Some call it vintage shopping, others call it thrift shopping, but whatever you call it, secondhand shopping is a great way to find hidden treasures and second hand gems. Shopping second hand isn’t just a budget-friendly option; it’s also an eco-conscious way to decorate your life. Whether you’re a seasoned thrifter or a curious newcomer, we’re here to guide you through the ins and outs of second hand shopping.
Master the Art of Searching
Gumtree’s search function is your key to unlocking a world of secondhand treasures. With the ability to find exactly what you’re looking for using specific keywords and filters, you’re guaranteed to save time and money while shopping secondhand online. Narrow down your search by category, location, and price range when you begin your secondhand shopping journey, but don’t forget to check different sections like “Freebies” or “Swap/Trade” for hidden gems.
Know Your Priorities
You may be eager to start browsing, but take a moment to assess your personal style and what your intentions are. Is there a gap in your closet you want filled? Is there a certain lounge shape or aesthetic you’re looking for? Or are you after very specific pieces for your hobbyist projects?
Before you start looking left, right and centre, make a list of key pieces you’re looking for. For example, when it comes to clothes shopping, note specific details you’re wanting from a specific garment (e.g. vintage pair of jeans, or a desired brand). And if it’s home decor you’re after, then grab your measuring tape, write down what size you need and know what materials you want to invest in.
Prioritising your needs will help you stay focused and avoid impulse purchases so you don’t end up with a closet full of unwanted clothes and miscellaneous pieces. After all, you don’t want to simply buy items—you want to spend your money on items you love.
Don’t Be Afraid to Upcycle
Don’t be afraid to get creative with your secondhand finds. With a little imagination, you can channel your DIY skills and alter an item to match your individual style.
- Upcycle wine bottles: Transform a stack of nice wine bottles into plant hangers or candle holders.
- Restore a beat-up side table: Give a beat-up side table a makeover to create something uniquely reflecting your style.
- Modify vintage dresses: Shorten vintage dresses to make them more contemporary and stylish.
- Belt oversized shirts: Add a belt to oversized shirts for a fashionable and flattering look.
- Revamp blazers: Give blazers a modern twist by replacing their buttons with new ones.
Set Your Price Point
Just as if you were taking a walk through the aisles of an op shop, expert secondhand shoppers know that haggling is an art form. Polite negotiation can lead to significant discounts, especially when wanting to purchase multiple items from the same seller. It doesn’t hurt to do a little research. Compare the item you want against similar listings to have a negotiation basis—but don’t forget to focus on the condition, age and quality of the products that you’re comparing.
Be respectful and considerate during the negotiation process, and don’t be afraid to offer a fair price. Remember, both parties should feel like winners at the end of the deal.
Time It Right
Timing can play a role in your secondhand shopping success. Many thrift stores restock their shelves daily or weekly, and the same principle applies to second hand shopping online. Embrace the hustle of thrift shopping and add it into your daily routine. We know that morning scroll is addictive, so why not make it productive and scroll through new listings? You may not be guaranteed to find that perfect piece of decor on a daily basis, but you’ll never know if you never check.
Timing your searches to be out of season can also work wonders when wanting to catch a bargain. Think about retail stores; how many times do you see fast fashion shops selling mini dresses for less during winter, purely because they’re associated with being a summer style? And how many people get rid of their old items or unwanted gifts after festive holidays or spring cleanouts? It makes sense, but use it to your advantage and create strategic shopping habits.
With these tips in mind, you’re ready to embark on a second shopping adventure that’s both rewarding and reducing your carbon footprint. Embrace the thrill of the hunt, stay true to your style, and don’t forget to have fun exploring all the options out there, from used clothes and furniture to sturdy camping gear. Remember, every piece you find has its own story to tell, and your personal touch will make it a cherished addition to your life. Although having a plan is important to avoid wasting money, leave room for serendipity; sometimes, different pieces that you love are the ones you never knew you needed.