Your guide to second-hand living
There’s a lot of truth in the phrases “everything old is new again” and “one man’s trash is another’s treasure”. Embracing second-hand – either as a buyer or a seller – is an excellent way to reduce your household waste and own your impact.
Not sure where to start? We’ve put together a guide to help you on your preloved journey to success.
Online second-hand destinations
Forget about ride-sharing, we think the rise of online marketplaces for second-hand items has been one of the most valuable outcomes of the sharing-economy!
These are some of our favourite online places to shop, sell and share.
WA is home to a vibrant – but perhaps underground – sharing and waste avoidance culture thanks to the Buy Nothing Project. There are around 150 locally-based groups, hosted on Facebook, where you can give away items you don’t want anymore and ask for items that you may need (to keep or to borrow). Group members will live in your local community so there’s minimal travelling required and with a constant stream of offers and requests, these groups are making sure plenty of waste is being kept from landfill.
If you haven’t yet joined your local group do it now – all you need is a Facebook account and an appetite to ‘give freely’.
Buy, Sell, Swap communities
Many communities also have localised groups where people can list items for sale through Facebook. This is a new approach to the traditional newspaper ‘classifieds’ and can also be a great way to find items you need from the comfort of your couch. Search Facebook Marketplace to get started.
Head to online classified website Gumtree to buy and sell pretty much anything. It’s free to list items in most categories (some, such as car sales incur a fee, others provide an option to improve how many people are shown your ad in return for a small fee.) Sellers set the price, buyers then get in contact to arrange a viewing or collection or to confirm a sale. You can also give away items (or find things for free) – just look under the “Freebies” category.
If you are a first-timer, you also might want to familiarise yourself with the process via Gumtree’s help section.
If you’re looking to declutter, or prefer to be able to see and touch objects as you shop then perhaps you might like to hit the markets.
Swap meets, swap marts, flea markets, car boot sales – whatever you like to call them – are something of an Australian institution and they are still going strong across Perth’s suburbs on a regular – often weekly – basis.
Sellers arrive early to set up their stalls (paying a small fee to do so) and buyers typically pay a small donation to enter and browse the eclectic mix of belongings on sale.
Themed Second-hand markets
If you prefer a little more structure and consistency to your markets than what you’ll find at a swap meet there are a number of themed events held across Perth.
Here are some of our favourites:
- 3-in-1 Markets (Collectables, Crafts and Vintage Clothing)
- Bindaring Clothing Sale
- Round 2 Recycling Market
- Perth Baby and Children’s Market
If you have others you can recommend please get in touch and let us know your top tips.
If you don’t mind early starts and exploring the suburbs why not try your luck at a garage sale? Look out for signage, check the paper, or take a look at the ‘Garage Sale” listings on Gumtree.
Also don’t forget to keep an eye out for the annual Garage Sale Trail.
Tip Shops and salvage yards
Sometimes items destined for landfill don’t quite make it – and that’s a good thing! WA is home to a number of excellent tip shops, normally run by the local shire or metropolitan council and situated alongside a tip (or waste disposal site), and salvage yards.
- Fossickers Tip Shop, Albany
- Drop’n’Shop Reuse Centre, Armadale
- Balcatta Recycling Shop, Balcatta
- Vinsan Salvage Yard, Bayswater
- Trash and Treasure Shop, Bunbury
- The Cockburn Recycle Shop, Cockburn
- Denmark Tip Shop, Denmark
- Meru Landfill Recycling Centre, Geraldton
- S&L Salvage and Demolition, O’Connor
- REUSE Shop, Tamala Park
- Millar Road Salvage Yard, Rockingham
- Budget Disposals, Willetton
‘Used’ and ‘Refurbished’ outlets
From white goods to electrical items and furniture to jewellery, second-hand items are easier to find that you might have realised.
Why not visit your local pawnbroker or a specialist second-hand outfit (think furniture, cars and books) or ask your retailer about whether they sell refurbished options before you head straight to new? If the knowledge that your reducing waste isn’t enough just remember that you’ll probably earn yourself a hefty discount for doing so, too!
No second-hand shopping list is complete without mentioning op shops – once upon a time known as opportunity shops, due to the fact they created opportunities for those with lower incomes or difficulties in obtaining employment. While still achieving these outcomes, these stores have also become an invaluable tool for prolonging the life of objects.
We’ve dedicated an entire post to op shops where we’ve even identified some of WA’s best second-hand shopping destinations – thanks to help from our Own Your Impact communities on Facebook and Instagram.
We want to hear and see how you’re owning your impact by avoiding and reusing. Make sure that you tag us on Facebook and Instagram (@ownyourimpactwa) or include #ownyourimpactwa in your posts.