In the golf section at Play It Again Sports in Dedham, behind rows of slightly worn soccer cleats and bins of brand-new baseballs, Finbar Ford of Walpole admired a used, $30 left-handed wedge.
Ford has been doing more second-hand shopping during the down economy as the cancellations for his construction business have piled up. But it wasn’t just a deal that Ford, dressed in shorts and work boots, was after at the store. “It’s recycling,’’ he said.
The increased interest in saving money and rising awareness of the environmental benefits of reusing products, combined with a growing trend away from conspicuous consumption, are adding up to big business for resale shops. As a result of this frugal shopping trend, the number of resale stores opening has soared: There are about 30,000 resale shops nationwide, and the number of new stores is increasing by about 7 percent a year, according to estimates from NARTS: The Association of Resale Professionals.