Shop Secondhand

There is a wealth of reuse, resale, consignment, and thrift stores in Ithaca and Tompkins County to help you Get Your GreenBack. Each year a typical American spends $1,800 on household furnishings and apparel, and a family of four spends closer to $4,500. With reuse stores selling items 70% their retail price, that’s $1,000s of dollars in savings when you buy used.

In addition, more of your money stays in the local economy as most reuse stores are locally owned and source locally. Reuse stores help keep resources in use, instead of in storage--or in landfills! And better yet, it means we don’t have to manufacture new goods, a process which is very energy and pollution intensive.

Remember to think “second” first.

**Savings are 70% of expenditures for 1-person on apparel and furnishings US BLS (2009). **UCS 2012. ***LFI, Guide to Being Local 2015; GYGB modelling.

**Savings are 70% of expenditures for 1-person on apparel and furnishings US BLS (2009). **UCS 2012. ***LFI, Guide to Being Local 2015; GYGB modelling.

Visit reusetrail.com for a complete listing of over 40 local stores that sell everything!
The Reuse Trail has 45 stores selling everything--including the proverbial kitchen sink!

The Reuse Trail has 45 stores selling everything--including the proverbial kitchen sink!

Where can I Shop Secondhand?

Visit reusetrail.com, the definitive reuse store directory for Ithaca and Tompkins County. Find over 40 “brick and mortar” stores that sell everything from clothing and accessories, household furnishings, sports and outdoors equipment, arts, crafts and sewing materials, music and books, and more.

In addition, there are yard sales throughout the county which are often advertised on craigslist ithaca. There are also two huge events in the community--the Friends of the Library Book Sale, and Dump & Run. And of course there are many places online to find secondhand goods--e-bay, amazon...

Patricia Haines with one of her grandchildren. "I don't believe in a throwaway culture." Photo: Kelly To

Patricia Haines with one of her grandchildren. "I don't believe in a throwaway culture." Photo: Kelly To

Patricia Haines started secondhand shopping years and years ago as a graduate student at the University of Pennsylvania. She was just married didn’t have a ton of money. Patricia has a strong impulse to live a more simple life. She doesn’t believe in getting stuff “just to get stuff” and disproves of the throwaway culture.

Patricia frequents many secondhand shops in Ithaca, such as the Reuse Center, as well as yard sales and rummage sales. She shops secondhand not only because it’s a great way to recycle your clothes and other household items, but because it’s fun. Now as a grandmother of five, Patricia enjoys secondhand shopping for several reasons. Every once in a while, she will send them surprise packages with bright, fun, colorful outfits from clothes she finds at reuse stores. She said, “It gives me pleasure, it gives them pleasure, and it didn’t cost a whole lot of money.”

Patricia also secondhand shops for supplies a camp she runs for disabled adults. Since it’s a nonprofit organization run by volunteers, they have a very limited budget. Last summer, instead of ordering camp t-shirts, they bought a bunch of shirts from Sal’s for 49 cents a piece and had the camper paint and decorate the shirt themselves. They were able to create their own designs and had a beautiful time doing so. Patricia said, “It’s a form of creativity that is accessible to everybody.”

Patricia is grateful to live in Ithaca, a town with such a prevalent reuse culture and mentality with no stigma attached to it. She hopes that others also feel proud to live in a place where reuse is part of the ethos. “The attitude is shifting and I think that’s really essential for the future and for raising our children to appreciate that sharing what we have is a part of being part of a community. (Interview by Kelly To)


FAQ

  1. Can I sell my stuff to stores? Yes, here is a list of stores that will purchase or consign goods.

  2. Can I donate my stuff to stores? Yes, here is a list of stores that take donations.

  3. I have a lot of stuff that I want to know what to do with. Who can help me? There are professional local organizers (including Robin Schwartz), who can help you figure out how to declutter and organize your home and help circulate your unwanted possessions into the economy again.

Got Additional Questions and/or Ideas?