Joys of not having to pay full price

Shopping green at Seattle’s second-hand treasures

Perris Larson, Staff Writer

Twice Sold Tales, with locations in both Ballard and Capitol Hill, is full of second-hand novels of every genre. (Gabrialla Cockerell)

Shopping for used goods is cheaper and environmentally friendly.

With every new product created, more natural resources are depleted, hurting the environment as a result. It is an ongoing issue as people demand for brand new products. But at least when one buys second-hand, no more natural resources are being used. 

So why break the bank for something brand new when you can buy used? From clothes to books, to furniture and just about anything anyone’s little heart desires, Seattle has it all. Here are a couple of recommended hotspots to check out all over the city.

Simple and Just 

Located in the heart of Ballard sits this classy little thrift boutique. Simple and Just has everything from shoes, jewelry, men’s and women’s clothing and adorable brand tote bags. The store sells brand names like Coach, LuluLemon, Levi and Ann Taylor just to name a few. All merchandise is happily donated by people in the Seattle area, and has the profits go toward non-profit organizations that help victims of sex trafficking.

Buffalo Exchange

Not far from Simple and Just lies Buffalo Exchange, a bustling consignment store chain that has brand new and vintage used items for more affordable prices. This store prides itself in recycled fashion. 

Here customers cannot only buy trendy new items for their closet, but they can come to Buffalo Exchange to sell their old clothes as well. Shoppers can find anything from a Halloween costume to a lightly used Talbot business suit for less than fifty dollars. 

No matter what day it is, the shop tends to be busy but the racks never seem empty. People can go in there and have something in mind of what they need, but they end up coming out with something completely different.

Twice Sold Tales

Walk a block past Ballard Coffee Works and you will come across this hidden gem of a bookstore. Here, all customers will be greeted by the sweet and plump black cat called Beau (aka the Bookstore Cat). The owner is friendly and quite talkative, always asking what people’s plans are for the day. 

But the store itself is pure chaos and that is what makes it so interesting. Some books are piled up to the ceiling while some are scattered across the floor. They are all semi-organized, the books are in the correct section, just not in alphabetical order. Twice Sold Tales has a range of books, some being a year old up to 150 years old and some costing only as little as eight dollars.

That’s the good thing about books. They are not something people should just toss in the garbage. They are sustainable and durable and can go through multiple owners before they end up at a used bookstore. Used books are part of an endless cycle that never disappoints.

Goodwill Bins

Moving on to the opposite side of the city in the industrial area lies the Goodwill bins. Now the building may look dirty and grimy on the outside but the bins within contain multiple bins of shoes, purses and clothes. It’s a cheap and sustainable way to shop, plus it is a fun outing to make friends on. No one knows what they are going to find there.

Beats and Bohos

Last but certainly not least, there is Beats and Bohos. From vintage vinyl for only a dollar to novels, to vintage jeans and home decor this store has it all. Located in the Greenlake area, Beats and Bohos give off the feeling that once you step inside, you are somewhere between 1975 and 1990. There are vintage formal dresses hanging all over the walls with a price tag of $80 or less.

This store has records from different genres ranging from country, 1980s pop and 1960s romance music. Everything is organized by type of product so it is easy to find what you are looking for. Beats and Bohos even have old concert posters, vintage lamps and mirrors that look like they haven’t been used in decades.

But that is another advantage to buying second-hand, it is the opportunity to give something a second life that doesn’t involve gathering dust on the shelf.

When it comes to shopping as a college student, anything that says “on clearance” can create a spark of joy. Shopping consignment is a win-win situation: helping the Earth by being environmentally friendly in-style, and saving money so no one’s bank account gets overdrawn.