Buying secondhand is good for a number of reasons, the main two being that the practice is both environmentally friendly and financially friendly.
Buying secondhand means you’re stopping furniture that is in good condition ending up in landfills, because that is where most furniture ends up when it’s thrown out. It also allows you to get a good deal on items that you might otherwise have bought at full price. You can even buy brand new items secondhand.
Today the best way to find secondhand furniture is online through various selling groups and sites. We’ve put together a list of our favourites that you can use to find your next bargain.
Facebook is a great place to connect with friends and family, coordinate events, and be reminded when it’s someone’s birthday. It’s also a great place to find secondhand furniture!
There are many Facebook groups dedicated to buying and selling in specific towns and counties, and they can be found with a quick search. Dunmow Bargains is one example, though if you’re willing to look further afield you can also look at joining the selling groups for surrounding towns like Chelmsford, Braintree, and Bishops Stortford.
Facebook also has the marketplace option which is easier to search through for specific items.
The thing with these types of selling groups is that things can move quickly, and when a good item is up for sale it can be claimed within minutes. We don’t suggest browsing through Facebook groups and marketplace 24/7 to find the best deal, but there is an element of right time right place.
You also need to be ready to make a move when something you like does appear, as someone can quickly beat you to it. However, this does lay the trap for you to potentially buy things you don’t really need or want.
To avoid this, you need to be prepared. Know the dimensions of what you’re looking for and what will fit in your space. Know what colours will and won’t work in your home, and whether you’re willing to accept an item that has a few marks or needs some repurposing. Don’t get carried away with items that are a great price but not exactly what you’re looking for.
If you’re buying from Facebook you should expect to have to collect the item yourself. If you’re buying larger furniture, have an idea of how you will collect and transport items back to your house before buying as many sellers will want to shift their items quickly.
If you prefer to browse and take your time over your purchasing decisions then eBay may be a better option for you. The platform allows sellers to list their items for a certain period of time as an auction, or with a “buy now” option.
Most listings are live for 7 days, allowing you some time to think over the purchase, contact the seller with questions, and ultimately decide if you want to buy. Once you hit the “buy now” button or submit a bid in an auction you are committing to pay for the item, so be sure you definitely want it before buying.
If the item you want is being auctioned, make sure you avoid a bidding war. Work out the maximum amount you are willing to pay (taking postage or travel costs into account) and then enter that amount as your maximum bid. eBay will bid for you up to that amount, meaning you don’t need to worry about someone else swooping in in the last few seconds and getting the item for a price you would have been willing to pay.
This also stops you from getting caught up in the auction and bidding more than you want to or can afford to pay.
For larger items like furniture it’s likely that the item will be for collection only. To make sure you don’t buy an item that’s hundreds of miles away, use eBay’s advanced search options to find items within a certain mile radius of your postcode.
In comparison to Facebook, you can be more specific with your searches like type, size, and colour. You can search for “grey l shaped sofas” or “oak corner tv unit”. If you don’t find what you want, you can save the search making it easy to check in the future.
Another website you can use it Gumtree. Similar to eBay, you can be more specific with your searches, although this site is more focused around your location. One of the main search features for you to choose is your location and a radius around your location that you would be willing to travel. Gumtree will then show you all items available.
The amount of items for sale on Gumtree is smaller than eBay and Facebook, however there is also less competition. There is also a “Freebies” section that allows you to browse free items.
Similar to Gumtree, Preloved puts more focus on searching in your location and surrounding areas. By the nature of the name, everything on Preloved is secondhand, and the site encourages an upcycling mentality. The site publishes content focusing on upcycling and hosts private Facebook groups for Preloved members.
There is also a section of the site dedicated to free items called “Freeloved”. Again you can browse by your location and see items that are going completely free.
You can sign up for a free membership, or purchase a paid membership from £5 - £15 per year.
Those are our picks for where you can find secondhand steals online. Do you use any of these options? Or do you know of others we haven’t mentioned? Feel free to leave your suggestions in the comments below!comments powered by Disqus
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