By in Random

You bin to the store again. Y'alls don't be needing all of that.

The title is what the homeless woman sitting on the wall outside the petrol station shouted after us as we walked home from the store earlier.

As it happened we did the in the bags we were carrying, but she spoke sense. So many people do not necessarily need the items they buy, but they choose to them because someone else has one, or they like the look of them.

Hence the problems with debt, hoarding, culture, rampant consumerism, waste, recycling, the throwaway society and all that stuff. Hence, most likely, why shops in the UK and US are booming as people pass on last year's must-have item in exchange for this year's version. The iDevice upgrade is just one of the ways people are persuaded to part with their hard-earned cash on a regular basis. But what are users getting that's genuinely new each time?

When we bought a car earlier this year, the salesman was intrigued to hear that we would be keeping it for at least 8 years. My previous two cars had reached 10 years old by the time I parted with them, one from new with me and one from 3 years old as a second hand model. Our finance deal is 5 years, which was the longest term the car dealership would offer. Yet in the States, my friend kept her Dodge Explorer van for nearly 20 years and was only persuaded to part with it when it was no longer possible to get spare parts to repair it.

I have never understood this absolute requirement some people have to buy something 'just because'. I'd prefer to buy something expensive (and in terms of clothes, classic) that I like and use it until it can be used no more rather than simply exchanging it for a newer model a couple of years later. I have a stash of T-shirts that I have 'retired' because I have worn them until they have gone in holes, become badly faded or have finally become too small for me after years of washing, drying and wearing.

A few years ago I reluctantly replaced a jacket I'd had since my first full time job (1992). I remembered wearing it for the interview. It had started to fray at the cuffs after years of wear. I expect the one I bought to replace it will last just as long, especially as I don't wear jackets that much these days. There was no need to replace it until it started looking worse for wear, and after 17 years and several dry cleanings, it didn't owe me anything.

Do you like to have the latest shiny fashionable thing or are you more like me, using something until it disintegrates?


Image Credit » http://mrg.bz/JSH3JZ keyword 'homeless', by meneya on Morguefile. Public domain image, free for commercial use.

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Comments

celticeagle wrote on January 12, 2015, 6:31 PM

I think some of It is addictive and some is immaturity and lack of control.

DWDavisRSL wrote on January 12, 2015, 6:53 PM

I'm definitely more the use it until it disintegrates kind of person. We do have a 'new' pickup that we bought in 2012 to replace a then 14 year old Jeep Cherokee. We still have a now almost 15 year old Accord with a 1/4 million miles on it that runs well (my youngest son drives it) and a 9 year old C-RV with over 150K miles on it that I drive to work every day.

Feisty56 wrote on January 12, 2015, 8:46 PM

Most often by the time I am ready to part with a possession it will be far more than gently used. My father advised to purchase the best of something you can afford because quality will last.

BodieMor wrote on January 12, 2015, 9:00 PM

I've owned cars for up to twelve years (one, a lovely little white on white VW convertible which I gave up for an Izuzu Trooper after I passed 6 months of pregnancy and could barely squeeze behind the wheel.) Then as my boy grew and i schlepped a slew of his friends anywhere they wanted to go, I drove a huge Ford Expedition. I'm very easy on cars and get attached. Currently I have a 7 year old cream-colored Ford Edge with all the bells and whistles. I'm sure this one will be around for a long time too. As I said, I get attached -- to anything I like. If you take care of something it will last.

maxeen wrote on January 13, 2015, 10:41 AM

I bought the most beautiful jacket yesterday in a British heart charity shop ,it was £5.99 in spanking new condition,off now to check the maker and the new price,back to let you know,meanwhile I agree with all you have said..

GemOfAGirl wrote on January 15, 2015, 11:36 AM

I think there's an element of addiction in just having a lot of stuff, as well as in the process of buying stuff. I've been in the long, slow process of getting rid of stuff for some years now, and I still have a long way to go. I can tell I've made progress, though - just the other day, I felt the urge to buy something shiny, and my inner grown-up asked me, will you still value that in five years? I walked out of the store, WITHOUT the shiny item. emoticon :smile:

WordChazer wrote on January 16, 2015, 2:23 AM

Me too. My eBay is going to love me when I get back to it after this hiatus. I need the break from constant deadlines (work, writing, eBay) but I'm unable to escape completely given that work never goes away completely, no matter how well I'm sailing...

arthurchappell wrote on January 16, 2015, 5:57 AM

I will bulk buy and often get just a few items even in supermarkets or malls - I hate it when they don't have 10 items or less checkouts I do use things until they fall apart

Bethany1202 wrote on January 17, 2015, 10:06 AM

I prefer to use and re-use until something cannot be used any longer. I hate waste, and that includes wasting money. I have had my car, which I bought used, for over eight years now. It's not in the best condition but it still runs, and I am not driving as often these days as I used to.

WordChazer wrote on January 17, 2015, 1:39 PM

Did you check the designer yet? You have me intrigued, as designer items in charity stores are often a right find.

maxeen wrote on January 17, 2015, 1:49 PM

Yes I did,the designer is Kathy Baker and I found a few things on ebay of hers, fairly happy about it. It is smart and like new !

maxeen wrote on January 17, 2015, 1:50 PM

Yes , I think he was right ..

WordChazer wrote on January 17, 2015, 2:13 PM

That's not a name I've heard of. Sounds like you could be on to something there, mind. eBay will become my favorite place after the amount of money I've laid out this month. I need to make like a listing maniac for the next few weeks so I can make some extra cash to cover the black hole in my finances.

k2705 wrote on January 17, 2015, 4:09 PM

I will have had my car 10 years this year, I have had it from new and am reluctant to part with it.

AliCanary wrote on January 19, 2015, 1:18 PM

I'm with you--I bought my car brand new and have had it for 14 years. It's still running fine and is lovely--why get rid of it just because it doesn't have USB ports? You should un-stash those tee shirts and convert them into rags--that way they will still be of use!

WordChazer wrote on January 19, 2015, 1:42 PM

No, I don't want them to end their days like that. I like going back through them and unearthing the memories each of them brings back.