A twinge of regret crosses Melissa Moores’ face as she hands over her laptop to the clerk at Cash Converters, an Oshawa buy-and-sell shop.

He hands her $75. Not much for a computer that costs nearly $1,000 new.

“I’ve got a mortgage to pay and every bit helps,” says Moores, 23, who bought a home at about the same time the recession began. “With all this talk of an economic downturn, I started to think about getting rid of things I didn’t really need.”

Cash Converters president and CEO Danny Nigris says he’s seen a lot of people like Moores lately. In fact, he says the company’s two Durham Region locations, which offer cheque cashing services in addition to buying and selling second-hand goods, have seen a 40 per cent increase in the buy side of the business over the first six weeks of 2009 compared to the same period last year.