common. Buyers are harder to come by, so the sellers are more willing to reduce the prices rather than wait infinitely for a better price.
When many sellers are trying to sell the same items (free items that many got at the same time) that they flood the marketplace, the prices will get very attractive.
“Used” is just psychological
If the used items can be used as good as a new item, they are like new items at a lower price. Used items being inferior or not “comfortable” with used items are just psychological. I have bought many pre-owned items; they are as good as new. There are many owners who take good care of their items.
Exercise constraint: We may end up buying more. 🤦🤦♂️
Knowing that items can be easily sold may adversely encourage more buying. We may give excuses that it is okay to make wrong purchases and/or upgrade frequently as we can find interested buyers easily with a lower price. We rationalize that what we are buying is a “rent” for the use of the items for some time over the product life cycle. Others will find lots of good bargains and end up buying more. Both mentalities will conversely result in the wheel of consumerism and spending more.
C2C marketplaces create opportunities to earn money
Besides its basic function of de-cluttering and selling used items for cash, some used these marketplaces to sell their homemade items (homemade fashion accessories, handicrafts, home decor, paintings, plants); turning their hobbies into a source of income. Also, knowing there are bargain hunters in such marketplaces, there are individuals who offer repairs, servicing and maintenance services during their spare time.
C2C marketplaces definitely create a market niche within society to reduce wastage and prolong the use of the items. Instead of being left unused in some storage space, items are being continuously appreciated and used by different owners through their life cycles.