If you’re in the market to buy secondhand furniture then this is the post for you! Here’s seven of the best places to check out!
I feel like I’ve come a full circle when it comes to furniture in that when I bought my first house, it was genuinely a spur-of-the-moment decision as there was an opportunity that I couldn’t miss. That meant that I didn’t have much money so it was furnished with hand-me-downs and secondhand furniture which didn’t always match my personal style or preference but it was OK because I was so happy to be a homeowner at 20.
Then I moved house and wanted to buy everything new just because I wanted it to be mine but the kind of furniture I could afford was pretty much Argos flat-pack furniture – you know the ‘pine effect’ stuff that I mean that I loved at the time because it was mine but actually grew to really dislike because again, it wasn’t my style but I’d bought it because it was what I could afford.
I’ve learned over the year that it’s better to furnish a room slowly buying one or two key pieces that I love and adding the rest as I go along and now, I’m happy with something whether it’s new or secondhand as long as I love it. I do have quite a few secondhand pieces in my house mixed in with the new – some are upcycled and look nothing like they did when I bought them and some just fit right in exactly as they came.
And now I’m starting to think about what I would do if I was starting from scratch again as I am really seriously considering a cheeky buy to let purchase which is absolutely empty at the moment other than the basic few kitchen cupboards and appliances.
It’s not an expensive property and it’s not in the best area but I’m trying to be quite detached when it comes to the property itself as it’s more about the investment and the amount I can make over and above the mortgage payment for this property and this one is a flat that I could make a pretty good return on my investment quite quickly.
It’s a serious consideration for next year for me and I’m planning a viewing on this one once I get Christmas out of the way and if I do go for it then I’m planning to ask about whether it’s worth my while renting it as furnished or unfurnished – I have read that furnished can mean up to 20% more per month in rent so that’s a consideration for me.
If it is 20% more then I absolutely will furnish the flat myself based on the fact that I have a dining table and chairs already in my garage, a spare double bed and mattress, and a settee that I’m dying to replace. I won’t be going over the top but I just couldn’t throw in a whole load of mismatched furniture as I’d want the flat to be nice – I think if you live somewhere nice then you respect it more and that’s absolutely what I would want from a tenant. 😂
So, I have a few ideas on how to furnish the flat if I do decide to go for it – starting with where I’m going to buy the furniture from…
Seven places where you can buy secondhand furniture…
1. Charity Shops
I love a good charity shop furniture bargain although I’ve only ever bought smaller items from the ones near me. I bought this spinning little compartment thing for £5 even though I had no clue what it was and ended up painting it white and using it as a side table in my living room. I’m pretty sure I offered it up for free somewhere when I needed the space and it was gone within the hour.
Most furniture is too big for your usual charity shops so although you’ll still find smaller pieces in your local smaller branches, you’ll tend to find a lot of the bigger stuff goes to allocated branches around your area that sell furniture rather than the usual clothes and books. We have a couple near us like this – British Heart Foundation, Sue Ryder, Frade, Teesside Hospice, and YMCA all have branches dotted about that do lots of larger furniture items but that’s just my area. You’ll need to do some digging to see what there is near you.
Facebook Marketplace is probably the easiest way to buy secondhand furniture because it’s just so easy to do. You literally just need to join a couple of your local selling pages (search your town + selling or buy and sell) and see what there is available in your area. It’s not particularly easy to search on there but I often have a good scroll through and find things I didn’t know I needed until I see them. 😂
This is really tempting me at the moment as it’s selling for £50 and is perfect for storage in a small kitchen area like the flat I’m interested in!
I’ve found some amazing eBay bargains over the year but my most recent bargain was an Ikea table and chairs that I bought a couple of months ago for £100. I wasn’t a fan of the chairs as they were super modern looking but I loved the table as it was a perfect size but with the option to extend to a much larger table if needed. I ended up selling the chairs on Facebook Marketplace for over half what I paid for the table so I think it ended up costing me £45 which is brilliant considering the quality and condition of it.
I do think eBay is filled with lots of sellers selling new items which is fab if that’s what you’re after but definitely less of a bargain so I always set my filter to ‘used’ and for furniture ‘within 25 miles’.
My best ever eBay bargain was my beautiful writing bureau which I got for an absolute steal as it was a dark ugly brown until I rehomed it and got a friend to work some magic on it.
If I’m honest though, I rarely use eBay to buy secondhand furniture these days unless I’m looking for a project – which I am at the moment. 😂
I’m actually not a fan of Pre-Loved or Gumtree for buying secondhand furniture if I’m honest as they both feel so slow. I tend to do a search using my postcode and a radius of around 25 miles and see what comes up but I’ve just never found anything that I loved enough to buy. I’ve emailed a couple of enquiries where I’ve been interested but it’s always seemed to take a couple of days for someone to get back to me – once to tell me something had been sold in the meantime and the other times, I’d changed my mind or bought something else in the time it took to get back to me.
6. Car boot sales
I love a good car boot sale and in the past, I’ve bought quite a bit of secondhand furniture from there including a beautiful bookshelf and a blanket storage side table. You get some amazing prices and the item you’re buying is right there in front of you so you can literally see what you’re buying without making any effort to go to someone’s house. The problem is that you’re usually expected to walk away with anything you buy so you’re pretty limited when it comes to what you buy there.
7. Supermarket For Sale Boards
Go old school and check out your local supermarket to see what people are selling. There’s often some good deals to be had and I always have a quick peek as I walk past them.
And when you do have your secondhand bargains, you can upcycle them and give them a complete overhaul if you want to. I’ve got a few projects in mind to share how I upcycle the things I buy. Watch this space. 😇
I’ve been looking into all sorts of different aspects of what being a landlord involves and I like to think I’m pretty organised and that the list I’ve already made is going to really help me if I do go ahead!
In case you’re planning something similar to me for the new year then it’s worth looking around to compare landlord insurance to make sure you get a good deal on that and that it covers everything you’d need it to. I’m all about financial resilience when it comes to my own home and life so that’s only going to be more applicable in a rental property!
Wish me luck!
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