Published in El Pais, December 28th 2019.
Something that fascinates me is the study of the market. This last period I have paid more attention to the second-hand market. Surely everyone has seen eBay, Facebook-Marketplace, etc. New means by which it is about selling things. Many times the objects are used and that is why the price is very low compared to one bought in the store. Also, you may find free stuff.
This type of market makes me happy and worries me at the same time. I am glad that a person no longer uses something, makes the effort to find another owner of his things, even if he gives it for free. In this way, the amount of garbage is reduced and it is super good for people who still do not want to buy something new. Of course, this is different for each person. For one, a used table is no problem, but for the other it is and prefers to buy a new one.
On the other hand, I am also worried because many people sell or give away almost new and / or in good condition. What happened so that they no longer want their TV, coffee maker, living, table, etc.? People today are used to having everything and after a few years they get bored of their things. Some people indicate that this is due to advertising. Many buy to upgrade to the new fashion and have no space to store, or bought something new, but never used it, or do not like it, etc. Something that is seen is that people no longer buy things for the long term. This is very different from our parents who bought a living room or a table that lasted 25 years or more. The new generation has another idea and wants to change their things very quickly according to the new trends. This “gives the appearance of having a good economy.”
For all this, this second-hand market has been strongly driven by the internet. Before it was difficult to sell something used. Publishing in the newspaper is difficult and expensive, but a text and a photo on Facebook is easy and makes it almost viral in a matter of hours. The photo of your coffee maker can reach thousands of people.
Perhaps because these new sales channels exist, people are buying faster, with the idea that if they don’t like it, they will sell it on Facebook. In all cases, if you want to organize your home these last days of the year, take advantage and put things online, free or for a low price. At least you gain space.