The Story Behind Secondhand Something

why donateIf you like to practice reduce reuse recycle, that includes donating to and purchasing items from thrift stores. Instead of using resources to manufacture new goods, your money will go towards the cost of running the shop, whether it be Salvation Army, Goodwill or any other local organization with a charitable mission. Along those lines, have you ever thought about who owned the item before you got it, or why they got rid of it in the first place? This is especially true if the item seems perfectly new. Did someone:

Receive it as a gift and didn’t like it?
Outgrow it?
Need the latest and greatest instead?

If you purchase jewelry or other items from estate sales, one can only imagine the stories and history that some pieces carry with them. The same goes for traveling antique shows that pass through local convention centers, carrying thousands of interesting pieces of jewelry, furniture and accessories. Many people love antiques because they just don’t make stuff like they used to, or appreciate the styles of bygone days. Others choose antique jewelry specifically because of the issues and practices surrounding mining diamonds, gold and other metals. For more information, read Recycling Gold Rings. Wedding rings especially build up loads of history, the romances and marriages accumulate as rings are passed down or resold and continue to represent commitment for another couple.

The Curious Second Lives of Your Donations

Unless you’ve acquired an antique or secondhand item from someone you know, its history could be anything. There are clues, such as the style and year it was made and sometimes with antiques, an antique dealer will have some information about an object’s past. As we start a new year and enjoy our new gifts from the holidays, it’s good to think about the stories behind your secondhand somethings. The next time you find just the right used item to take home, make up a story about the person who had it before you. It’s pretty entertaining! And the next time you donate something, imagine where and with who it will be.

TIP: If you would like to learn more about the charities that accept donations, use the Charity Navigator to see which are good charities to donate to, where your money goes and other tips for donors.

Photo: adiything


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One Response to The Story Behind Secondhand Something
  1. Jody
    January 3, 2013 | 10:46 am

    Nice thought-provoking post! I myself think about this when I come across old musical instruments at secondhand shops

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