Might it be the United State’s fragile economy? Or maybe, just maybe, a slow awakening to the inherent fallacy in the myth that bright, shiny new products will make us happy? Whatever the root cause, Americans seem to be embracing pre-loved products over virginal, with a new fervour. At least, it seems so for the reuse businesses run by Winmark Corp. who recently announced that their profits had nearly doubled ($10.3 million for 2010), against the previous years trading…

Winmark’s retail businesses are all based on the resale of secondhand goods. Play It Again Sportssell preloved sporting gear from tennis rackets to snow skis. Plato’s Closet finds new homes for unwanted adult clothing, while Once Upon A Child does the same for kidswear. And Music Go Round is where’d you go if you wanted to purchase a much thrummed guitar or clanged cymbals.

Reuse of products is considerably more energy and resource efficient, than creating an equivalent new product from scratch.

Not only that, the economy benefits, as studies continue to show reuse creates far more jobs than recycling alone. And as the Winmark example above indicates the sale of reused products is certainly no hurdle to developing a healthy business.