This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
Stocks Under $10 with 50-100% upside potential - 14 days FREE!

The New Era of Secondhand Shopping

"This is really adjacent to the secondhand movement," said Ron Williams, CEO and co-founder of SnapGoods. "With secondhand goods, it's more about feeling good to give a product out when I'm done with it. Our message is more about the tons of underutilized items where people are not done with them."

Meanwhile, for those looking to pick up used books, CDs and games, there is, a site launched in 2006 that makes it easier for users to effectively barter or "swap" one product for another. All you have to do is list one of your items as available and the site will show you a list of dozens of other items you can get in return from another user.

"This goes beyond what might be considered the old thrift movement," said Jeff Bennett, CEO of Swap. "Consumers are reconsidering everything they have and saying, 'What do I need and what don't I need.' They are looking at alternatives to credit and cash. Instead, they are looking at how big is the ATM in their house."

How We Got Here and Where We're Going

Most experts date the birth of consumerism back to the 1950s. Americans had just made it through two wars and the Great Depression and were earning a better wage. They were ready to spend. On top of that, advertisers and even legislators began goading consumers to buy new products whether they needed them or not.

But during the past decade, three big factors have helped dismantle this trend and turn "consumerism" into a dirty word. The first, according to Gerzema, the consumer expert, is a growing concern about the environment and wasting resources. The desire to fix this has been helped by the second factor, which is technology, starting with the Internet.

"The Web is one big matchmaking machine that allows us to match goods and needs," said Rachel Botsman, co-author of What's Mine is Yours: The Rise of Collaborative Consumption and a former director at the Clinton Foundation. The introduction of smartphones during the past five years has also sped up the boom in digital services that help people find and sell goods. "We can now locate anything anytime anywhere. We don't even have to be at our computer."

The third and final factor is, of course, the bad economy.

"The recession has accelerated this trend in a couple ways. It has created a questioning about what really makes us happy," she said. "And I think that's led to a questioning of the way we live our lives and led to the realization that an economy based on always buying more doesn't work."

4 of 5

Select the service that is right for you!

Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!


DOW 17,959.44 +154.64 0.87%
S&P 500 2,078.54 +7.89 0.38%
NASDAQ 4,781.4240 +16.0440 0.34%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs