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A used good, or second-hand good, is a piece of personal property that is being purchased by or otherwise transferred to a second or later end user. A used good may also simply mean it is no longer in the same condition as it was transferred to the current owner. When the term used means that an item has expended its purpose (such as a used diaper), it is typically called garbage instead.

Used goods may be transferred informally between friends and family for free as hand-me-downs. They may be sold for a fraction of their original price at garage sales, in bazaar-style fundraisers, in privately-owned consignment shops, or through online auctions. Some things are typically sold in specialized shops, such as a car dealership that specializes in the sale of used vehicles or a used bookstore that sells used books. In other cases, such as a charity shop, a wide variety of used goods might be handled by the same establishment. High-value used luxury goods, such as antique furniture, jewelry, watches, and artwork, might be sold through a generic auction house such as Sotheby's, more specialized niches or privately-owned auction marketplaces.

Governments require some used goods to be sold through regulated markets, as in the case of items that have safety and legal issues, such as used firearms or cars. For such items, government licensing bodies require certification and registration of the sale to prevent the sale of stolen, unregistered, or unsafe goods. For some high-value used goods, such as cars and motorcycles, governments regulate sales of used goods to ensure that the government gets its sales tax revenue from the sale.

Benefits

Secondhand goods can benefit the purchaser as the price paid is lower than that of the same items bought new. If the reduction in price more than compensates for the possibly shorter remaining lifetime, lack of warranty, and so on, there is a net benefit.

Selling unwanted goods secondhand instead of discarding them obviously benefits the seller.

Recycling goods through the secondhand market reduces use of resources in manufacturing new goods and diminishes waste which must be disposed of, both of which are significant environmental benefits. However, manufacturers who profit from sales of new goods lose corresponding sales. Scientific research shows that buying used goods reduces carbon footprint and CO2 emissions significantly compared to the complete product life cycle, because of less production, raw material sourcing and logistics.[1] Often the relative carbon footprint of production, raw material sourcing and the supply chain is unknown.[2] A scientific methodology has been made to analyze how much CO2 emissions are reduced when buying used goods like secondhand hardware versus new hardware.[3]

Quality secondhand goods can be more durable than equivalent new goods.[4]

Risks

Secondhand goods may have faults which are not apparent even if examined; purchasing sight unseen, for example, from an Internet auction site, has further unknowns. Goods may cause problems beyond their value; for example, furniture may have not easily seen bedbugs,[5] which may cause an infestation that is difficult and expensive to eradicate. Faulty electrical and mechanical goods can be hazardous and dangerous. This is especially a big issue if sold to countries that do not have recycling facilities for these devices, which has led to an issue with electronic waste.

Types of transfers

Secondhand goods may have faults which are not apparent even if examined; purchasing sight unseen, for example, from an Internet auction site, has further unknowns. Goods may cause problems beyond their value; for example, furniture may have not easily seen bedbugs,&

Selling unwanted goods secondhand instead of discarding them obviously benefits the seller.

Recycling goods through the secondhand market reduces use of resources in manufacturing new goods and diminishes waste which must be disposed of, both of which are significant environmental benefits. However, manufacturers who profit from sales of new goods lose corresponding sales. Scientific research shows that buying used goods reduces carbon footprint and CO2 emissions significantly compared to the complete product life cycle, because of less production, raw material sourcing and logistics.[1] Often the relative carbon footprint of production, raw material sourcing and the supply chain is unknown.[2] A scientific methodology has been made to analyze how much CO2 emissions are reduced when buying used goods like secondhand hardware versus new hardware.[3]

Quality secondhand goods can be more durable than equivalent new goods.[4]

Secondhand goods may have faults which are not apparent even if examined; purchasing sight unseen, for example, from an Internet auction site, has further unknowns. Goods may cause problems beyond their value; for example, furniture may have not easily seen bedbugs,[5] which may cause an infestation that is difficult and expensive to eradicate. Faulty electrical and mechanical goods can be hazardous and dangerous. This is especially a big issue if sold to countries that do not have recycling facilities for these devices, which has led to an issue with electronic waste.

Types of transfers

Cars

cars are especially notable for depreciating in value much faster than many other items. Used cars may have been bought or leased by their previous user, and may be purchased directly from the previous owner or through a dealer. George Akerlof published a paper entitled "The Market for Lemons", examining the effects of information asymmetry on the used car market. Used cars may require more maintenance or have fewer features than later equivalent models.

Books

Used books are often re-sold through a used bookstore. They may also be given away, perhaps as part of a program such as the Little Free Library's programs. Used bookstores may also sell secondhand music recordings or videos.

Used clothing

In developed countries, unwanted used clothing is often donated to charities that sort and sell it. Some of these distribute some of the clothing to people on low incomes for free or at a very low price. Others sell all of the collected clothing in bulk to a commercial used clothing r

Used books are often re-sold through a used bookstore. They may also be given away, perhaps as part of a program such as the Little Free Library's programs. Used bookstores may also sell secondhand music recordings or videos.

Used clothing