Thrift shopping

We wanted to find out if our panel members were bargain hunters. We wanted to know what items they do or would buy second hand.

The majority of the panel seemed to buy certain items second hand with books being the most popular buy. They bought these items from online companies like ebay and amazon and from charity shops and car boot sales.

“I buy a lot on ebay and sell a lot on ebay. I think ebay can be really good quality, you can tell by the pictures whether it’s from a good home or not.” (Elaine, 48, Harpenden)

“ebay is usually where I buy second hand stuff be it furniture, clothes, that kind of thing.” (Kelly, 31, Bury)

Charity shops were also a popular destination to pick up a bargain, with the panel liking the fact that the money would go to a good cause.

“I do actually quite regularly buy second hand items. I buy quite a lot from charity shops. I think the days where charity shops were dusty and full of rubbish are gone. Charity shops tend to be pretty good now actually…it’s a great way of saving money and still getting great products.” (Tom, 25, Truro)

Books seemed to be the most popular second hand buy. People seemed to feel that you couldn’t really go wrong with a second hand book.

“Me and my mum are really into buying books from charity shops because often you just want something that’s an easy read…if you’re going to buy a book read it once and not read it again why not buy it from a charity shop.”  (Beccy, 24, Shrewsbury)

Buying second hand furniture was also popular among the panel with people picking up sofas and tables for a fraction of the cost from sites like ebay and gumtree.

“There are lots of things I would rather buy second hand, furniture is a good example.” (Hayley, 32, Lymm)

Some of the panel purchased second hand clothes although this seemed like it was less popular. Baby clothes seemed to be the most popular things to buy due to people only using and needing them for a short period of time.

“I really don’t like second hand clothes shops. Maybe i’m a bit of a snob but I guess I don’t like the thought of wearing clothes that other people have worn.” (Kelly, 31, Bury)

“Clothes I’m not so keen on because you don’t know how dirty they could be but then if you gave them a good clean I don’t see it as anything too bad.” (Lee, 27, London)

These users however don’t have problem with getting their clothes second hand for a fraction of the retail cost.

However a minority of the panel preferred to buy their items new and didn’t like the idea of other people having used the same things as them.