SASKATOON – Who doesn’t love a good deal? Well it turns out we do. According to the second annual Kijiji Second-Hand Exchange Index, both Saskatchewan and Manitoba lead the country for exchanging second-hand goods.
After closely examining the impact of second-hand practices in the country, the report shows it’s a guilty pleasure for millions of Canadians.
“I just walked in to pick something up. From my purse, my top … my jeans are the only thing I didn’t get here,” said Julie Sarrazin.
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She admits to shopping at Stasia Consignment Boutique in Sutherland regularly for the last two years, adding she discovered it during a time in her life when she had to watch her budget.
A savvy shopper looking for unique finds and now this latest study backs just how big this economy really is.
“We’re looking at both monetary and non-monetary transactions and by that I mean not only buying and selling but also donating, lending, swapping and we did it across a wide range of categories,” said Dr. Lindsay Tedds, co-author of the study and a professor at the University of Victoria.
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Key finds were that an estimated 1.9 billion items were given a second life last year across the country, approximately 24.9 million more items than in 2014.
Clothing, shoes and accessories were the most popular product categories and the second-hand economy supports up to $36 billion in economic activity that may not have occurred otherwise.
“We look at the Prairies and we find that similar to last year, the Prairies are in fact leading the way when it comes to the second-hand economy transactions,” added Tedds.
The motivation for consumers was simple, making money and saving money.
“You don’t know where you’re next dollar is coming from,” said Valerie Ziegler, owner of Stasia Consignment Boutique.
“You still want to look good, you want to look trendy but you are more conscience of your dollar and value your dollar and want to get more for it as well.”
Ziegler added perhaps saving a dollar is in our DNA in Manitoba and Saskatchewan and that it has served us well. Another key finding of the report is that survey participants said they’ve saved up to 50 per cent off items by purchasing something used.
“Coming here I can spend $300 to $400 on what if I went to all these different stores I would spend like thousands,” said Sarrazin.
By buying used, Canadians saved themselves, on average, $480 in 2015 and earned $883 through second-hand sales with nearly 85 per cent of Canadians engaging in some form of second-hand transactions.
“That’s more Canadians than participate in the labour force,” said Tedds.
Plus, who doesn’t like saving some green by going green?
“We want to reduce, reuse, recycle, we’re trying not be a throw away society,” said Ziegler.
Which is why she said if clothes at her store aren’t snagged off the rack and sold by the three-month mark, she donates them to shelters.