i get asked a lot, about how i find my bargains, so i thought i’d put this together to hopefully give you all some tips and pointers!
as you probably already know i’m more of a shop preloved/shop secondhand kinda girl. besides a recent purchase of a hoodie from an autism awareness small business (hi justausome), i’ve not bought new clothes in a long long time.
my first go to for anything i want to purchase, from clothes, to shoes, to furniture, to home accessories, is secondhand. i pretty much always find what i want, and don’t have to splash the cash on brand new. there are occasions where i purchase new items, but i still almost exclusively purchase them secondhand from someone who’s not got around to using them! the only exception to my love of preloved, is underwear, socks, and bits and pieces for my furkids.
i want to scrap the idea that pre-loved means battered, ruined, bin worthy items. i (like many) only buy pre-loved items in good condition.
if you’re particularly worried about pre-loved clothing, because you’re worried about the cleanliness, and don’t feel like a good wash will remedy that feeling for you, by all means search for only unworn clothing. you can still grab amazing bargains, you’ll just pay a little extra as they’re still unworn!
at the moment there is a huge decluttering craze sweeping the nation, so if you’re looking for bargains, now is the time to look as people are selling, giving away, and donating to charity shops, their unwanted and unappreciated items!
first off.. my favourite – FACEBOOK MARKETPLACE.
i love marketplace as you can search from the comfort of your sofa or bed, and see what is about around you.
now the key with marketplace is to dig around. it can feel quite time consuming if you’re just browsing for random bargains, but it’s worth it for what you find.
for the best start, set you location and distance radius you’re wanting to see items from: i have mine set to 36km, purely because my car is cheap on fuel, and i don’t mind driving for a bargain! but if you only want to look in your local area, set your radius to reflect that.
next up, start searching: for best results keep your search as simple as possible. if you’re looking for chests of drawers, and you just want any wooden ones, i would just search ‘chest of drawers’ or even ‘drawers’ as a lot of people tend to put the minimum information they can on listings, particularly in the title. if you’re looking for only white drawers, i would keep it as simple as ‘white drawers’ – this way you’ll see the most results.
at first you can feel like you’re endlessly scrolling with no joy, but once facebook gets used to the things you’re searching for, it will also start recommending similar items. this feature has allowed me to find so many things that i never would have searched for myself.
the best days to look on marketplace, are saturday’s and sunday’s, as well as bank holiday monday’s, as people tend to have clear outs over the weekend!
patience is a virtue when it comes to marketplace.. but patience reaps rewards.
my best Facebook bargains so far, have been a cream arm chair (pictured below) a free black faux leather bed, and the white unit (above) that was saved from the skip, when i went to pick the bed up!
and as i post my blog i have a new favourite.. a retro tv unit, FOR FREE, that i’m picking up tomorrow!
shop around. find a charity shop you like, that has decent prices, and sells the kind of things you like. start there.
for example, i live in a very affluent small town and as such the charity shops in town are packed with bargains on top end designer goods like gucci, and louis vuitton, but that’s not really my scene.
i’m more of a habitat, next, retro, vintage kind of charity shop shopper.
i do pick up a few clothing bargains in charity shops, but i tend to spend more time looking at books, vinyls, furniture, and homeware.
again the key with charity shops is digging around. if you’re in a rush, you likely won’t find the best bargains. in this case, slow and steady wins the race!
my favourite charity shop is a large shack like building, that is full to the brim with everything from clothes and shoes, to sofas and large electrical goods.
it is a complete treasure hunt, but i’ve found the most amazing things in there, for pennies.
if you’re local to didcot in south oxfordshire, please check out ‘changing lives’ it’s a family run charity shop to benefit the local community, and they’re all utterly amazing.
hands down my favourite find there, besides my endless 20p book finds, is this stunning designer arm chair (above) it is still for sale for £999 and i bagged it in excellent condition, for £5! i still can’t believe it! my other favourite is this mint condition microwave for £10!
another firm favourite for bargain finds – CARBOOT SALES.
if you’re down to get up at the crack of dawn on a sunday morning, and trek up and down a field, while trawling for treasure amongst boxes and tables of odds and ends, you will be rewarded.
i know it’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but a slow meander around a field on a sunday morning is my favourite thing to do with my little sister.
if you’re looking for clothes, especially if you’re a size 8-12 or you’re looking for children’s clothes, carboots are a treasure chest. you can often by babies, and children’s clothes from 5 for £1, and adult clothing from 50p.. although at the one local to me there always is lots of clothes from places like primark, new look, topshop, PLT, boohoo, ASOS etc from 20p too.
my favourite things to get at carboot sales are crystals, vinyls, plants, and home accessories.
recently i have been loving collecting these beautiful vintage apothecary glass bottles! costing less than £1 each they are perfect for dried flowers, dried eucalyptus, dried herbs, or even sweet peas! another favourite find is the book ‘the lifechanging magic of not giving a fuck’ that i bought in hardback for 20p!
top tips for carboots: check the opening times, and charges dependant on the time you arrive – most places drop their entrance fee to half price after a certain time. the one we usually go to opens at 6am, but after 8am is only 50p in instead of £1! we’ve found there is no benefit to going earlier, as people are always still setting up, they’re flustered, and they have no change. after 8 everyone is set up, they’re less stressed, and they’re wanting to start getting rid of things so are willing to barter. make sure you take plenty of bags with you, and your money in coins rather than notes, especially for small purchases. don’t forget a bottle of water – carboots are renowned for charging silly prices for a can of pop! to me that defeats the point of trekking round a field for bargains, if you’re going to have to spend so much on a drink!
the treasure drove of the internet – if it’s not on ebay, it probably doesn’t exist!
ebay is my go to for clothes. i stick to brands such as ASOS, topshop, free people, and lucy&yak, so that i buy clothes that are not only cheap, but that will last!
but i look for all kinds of things on there.
for home items i look at anthropology, habitat, next, and oliver bonas.
one thing to bare in mind on ebay, is to have a maximum budget in mind for bidding items, and don’t go over your budget! it’s easy to get caught up in the last minute of bidding, in a bidding war, but going way over budget only leads to buyers remorse!
if an item allows offers, and you’re not keen on the price, by all means put an offer in – but be sensible! no one likes a ridiculous offer!
some of my favourite ebay bargains have been a next soap holder, and matching toothbrush holder, for £3 despite them still including their price labels totalling £18 – an instant £15 saving! new and unused – just unwanted! as well as a kelly hoppen vase for £12.50!
depop is like the vintage type stores of the internet. many people don’t know about it, still but it’s a great app particularly if you’re looking for clothing, shoes, beauty, and makeup!
i’ve bought many things over the years, from unopened beauty products, unwanted makeup, clothes, shoes, jewellery, and makeup brush sets for rock bottom prices!
it’s definitely worth a browse!
FREECYCLE and VINTED and SHPOCK and GUMTREE and LOCAL AUCTIONS:
all amazing places to also search for finds, but i’m not really experienced in any of them.
i’ve amazing things about all of them, so i’d say they’re very worth checking out.
freecycle is particularly brilliant for anyone starting over with nothing, or for someone needing an item to get them by until they have the money to replace it!
i’ve only ever been to an auction a couple of times, but i managed to bag an incredible world war two ammunition box for £2 at one once, and i’ve used it ever since as my best side table! it’s so quirky. i love it!
i hope this blog has given you lots of helpful tips and hints.
don’t forget to tag me in your favourite pre-loved bargain finds, and use the hashtag #serimademedoit
happy bargain hunting!