More businesses than ever are keen to save money. Due to these challenging and uncertain times, many companies have been forced to cut costs and reassess their budgets. Even those who are flourishing are keen to ensure that they are set for the future and protected against uncertain and unforeseen circumstances.
Across most industries, with lay-offs and furlough schemes, remote working, transferring operations online, and more, there have been several multi-sector shifts. But one under-discussed shift has been a move towards the use of second-hand products.
Below, we take a look at some of the key reasons why we have seen this change, why you should consider it for your own business, and how to get the most out of any second-hand products you may currently be using.
THE BENEFITS OF USING SECOND-HAND PRODUCTS
It Is Greener
Purchasing second-hand items is undoubtedly greener and better for the environment than exclusively buying brand new.
This is because it has a two-fold approach that is better for the planet. Firstly, it reduces the number of items that go to landfill by instead recycling them, repurposing them, or simply reusing them. It also reduces the need to manufacture new items, which can involve processes that are costly, cause pollution, or use fossil fuels.
Many businesses are now very concerned about their environmental impact – especially if it is a key part of their brand or they want to ensure that they qualify for environmentally-friendly incentives or tax deductions.
Using recycled or second-hand items can be a great way to reduce your business’ carbon footprint and adopt a ‘greener’ culture and approach overall.
It Saves Money
One of the major reasons to consider using second-hand products in your business is for the simple reason that it saves you money and can be highly cost-effective. This is an especially important consideration if your business was hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic, for example, if you are a new start-up, or simply keen to cut your overheads.
Using second-hand items can come at a fraction of the cost of purchasing items when brand new – even if they are only months out of date! They may also be a new product or release which are simply a returned or unwanted gift. In either circumstance, there are great savings to be had.
Choosing where to buy your second-hand items is an especially important consideration, however. You will want to be more confident than ever that you are not purchasing a faulty or inferior item. You may also need to be especially wary of counterfeit items and brands.
This can be avoided if you use trusted and reputable second-hand businesses especially those with credentials and knowledge specific to your industry.
For example, if you are a catering or hospitality business, purchasing second-hand catering equipment from a specialist supplier in the field can yield many benefits, while if you sell electronics you will need to be sure that all items are safe for use, so you may wish to consider purchasing stock only from trusted industry retailers.
Do your research, and be sure to raise any questions or concerns, so you can purchase with complete confidence. When done correctly, shopping for second-hand items that are essential for your business can be a great way to keep the company functioning optimally at a fraction of the normal cost.
GETTING THE MOST OUT OF SECOND-HAND ITEMS
Lots of businesses and entrepreneurs are happy to buy second-hand items and wish to adopt a more environmentally-friendly approach. But they still do not want their purchases to underperform in any way, or be less efficient.
To help ensure optimal performance, there are some tried-and-tested ways to get the most out of your second-hand items.
The first is to ensure that you purchase from a reputable buyer. This can mean that they are knowledgeable and respected as market leaders in your industry, or that they offer comprehensive customer service and are easily contactable in the event of a problem.
The next thing is to always keep or make use of any guarantees or appropriate insurance cover. Even reputable products can sometimes malfunction or need to be replaced, so try to ensure that you always have this option available to make the process smoother.
Regular repairs and maintenance are also a great way to help ensure the best performance from your second-hand item, whether you have bought a car, computer, appliance, or anything else.
Finally, improving your knowledge of the product
Whether brand new or second hand – by reading a manual or researching advice online, for example, is a great way to ensure that you are using it correctly and getting the most out of your investment!