Get ready, the holidays are upon us again. For many, that means wincing at the wad of cash you’re about to drop.
Buying used, either for yourself or others, is a great alternative. Not only does it save a ton of money, it also reduces waste and keeps products out of landfills. Now there is a browser plug-in from the thrift retailer Beni that turns every product search into a digital thrift store trip.
How to use Beni’s thrift shopping browser extension
First things first, it’s time to destigmatize buying used stuff, and that includes buying gifts. Reducing waste and packaging makes second-hand purchases (or circular shopping as it’s known) a more forward-thinking alternative to new products. When it comes to many items, including electronics and clothing, buying lightly used items can have tremendous value with little downside.
Since 2020, online fashion resale in the US has grown 20% and is expected to reach $67 billion by 2025. Beni uses this trend.
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The plugin works by offering second-hand alternatives to your online shopping searches. It redirects users to the same or similar products on resale marketplaces like The RealReal, Rent the Runway, Vestiaire Collective, eBay, Kidizen and others. The idea is to make it as easy as possible for users to find and buy used items that offer better value and a smaller environmental footprint.
Is Beni available for all browsers?
Not at this point. Currently, Beni is only available for Chrome. The plugin has just been launched, so it is sure that its availability and compatibility will increase.
Are there other websites, apps or plugins that can help me with my thrift shopping?
Absolutely! Check out Depop and Asos Marketplace. And Ebay is still great for all sorts of things including electronics and gadgets which in many cases have a much longer lifespan than you might expect. For local alternatives, try Craigslist, OfferUp, and local Facebook groups that offer free or tradeable used goods.
What’s so great about buying used?
The fashion industry produces a tremendous amount of waste (not to mention its often horrific labor practices). Purchasing new products feeds a cycle of production and consumption that depletes enormous resources for consumables that generally end up in landfill.
Also, the culture is changing. With 93% of US shoppers open to secondhand purchases (up from 45% in 2016), the fashion resale industry has grown in popularity. Buyers now have access to a rapidly growing number of resale options, including branded resale offers.