A recent study found that the average person only sticks with a hobby for 16 months. And believe it or not, about 25% of people surveyed bought all the supplies for a hobby they wanted to try and never even used them! But their loss is your gain. Because many people give up on hobbies prematurely, you can purchase their gently used supplies for a fraction of the price of new gear. Here’s why you should buy items from hobby quitters.
Get Gently Used Gear on the Cheap
As mentioned above, many people buy hobby supplies and only use them for a year, or never get around to using them at all. The gear from these abandoned hobbies usually ends up on resale websites like Craigslist, eBay, Facebook Marketplace, or OfferUp at a significantly discounted price. That means you can get practically brand new supplies for a fraction of the price of buying them from a big-box store. Plus, by shopping secondhand, you’re saving items from the landfill and making a more sustainable, eco-friendly choice.
You can also find like-new hobby equipment at garage sales and thrift stores. A special tip for my fellow crafters: I recently learned that there are thrift stores that specialize in secondhand craft supplies. Many of them have online stores, including the Make and Mend Shop in Somerville, Massachusetts. So even if you don’t live nearby, you can still browse their selection of affordable, gently used yarn and other art supplies and order something special for your next project!
Score Discontinued Items at a Discount
Here’s another reason to buy items from hobby quitters—some hobbies rely on gear that’s been discontinued, such as film photography. If you want to get your hands on film or other hobby supplies that are no longer sold in stores, you’ll have to buy them secondhand.
If I’m looking for a rare or limited edition item and I can’t find it on eBay, I usually search on specialized hobby forums to see if anyone is offloading it. You can find these hobby boards by doing a quick search on Google or social media sites like Reddit and Facebook. Sometimes people who are giving up a hobby they once loved will sell their equipment on forums instead of resale sites. This helps ensure the gear goes to a dedicated hobbyist who will take care of it. Finding these word-of-mouth sales is one of the best ways to save on hobby supplies, especially if you’re on the hunt for rare items.
Get Advice on How to Use or Take Care of The Equipment
Some hobby quitters don’t know much about the activity they’re giving up on because they didn’t participate in it for very long. However, some hobby quitters are a fountain of information and knowledge, which you may be able to learn from.
A few months ago, I bought some hand tools for woodworking on a local Facebook group. The seller was an older gentleman who was moving on from the hobby because he didn’t have the mobility for it anymore. We talked for a while about woodworking techniques and how to use and care for the tools I’d just bought. He even threw in a few boxes of nails and screws for free.
Not all interactions are like that of course. But you may be able to strike up a conversation with and glean some tips from the hobby quitter you’re buying items from, which is an added bonus.
Where do you buy your hobby supplies? Do you prefer to purchase new or used equipment? Let me know in the comments section below!
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