• Jill Fletcher

The Second Hand Economy

Updated: Jan 8

That is the topic of Adam Minter’s new book: “Second Hand: Travels in the New Global Garage Sale.” “In many ways, the book becomes a book about consumption and our attachment to our things,” Minter said. “But it also becomes a story about the limits of how we can reuse.” People such as Minter and minimalist guru Marie Condo have raised a 1st world global awareness of the capacity of the modern population to hoard or 'archive' stuff.


Take a look in your own personal jewelry box. Are you hoarding a long neglected class ring, herringbone link chain, a San Marco bracelet or a nugget anything? I did a sweep of the older and the unworn items in my jewelry box during the last rise in gold prices. If you have not taken a recent inventory of unworn pieces of jewelry that are gold, silver or platinum, the good news is, the price of gold is at a seven year high! If you have gold jewelry items from the 70's & 80's, which are not in fashion anymore, they probably won't be easy to sell. It is time to sell them to a reputable holder of a precious metals permit, you may garner more than what you originally payed for them.


What can you do with the money you make from the sale of your unwanted items? Well, you can purchase other people's second hand items.


Jewelry and luxury goods are getting new life through this second hand economy. Websites such as Everlane, Farfetch, JustFab Letgo, Poshmark Rue La La, Thread Up, The Real Real, 1st Dibs, The Luxury Closet, Luxury Garage Sale, Vestaire Collection, Rebag, Tradesy, and ReSee, have elevated gently used items to acceptable status. Even the Kardashians are selling their items on the recently posted Kardashian Kloset effectively giving the second hand luxury market a celebrity seal of approval on 'pre-loved' items.


Buying used luxury jewelry is becoming more popular*. Guidelines to transact a purchase are not unlike those which are used when purchasing a used car. First, educate yourself on the jewelry item you want. Check to see what similar items may be selling for online or in second hand stores. Look at the condition of the item (kick the tires), check for evidence of wear on the gems and mounting, also check for evidence of repair. Ask for a written affirmation of the authenticity of the gems and the fineness of the metal. Check on the availability of a return policy.


Many luxury brands are available on these websites and may be purchased for up to 70% off of the original retail. If you like the piece and it is your style, do your part to participate in recycling and reward yourself with a, 'new to you', classic. Oh, and one last thing, you should get your new items covered by insurance and Jill's Jewelry Appraisals would love to help you with an appraisal for any of your new,' pre-loved' items.


*Global Luxury Resale Market was valued at USD 16.23 Billion in 2018 and is projected to reach USD 68.53 Billion by 2026, growing at a CAGR of 15.53% from 2019 to 2026 (www.verifiedmarketresearch.com)

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