how i tackle holiday sales as a (mostly) secondhand shopper
what to buy new when you love to shop used
🕊️ Ceasefire Now in Gaza 🕊️
I feel myself waking up. After groggily tossing my body a few times under the covers to will my mind-body connection back to life, I reach for my phone. I wipe my runny nose on the front part of my sleeve where I know the mucus stain won’t seep and stick to my skin.
My left eye opens (it’s the less light-sensitive pupil of the two) as I click on the Gmail icon. Then I try to process the text in front of me, still with one eye open and the other squeezed shut, scowls and wrinkles deepening in my face to compensate for the forced asymmetry.
It’s November 18, and reading my inbox feels like the uneasy initial climb up the rollercoaster that is holiday sale season. My reading comprehension is trash first thing in the morning so I just see a jumble of numbers: 30%, 45%, 70%, UP TO 90%! (I’m most irked at the Wayfair emails, but I bought one shitty bedframe 8 years ago and I’m too lazy to unsubscribe so I lie in the bed I make I GUESS).
When I was a teenager, Black Friday felt like a special treat (not endorsing the consumerism, just sharing my emotional experience) to the promised land that was Stoneridge Shopping Center where you could get a Hollister beaded trim cami for $14.99 instead of $39.99. Shopping has obviously changed so much since then, Black Friday is more of a omnipresent internet sale with no clear beginning or end.
As I started getting savvy about secondhand shopping in my 20s and learning about sustainable fashion, Black Friday (and retail sales in general) lost its luster for all the reasons you could imagine.
Why buy a COS dress on sale for $100 when I could buy a secondhand Rachel Comey dress that’s better quality and more unique for $80? If you’re a (mostly) secondhand shopper, I’m guessing you relate. In additional to the advertisement fatigue, you rarely see the value proposition in retail discounts anymore. You’re on that eBay shit!
However, there’s about 10% of my wardrobe needs that shopping secondhand does not fulfill. Plus there are some great clothes I like from brands that (1) are hard to find secondhand and (2) rarely go on sale.
So I’m going to share what brands and wardrobe categories I look out for during holiday sale season. I hope this gives you more clarity for what your spending priorities are when *everything is on sale.*