I used to buy brand new items and spent thousands of dollars on branded bags and clothes. Don't get me wrong, there's no problem in buying those things as long as we have the capacity and ability to do so. Why not?
Specifically, I like buying bags from TUMI, Samsonite, and Kipling. I patiently wait for them to be on sale so I can afford the best.
Just recently, I started selling our unused stuff to support my boys' passions. Some of our pre-loved items were sold immediately because we took good care of them since day one. They're almost like new. Most of the items we sold were pre-owned by me or my boys, and they're all in great condition. I'm not ashamed to sell them because they're all gently worn.
Then I was introduced to online shopping. Live online selling of pre-loved clothes and bags has become my favorite pastime. It's a joy to check out and bid for great quality second-hand bags. At first, I offered them to friends with the desire that they'd get to own quality bags at a cheap price. It eventually became my passive income and helped me earn a little extra.
In the Philippines, we call pre-loved items "ukay-ukay". In other countries, they call it surplus. Here in Macau, they call it "lapsap".
"Lapsap" in literal translation means "trash". Some people wouldn't opt for cheap second-hand items because, for them, these items are already trash or "basura". It could be because they're not used to "hand-me-down" stuff, or they can afford original branded items, or maybe they just don't know or care.
Buying pre-loved, second-hand items is not just for the sake of practicality and savings. It goes beyond that.
Do you know that selling these pre-loved products helps the environment and future generations? Instead of keeping or throwing away these items, we're recycling them. Someday, your children's children will thank us for doing this. Recycling reduces the amount of waste that takes years to decompose. Additionally, recycled materials can be sold. According to statistics, people all over the world generate millions of tons of waste every year, whether it's garbage, refuse, or trash produced in our homes and communities.
Each of us can make a difference by reducing, reusing, and recycling materials at home and throughout our communities, and encouraging our neighbors to do the same. We can reduce waste by purchasing durable, long-lasting goods, redesigning products to use less raw material in production, or for reuse after their original use. When we buy recycled products, we create an economic incentive for recyclable materials to be collected, manufactured, and marketed as new products.
Some people have fears of the unknown when buying pre-loved items. What if the previous owner is deceased? Or it came from stolen items? While precautions are taken out of innocence, the thousand probabilities of "what ifs" are not being discounted.
Even the probability of having an authentic expensive bag that won't break the bank.
Some people who purchased expensive items out of their hard-earned money fear that they might get scratched, stained, or even stolen. So they'll just lay them hidden in a locked cabinet, unused.
Fear can paralyze one's productive purpose, and this isn't just true with stuff but with people too.
At one level, fear is healthy. Fear is an emotion. It's God-given. It's a basic survival mechanism. It keeps us alive and protects us from danger. However, there is unhealthy fear, phobia, or in Greek, "phobos." Common phobias are related to health, finances, failure, growing old, loneliness, rejection, messing up, flying, heights, snakes, spiders, and public speaking.
In my own life, I've experienced many fears, irrational fears, fears of what will happen tomorrow, fear of health issues, fear of people who will intimidate me in our small business, etc. I've experienced being used and abused with my kindness, resources, and everything.
But there is a kind of healthy fear, the fear of God. It means respect, reverence, awe, honor, adoration, and worship and our love for God. I want to have this kind of fear, fear not to be used for nonsense stuff but to be used for the glory of God.
Make sure to check out my pre-loved items, if you are brave enough.