Have you noticed that secondhand stuff is more expensive than it used to be? Because I absolutely have!
Since I retired, I’ve been on a bit of a secondhand shopping spree. You see, I inherited almost all of my current furniture. I acquired it randomly from old roommates, friends moving across the country, my grandparents’ downsizing, and the legendary Allston Christmas. Now that work isn’t gobbling up my best hours, I finally have the bandwidth to upgrade these pieces. That rickety side table I found on the side of the road can now be transformed, Cinderella-like, into a charming antique that some sucker let go of for $50!
… Yet I’ve noticed something disturbing. The suckers have grown few and far between.
Dummies selling solid oak headboards they found in Grandma’s attic for a sawbuck are like fireflies. I remember vast clouds of them in my childhood… but now, I’m thrilled if I see a dozen in a season. Where have they gone?
Today, I’m explaining my hypothesis for why secondhand stuff is more expensive than it used to be. I see a variety of factors that have far-reaching impacts on everything we buy and sell. We love noticing inflection points when traditional personal finance wisdom shifts from the “useful” column to the “ok thanks Grandpa” column—and this is definitely one of those moments. Let’s explore the answer together!Read More