October Update: A Year Of Second-Hand Shopping Challenge

October Update: A Year Of Second-Hand Shopping Challenge

There’s no great update this month. I didn’t find I needed anything and so didn’t go looking. I dropped into a charity shop or two (because my partner wanted to) but I’ve gotten better at resisting purchases. I did find a wonderful hand knitted jumper in a gorgeous sage green colour while I was staying in North Berwick. However, the price was extortionate.

I’ve noticed a couple of things about charity shops recently. Many shops have the same stock week on week and the prices have gone up. The price of second-hand clothing, in particular, seem to have sky-rocketed. I used to be able to find clothing for one or two pound, now everything is much more expensive; often closer to the retail price, especially when it comes to fast fashion brands.

I understand shops have overheads. They have staff to pay, heating, lighting, and all the hidden costs of running a business. But everything they receive is for free and there’s a lot of it. Too much of it, in fact. So much the majority doesn’t even end up on the shop floor. Perhaps I don’t quite grasp the intricacies of selling second-hand goods but it makes more sense to me to price things low and turn over much more. Pricing fast fashion items for a couple of pounds cheaper than the retail price seems quite greedy.

I’m fortunate enough to have plenty of clothing. I’m well aware that I don’t need to buy more of anything, new or second-hand. Grumbling about “high prices” (which are still affordable for me) might come across as miserly and rather obnoxious. But I can’t help wonder about the impact these increased prices are having on people who rely on charity shops for affordable clothing and other goods. Are people being priced out? Are they having to pay more for poor quality clothing? What can be done about this?

I'm thinking about doing a November No-Spend similar to my previous spending ban with a few tweaks to the rules. For the rest of the year I want to focus on saving a little extra money. Christmas will be quite different this year and I need to start thinking about gifts earlier than I usually would.

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