I'm an upcycling expert — here are 5 places to find secondhand furniture

Get thrifty

A picture of a chair and a picture of suitcases on a purple background
(Image credit: Future)

Fun fact: My fave hobby is upcycling furniture. Chairs, console tables, footstools — just about everything! I love making pieces look like new and having totally unique furniture pieces in my home.

By picking up secondhand furniture, you can give old furniture — which would otherwise just be thrown out — a new home and a new lease on life. That's sustainable and stylish, bestie.

But before you can work your magic on them, you'll need to actually work out where they are. Y'know, so you can rescue them and then make them their cutest versions of themselves.

Ready to discover hidden treasure? Scroll on down for the best places to buy secondhand furniture...


♬ original sound - morganpaintsstuff

1. Secondhand shops

Okay, so you may already head down to secondhand stores for vintage and Y2K style pieces. But did you know that they can also stock furniture? Places like Goodwill have a lot of big and small furniture pieces which need a new home. The best thing about buying from secondhand stores is that proceeds generally go towards good causes. So, not only are you already saving a piece of furniture from a landfill, but you can leave knowing you’ve helped in other ways too. Now that's a win-win.

2. Waste recycling point stores

Look, there's nothing wrong with getting down and dirty. In fact, you may find some of the coolest things by taking a step out of your comfort zone. A lot of furniture gets taken to the local recycling point, as a quick and easy way to dispose of unwanted furniture. However, some of these points have stores, which are the last hope for amazing pieces of furniture that don't deserve the Toy Story 3 treatment. Go grab 'em and save 'em!

3. Facebook Marketplace

I know, I know: Facebook feels a li'l old school now. But if you want to get your hands on furniture that's local AF, you've gotta dust off your app and take a look through it. This is a great option because this doesn't list furniture that's been sitting in a store or a dump. You can also negotiate the price on here, making it even easier to grab a bargain.


♬ Face Down In The Moment - Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats

4. eBay

There's something so satisfying about buying on eBay. For me, I think it's the bidding process, that's just a fun li'l shot of adrenaline. My top tip? Save your best bid for when the bidding is about to close, as you may just beat the last bid with seconds to spare. BTW, for larger furniture pieces like couches and beds, collection is often required, so don't try and buy something that's on the other side of the country unless you're totally in love with it. 

5. Gumtree

Why get something for a couple of dollars when you can get something for free? As well as listing buys, Gumtree also lists a lot of freebies which is ideal for upcyclers. People who no longer want items will take pictures and post them onto Gumtree, hoping someone is happy to pick it up. AKA, that could be you! If you're meeting someone for a collection, be sure to do it in a public space and bring a friend too — stranger danger is not cute, peeps.

Now you know where to look, why not go and find your next upcycle project? Even if you just want to practice your skills, you can get great small pieces to test your techniques on. And then when your friends ask where your cool furniture pieces are from? You can tell them that you've been super thrifty.

Up next: How to paint furniture

Eve Smallman
Staff Writer

Hi there! I’m a staff writer at Real Homes. I've been a lifestyle journalist for over five years, previously working as an editor across regional magazines. Before this, I graduated from Nottingham Trent University a degree in journalism, along with an NCTJ gold diploma. I love running, decorating my rented Victorian home, and discovering new cheeses. 

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