I’ll admit it: I used to be a snob about buying stuff second-hand. Maybe it was the effect of wearing my sister’s hand-me-downs or maybe I was duped into believing the shopper’s adrenaline high to only came with new products.

But lately I’ve found that antique, vintage, upcycled, consignment, thrift store, secondhand, and “new to you” items give me a thrill, too. Like the 25-cent glass Calphalon lid I bought recently. It fits my lid-less nonstick pan and the Dutch oven I make popcorn in. Love it! Like the emerald green Hiawatha bicycle I bought at a garage sale. You might not love it, but I’m head over heels.

Fortunately, I don’t have to go far for great finds. Bluffton (Ohio) has many places to shop second-hand. Check out the links for more information.

  • Bluffton Icon. Okay, so this is a virtual place managed by Fred and Mary Steiner. Check out the classified ads for some interesting items.
  • Bluffton Online Garage Sale.  Another virtual place, this time on Facebook.
  • Bluffton Public Library. The Friends of the Library have great book sales twice a year and items for sale in the “Apple Shed,” a cute little nook just past the copy machine.
  • Bluffton Senior Center. Considering a trip to Findlay or Lima for sewing or craft supplies? Try here first. You’ll also find a great selection of handmade items (but that’s another article). Tonya Meyer and Deb Beer can tell you all about what’s in stock.
  • Book Reviews Et Cetera. Have you watched this place grow? There is a seriously dedicated group of volunteers working here, led by manager Kristina Walton. This is a used book store where you can actually find what you’re looking for!
  • CG Pro Bikes. Yes, they’ve got lot of new, high-end products at this bike shop, but someone else’s trade-in can be your new bike. And owners Raymond and Liz can help you keep it in great shape.
  • Et Cetera Shop. The grandmama of Bluffton resale shops. As I mentioned in an earlier blog, this place brings folks to town. A Mennonite Central Committee thrift shop, Et Cetera explains that it’s “Where every bargain is a product of hope and every purchase is a gift to the world.”
  • Junk and Disorderly. Hoot! While I love the name of Michele Blubaugh’s shop, don’t take it literally! Everything is beautifully displayed and your imagination has free range. Michele clearly loves both finding and beautifying vintage furniture and decor.
  • Studio Silhouette. Why spend a fortune on a fancy dress that you’ll wear once? Why try on a zillion dresses to find one that matches your dimensions? Owner Rachel Davis understands economics, fashion, and fit.

There are many different reasons to shop secondhand. It fits your budget. It’s handy. It’s green. It’s fun. Why did it take me so long to figure that out!?

If you’d rather the flow of “stuff” went in the other direction, the library, senior center, thrift store and book store rely on donations. When you start your spring cleaning, consider making a donation to these worthy nonprofits.

Have other favorite “new to you” shops near Bluffton? I’d love to know about more!