You Only Buy Used?! Eeuw, Gross!

by Katy on May 5, 2010 · 36 comments

Yeah, I only buy used. Isn’t it disgusting?!

Katy Wolk-Stanley

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without”

{ 36 comments… read them below or add one }

jennifer May 5, 2010 at 6:08 pm

No! But what I do find disgusting is how our landfills are bulging with crap that people bought and didn’t use and threw away. I find the pollution caused by industries creating all this extra stuff, that we wouldn’t need if we all made an effort to by used, disgusting. I find the human exploitation that is involved in making all this “new stuff” to be sickening. I find it disgusting how we “me included at times” will by something new over something used just because it has that “new look, feel, smell” that wears off exactly 2.5 seconds after we begin to use it. I find it extremely annoying how shoddily things are now made because if something breaks we are conditioned to “just go by a new one.” And lastly I am disgusted at all the money, resources, and joy I wasted not starting to buy used earlier!


Ann May 5, 2010 at 6:25 pm

“Used” are antiques that haven’t aged yet.


Alissa May 5, 2010 at 6:38 pm

Tonight I spent $26.72 on four long sleeve good condition button up shirts (which won’t stay that way for very long), one pair of never worn khakis, a really cute light summer top, and an old and abused copy of an old book I’d like to read. I’d say not bad considering that just one of those tops likely would have run me $30 in the store. I love Goodwill!


Ashley May 5, 2010 at 7:36 pm

Disgusting? No…

They’re beautiful!!!

(spoken by one who bought vintage pyrex at the antique store because the mustard yellow cassarole dishes went with her vintage avacado green pyrex dish)


Mary C May 5, 2010 at 9:01 pm

Everything is used seconds after you buy them anyway, people need to get over themselves! I second the opinion about the shoddy workmanship found in many of today’s items-we need to stop making cheap cr@ap.


Raffaella May 6, 2010 at 12:12 am

Who told you that?! Tell this person you buy *vintage* and we’ll see… 😉


Lisa P. May 6, 2010 at 1:59 am

Brilliant comment…not…. clearly this person never eats in restaurants (or does he/she think they buy a new place setting just for him/her along w salt/pepper shakers etc), stays at hotels (why yes, of course we got a new mattress and bedding along with fixtures and carpeting just for you) etc..

I’ll admit I tend to be a germ-phobe but that’s what bleach & boiling water is for…jeepers. I’ll admit that I did buy a new pair of bowling shoes but I just didn’t trust the disinfectant used on the rentals LOL. It was my $20 splurge on shoes I’ll have forever. 🙂


Tracy Balazy May 6, 2010 at 4:56 pm

That’s what I always tell people — “you’re using someone else’s silverware” — when they grimace after I tell them the top or pair of shoes I’m wearing that they just complimented me on are from resale!


CC May 6, 2010 at 3:10 am

I guess some people never get/take hand me downs. Even people I know who would never buy in a thrift store are usually happy when give something. Grandmas old diamond ring, yuck.

I’m not a never buy new person but what I try to do is not bring into my home any unneeded items. Bought new, used or give to me for free. This is my way of not over consuming.


Magdalena May 6, 2010 at 3:45 am

When the youngst was thirteen, she developed an aversion to used clothes. “Someone else wore it!” she would wail if I tried to give her a thrift store sweater. I never found out if the aversion was to someone else’s cooties, or to the fear that someone might recognize her former sweater, and embarrass the child with a comment on hand-me-downs. (The latter is highly unlikely – most people have no idea what they gave away.) She also had an aversion to washing by hand and using a clothesline. I dismissed it as adolescent snobbery and she didn’t get new clothes for months. She finally had to give in on laundry, and suffered from that horrible condition, wrinkled fingers. So my point – an aversion to using what was pre-owned: Is it mere adolescent snobbery?


Tracy Balazy May 6, 2010 at 4:57 pm

I think so. My mother tried to buy me nice clothes at resale when I was 14 or 15, and I made a big, dramatic deal of trying to avoid them. Now, all I buy is resale.


tammy May 6, 2010 at 5:10 am

Used=vintage, classic, shabby chic, economical, mindful and resourceful. People who don’t get used are doomed to a life of consumption. I wonder if people realized there is a very short amount of time between NEW and USED. You buy a dress in a store and it’s new. The second it hits the bag it’s used. Drive a new car off the lot and it’s value immediately goes down and it’s used. Is it really worth all that extra money for a few minutes of NEW?


Carla May 6, 2010 at 5:18 am

Fine. Let them buy new, use it for a month, discard it. WE will buy it for a song and laugh all the way to the bank.


Tracy Balazy May 6, 2010 at 4:58 pm

Carla, you are SO right!


WilliamB May 6, 2010 at 5:25 am

Those who are saying it’s used as soon as you take it out of the store, are missing the point – hopefully deliberately. The “eeuw” is that someone else used it first.

The point about hotels and restaurants are good ones. I know from experience that hotels use extremely hot water and bleach (and, btw, bedbugs are becoming a problem again anyway). Restaurants, on the other hand, are not great at cleaning dishes. They use a high-pressure sprayer to blast off food but the dishes are loaded onto a rack *first* so dishes do not get invidual treatment. Then the rack is pushed into a small machine that steam/pressure cleans the dishes in a few minutes. Frankly I think I do a better job at home.

And bowling shoes. And ice skates. And ski boots.

I would get more used items if the used shops that are convenient for me, didn’t have such poor selection and quality. So I content myself with keeping my used stuff out of the landfill rather than saving someone else’s from it.


WilliamB May 6, 2010 at 5:28 am

I have a related question, if the assembled readership will forgive a slightly indelicate subject.

What can I do with cotton-and-elastic underwear I no longer wear? I can’t donate it, the fabric is too small to use for rags, I cannot imagine having enough time to cut off all the elastic to put the cotton into the compost pile. I loathe the idea of putting it the landfill so it sits on my closet shelf instead.



CC May 6, 2010 at 7:29 am

Not an idea solution but what I do with old socks and underwear is use them for messy cleaning. This way I didn’t use a good rag or paper towels. As I said not perfect but I’m getting the best use of the item and not just keeping it around so sonny can toss it after I’m gone.


Julia May 16, 2010 at 2:01 pm

In my house, anything like old undies or socks gets used to clean up cat barf and then it’s thrown away without guilt or remorse. Fortunately or unfortunately, depending on the point of view, there is a never-ending supply of cat barf around here that needs to be dealt with in a way that is as environmentally friendly as possible. Our poor elderly kitty has such a delicate constitution!


Dawn May 6, 2010 at 5:51 am

I feel much better leaving a store with a good “used” bargain than going to the mall and getting something on sale.
I have that same yellow mixing bowl-it was my grandmothers and my mom pasted it on to me-I love it!!


Rebecca May 6, 2010 at 5:59 am

WilliamB, why can’t u donate it? I know goodwill takes undergarments.

My mother always says ” I never find anything good at Goodwill”. It drives me nuts because she knows that I do all my shopping there. And I think our clothes don’t look second hand at all. In fact a lot of them are new or near new that don’t even have any wear on them. I think she went once, even though I tell her you have to go on a regular basis, and shopped with her eyes closed. She would rather buy crap from Walmart because its a “Bargain”. Uggg.


WilliamB May 6, 2010 at 10:16 am

My Goodwill won’t take undergarments unless still in the wrapping.


Jeanine May 6, 2010 at 6:30 am

Some things that people buy used are just GROSS.

I don’t buy those particular items, so it doesn’t concern me.

In my case, it was just snobbery. It wasn’t a lifestyle until I became an adult, and it was introduced by my in-laws.

So, for some people, I think it’s a lack of education. They just don’t know any better. Now if they know better and still chose to buy new.. just because… that’s another story.


Tammy May 6, 2010 at 6:37 am

My Mom too gave me her yellow mixing bowl like the one in your post and I also got a rolling pin exactly like the one in your picture from my Great Grandma. I actually find joy in extending the life of useful items. I don’t know why, but it just seems to connect me to the others who used an item and that my use of an item adds a certain depth. Like I become a part of the history of the item and am connected through the item to others who mixed food for loved ones’ meals. Weird, I know, but I’d rather be “connected” to the cook who used the bowl than part of the cause of someone living in deplorable third world conditions so that I can have “new” and “cheap”. The “things” carry with them a history of which through my use, I become a part and I find that very comforting.


Katy May 8, 2010 at 8:12 am

I love this yellow bowl. It’s so cheery and just the perfect size. My mother recently broke hers, so I’m keeping an eye out for another one.



Kim May 6, 2010 at 7:46 am

I’m of two minds on this. One is that I know I buy too much new. Way too much. And my trash is always full to bursting because I throw away so much. I really need to stop doing that and I promise (myself and the world) to try harder to buy used or not at all for most things. There are some things that I do buy new because I worry that buying something that was used might not be safe, like in pressure canners, pressure cookers, that sort of thing. And when I do buy something new I buy the best quality I can afford so there’s a better chance of handing it down to my children and grandchildren, keeping it out of the landfills for generations to come. That means I need to get my children to understand that they need not replace these things just because a newer one has come along. This lifestyle is one I should have been teaching long before my children started families of their own. I hope it isn’t too late to start.


Kathleen May 7, 2010 at 12:16 am

Kim, your local Extension office will calibrate the weights on any older canner or pressure cooker – no charge – and they recommend this to be done every year or so to make sure the pressure is correct. Even new ones are not always correctly weighted, apparently. I got a lovely pressure cooker for $8 at the local DAV with a weight that can be used on different sides for different pounds of pressure. I had to buy a new rubber seal for the small one I inherited from my grandma, but it works great, and it’s at least 40 years old.


michelle May 6, 2010 at 8:50 am

Umm… does that person carry his/her own place setting everywhere, or only eat at home? Or perhaps it’s a matter of choosing disposable everything (but, friends, paper plates and plastic utensils are not marked “sterile,” are they? Neither is a new washing machine, or your cute little fresh-from-the-sweatshop fashion find).
Well, that’s one person to whom one does not leave any of the antique silver….


Katy May 6, 2010 at 9:00 am

I also want to point out the functionality of the items in my picture, as the reason I had all this stuff out, was that I was making biscuits to go with the Boeuf Bourguignon I’d made for dinner. Sooo delicious, maybe too delicious, as I’m feeling rather butterball today.



Katy May 6, 2010 at 9:02 am

And the canisters were my mother’s from when I was a kid. I found them in her basement and brought them home. (With her permission.) They look great with all my Fiestaware, which is pretty much a prerequisite for anything that wants to live in my kitchen! 😉



karen May 6, 2010 at 9:08 am

I chuckle at friends & coworkers who wont buy second hand clothing. When you shop a dept. store, do you know for sure how many people have tried on that item of clothing before you purchased it? They pay premium prices for a meal at certain restraunts but dont question how many other people had that utensil in their mouths or used that cloth napkin. Interesting…..
I attended a fundraiser church sale last night & spent $20 for my work wardrobe ( dress code) all name brands & some items with tags still on. I cant remember the last time I was at a shopping mall & “Mall of America” is literally 20 minutes from where I live.


Jenny May 6, 2010 at 9:31 am

The only thing I won’t buy used is underwear. My kids have two kinds of clothes in their closets- what I bought second hand and what I bought on deep discount off of a clearance rack. The second hand clothes are usually name brand items that were expensive originally. After you wash them once no one can tell your clothes are new anyway.
I bought a whole wardrobe for two little girls for $63 at a thrift store. How much could I have bought at the Mall for that amount?


Tracy Balazy May 6, 2010 at 5:03 pm

I hit a great garage sale yesterday where I bought a Farberware pan for $1 in really great shape, a set of three black metal canisters with clear glass lids and a tight seal for $3, and a couple other household items. Back in the day, I would have spent $45 or $50 at Kohl’s for the stuff I got for a total of $13 at this sale. I feel good about not buying stuff new.

And Katy, I took your advice and joined The Compact, and man! Some of the discussions on there are great. Some of those ladies are pistols!


Deb May 6, 2010 at 11:09 pm

Eeuuww!? That’s what I say that whenever I see the retail price of something in a store.

Hmmm, let’s see…my recent second hand scores include: LeCreuset 6 piece saucepan set for $35 total (in virtually new condition and a gorgeous pumpkin color); 2 Pampered Chef stone bar pans and a 9×12 casserole pan for $15; brand new Bjorn shoes for $12; beautiful king sized bedspread, shams, and bedskirt set for $10….I could go on and on.

So whenever someone else says `EeeEEuuuw’ when I tell them I am a second hand/thrift store hound, I usually get the last laugh when they see one of my fab scores and proclaim..”OMG – you got THAT secondhand!?”

p.s. Katy, that is such a fabulous PIC! Good job!


cathy May 7, 2010 at 6:15 am

Too funny! I have that yellow bowl (hand me down from MIL), and that rolling pin and biscuit cutter (hand me down from my grandmother)–all of which are over 40 years old and still amazingly functional!

I purchase almost all of my clothes from resale shops and my kids’ clothes are also either from resale or hand me downs.

Thanks for such an inspiring website!


Jay May 7, 2010 at 6:03 pm

I’m able to put together really cute outfits with my entirely thrifted wardrobe, and I get a lot of compliments on them. People sometimes react rudely when they hear where the clothes came from, but HOPEfully it gets them thinking about shopping secondhand, even if their first reaction is to be grossed out.

I really believe that almost anything can be cleaned well enough to reuse. I think Americans equate “clean” with “sterile,” and striving for that level of clean is unnecessary and in a lot of cases unhealthy. My house is plenty clean and my husband and I are very healthy, almost NEVER get colds or anything, and I don’t even own bleach.


Julia August 4, 2010 at 11:17 pm

Hey! I’m 16 and everything I wear is used–either by my cousin or a stranger who donated it to a thrift store. I have no problem buying used–especially jeans. Who can tell if they’re brand name without looking at the tag? I don’t wear socks or underwear used, though, and a few people on here said the same, so I have to ask: what’s your opinion on shoes and bathing suits?


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