So, here is my somewhat astonishing (at least for me) interpretation of the results of two TED speeches regarding consumerism behaviors, first it is the speech of Barry Schwartz on the paradox of choice.
He makes some very interesting conclusions:
1) We don't become more happy by getting more choices.
2) We shift the burden of responsibility from someone who knows something to someone who knows almost nothing (in the case of healthcare)
3) We are enabled with the ability to work any minute at any day at any place of the planet
4) Effects of all choices produce paralysis, that is, we often are not able to chose at all.
5) The more choices we have (like 50 retirement funds) produce the effect that less people are able to chose.
6) With many options, we end up less satisfied than we would have, with fewer options!
7) It is easy to imagine that you could have made a better decision. With more options - it becomes more easy to regret your choice.
8) Escalation of expectation causes people to feel worse. With all options available, expectations goes up which causes less satisfaction also with good results.
9) The secret to happiness is low expectations.
10) Today you yourself are responsible for your bad choices. No excuse for failure. The explosion of depression could have something to do with the high expectations and standards people have.
11) We would be better off with fewer options while poor people are better off with more options.
Then there is another TED talk by Dan Gilbert who tell that the happiness we get when we dont get what we want is as good as when we get what we want ... and sometimes even greater.
The psychological immunesystem works best when we are stuck, when we are trapped, when we have no choice. That is, then we tend to like what we get, and even like it more than if we had a more free choice.
Back to second-hand stuff. (My conclusions)
As we live in the most affluent society where we could easily order stuff from the other side of the globe if we so wish, we could always imagine a better choice. The things we buy are never ever "the best" they could always in principle be replaced by even more pretty, useful, fancy stuff that our neighbours would envy us.
However, when we buy or receive second-hand stuff, in particular original stuff, that are not possible to sell back, we will adore and enjoy the stuff we get a great deal.
As I am in the green movement I think this is something to consider and try to spread among us ... we will feel more happy with the "not ultimate" second-hand stuff we buy and at the same time this is just the right thing to do if we want to diminish energy, and material consumption.
We should really try to encourage second-hand business with all those positive effects on peoples' well-being and economy and also for our globe.