The Washington PostThe Washington Post

Why you should buy everything used

By Michael J. Coren

23 May 2023 · 6 min read

Editor's Note

Buying used items has never been easier. The Post reports on the online "recommerce" ecosystem, and how it's redirecting billions of dollars back into the marketplace.

For one month, I set out to buy everything I needed used and online. A wooden train set for my son? eBay. Salad tongs? Mercari. Fishing rod? Goodwill. Running shoes? Amazon Warehouse. Replacing a torn wet-suit glove? I'm still looking for that one.

Across the internet, I discovered a bustling secondary market ready to fulfill nearly all my shopping needs with something someone else had once owned. These were not tattered castoffs or bargain-bin specials. The online "recommerce" ecosystem was full of premium, quality goods at a price and, at times, convenience, rivaling Amazon's shopping cart.

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