Give people more for less: Top 10 places to buy second-hand goods.
Whilst many of us can’t wait for Christmas and love everything about the festive season, others find it a stressful time of year. They feel overwhelmed by the pressure to spend money they don’t have and can end up paying the price for their Christmas spending for the rest of the year and beyond.
In my role as a voluntary debt advisor, I see first hand how the desire to buy gifts for family and friends at Christmas time can be a tipping point, sending hard-pressed families into a devastating spiral of debt.
Think outside the (gift) box: Buy preloved & second-hand gifts.
That’s why I think it’s time we started thinking outside the (gift) box when it comes to buying gifts this Christmas. In my experience, it’s possible to buy fabulous gifts for loved ones without it costing the earth. One way to to this is to tackle something considered a bit of a social taboo…The second-hand or ‘preloved’ gift.
I don’t mind buying second-hand items for myself. For example, I’ve bought several used iPhones from CeX over the years and purchased a cheap sim card, rather than tie myself into an expensive contract. Buying second-hand phones has saved me hundreds of pounds. Plus, I have peace of mind too, as all mobile phones sold by CeX are covered by a 24-month warranty.
I don’t mind receiving second-hand gifts such as books, DVDs, CDs, games, accessories either, provided they work and are in good condition.
If you’ve never bought preloved or recycled items, let alone considered giving or receiving them as gifts, why not give it some thought? Your money will go so much further and in many cases the only noticeable difference in the items you buy, besides lacking a box or cellophane wrapping, is the price.
Here’s my list of top 10 places to buy your used/preloved/recycled bargains.
Top 10 places to buy second-hand goods.
- Certified Refurbished on Amazon, Amazon recently introduced a Certified Refurbished on Amazon store, where customers can purchase high quality, newly refurbished consumer electronic products at great prices. All Certified Refurbished products are offered by Amazon retail or qualifying sellers, and meet Amazon’s high standards for like-new quality. They are covered by a separate 1-year limited warranty, giving the customer the right to return or replace the defective product without any shipping or material handling fees during the period of coverage. Categories of Certified Refurbished products include PCs, smartphones, tablets, video games, kitchen appliances and much more.
- Amazon Marketplace. When I buy a book, CD, DVD on Amazon, I always check whether I can buy the used product for less via Amazon’s Marketplace. Marketplace items have their condition graded to help you make your selection, categorising them as new, like new, refurbished, used(good), used (satisfactory) etc. Sometimes sellers offer a more detailed description of the product’s condition so you can make an informed purchase. For added peace of mind, you can select sellers who’ve been given a good ‘feedback’ rating by buyers.
2. Online auction sites.
- eBay. The biggest online auction site by far, with millions of items for sale at any one time. In recent years eBay has moved away from being an online ‘jumble sale’ to become a slick, professional website which sells new and refurbished products as well as used items. However, with eBay taking up to 15% of the sale price in fees, some sellers are choosing to advertise their products on free ads sites like Gumtree (which is owned by eBay) instead. That said, eBay does monitor buyers and sellers closely and offers them protection if there are problems with the transaction. If you prefer to buy from reputable sellers, well-known retailers like Argos also use eBay to sell clearance items and refurbished products at discounted prices.
- eBid. eBid is a bit like eBay’s little brother. It’s a much smaller auction site, but it looks and works in a similar way to eBay. Even though its audience is only a fraction the size of eBay, it’s still a serious contender if you’re looking for a second-hand bargain.
- Bumblebee Auctions When goods are seized by the police, some of them end up on Bumblebee, the official UK police property disposal auction. Although it’s inventory is limited, if you are in the market for used bikes, cameras, tools, clothes, jewelry and electrical goods, you can find some real bargains.
3. Online Classifieds.
Years ago, if you wanted to look for second-hand items in your area, you had to wait until the latest copies of Loot and Ad-Mag were hit the newsagents. Failing that, you’d have to scour your local newspaper’s free ads section. Nowadays, you can find thousands of local second-hand items for sale via free online classified ads. Unlike paper classified ads, it doesn’t cost a penny to browse the listings at any time of the day or night.
Unlike auction sites where items are usually delivered to you (unless otherwise specified), buyers using online classified ads sites are usually expected to collect their purchases from the seller.
- Gumtree. Now owned by eBay, Gumtree is the UK’s number one classifieds site. With nearly a million new ads on the site each week, and a whopping 8 million visitors every month, they are the go-to place for everything from iPhones to cars, jobs to flats. Unlike eBay, it doesn’t cost anything to sell your items on Gumtree, although you will be charged the usual Paypal fee if someone wants to use this method of payment instead of cash.
- Shpock Or “Shop in your Pocket”- So called because as a smartphone app, Shpock is designed to be a ‘boot sale for beautiful things’ that you always carry in your pocket. However, you don’t need to use the app. You can still buy and sell items via the Shpock website.
- Preloved. If you are buying or selling second-hand items, Preloved offers a great free alternative to the hassle and expense of auction sites and claims to be a fun and friendly alternative to other more anonymous classified ads and selling sites.
- VivaStreet. Claiming to rank among the top two largest classified ad websites in the UK, VivaStreet offers users a simple and sociable shopping and selling experience. Its extensive choice of adverts range from ‘buy and sell’ services, properties, cars, events, pets, friendships/relationships and more, all in your local area.
Local Facebook selling groups have become more popular in recent years and are becoming a credible alternative to eBay as the place to earn cash flogging unwanted stuff. Just like classified ads, sellers post ads for unwanted goods, and buyers collect the items in person and pay cash in hand.
To make the process even easier, Facebook has just launched ‘Marketplace’ on the Facebook app and plans to roll it out for the desktop in the coming months. This enables sellers to tag their items by location, so you can find items for sale near you in one place. All you have to do is sign up to local Facebook selling pages and all of the items on these pages will appear in your Facebook Marketplace feed. Unlike eBay, there are NO fees, so the profit’s all yours.
5. Specialist second-hand retailers.
If you’re looking for a particular kind of product such as electronics, computer games, books or clothes, why not try one of the specialist second-hand retailers. As well as having online stores, some have high street stores too, giving you the chance to try before you buy or at least examine the goods before making a purchase.
a) Games, DVDs, digital electronics.
- Cex. (Complete Entertainment Exchange) Has a website and retail stores. You can buy, sell and exchange a range of technology and entertainment products including mobile phones, video games, DVDs and Blu-ray movies, computers, digital electronics, TVs and monitors, and music CDs. For extra peace of mind, CeX offers a 24 month warranty on all items except consumables.
- Grainger Games. With over 70 stores nationwide, Grainger Games stock an extensive range of new console games and used console games for Xbox360, Playstation3, Nintendo Wii U, Xbox One, PS4, PS Vita and more. Trade in your mobile phones, tablets, iPods and other gadgets online or in-store. Shop in-store or receive free UK delivery on all orders when you buy from Grainger Games online.
- Game Exchange Is an online retailer. Their mission is to: ‘sell a vast range of games, to do so at a fair price, to ship orders quickly, to be quick and helpful in response to any customer queries and to give great trade-in prices’.
As well as Amazon, there are lots of places you can buy second-hand books. I’ve selected a few of my favourites:
- Oxfam has dedicated secondhand bookstores around the country, which are a great source for books, comics and collectible books (signed copies and first editions).
- National Trust Properties. As well as providing a fantastic day out for the family, some NT properties have secondhand book stalls too.
- Music Magpie. Music Magpie specialises in buying and selling music but also buys and sells mobile phones, books and computer games.
6. General second-hand retailers & pawn stores.
As well as the usual CDs and DVDs, some second-hand retailers offer a wider range of products such as musical instruments, tools, jewelry, bicycles, TV and audio equipment and much more. Cash Converters also offers you the option to ‘pawn’ your items or get a cash advance.
- Cash Converters Has over 200 stores in the UK where you can buy and sell second-hand goods. They also have a range of products available online.
- Cash Generator. Has an online shop and branches throughout the UK.
7. Charity shops.
Charity shops have really ‘upped their game’ in recent years. Many of the stores have had a ‘face-lift’ and they offer a much better shopping experience. Our girls love making their pocket money go further in charity shops and they’ve found some fantastic bargains over the years. Some charity shops even have a webshop. My personal favourite is the Oxfam online store , which offers a fantastic range of clothes, accessories, books, CDs, DVDs, homewares and more. They also offer free UK returns and free delivery on orders over £40.
8. High street and online retailers selling refurbished stock & customer returns.
Some high street retailers like computer and console retailer, Game, offer secondhand and refurbished mobile phones, tablets, games, consoles and more. You can also save buy refurbished Apple products from the Apple store (Click here).
9. Car boot sales.
You might have to rummage through dozens of tasteless ornaments and copies of Jaws and The DaVinci Code but you can still find some great bargains at car boot sales. The prices are usually cheaper than online auction sites like eBay, too. You can also find professional sellers at some of the larger car boot sales, offering higher quality and new goods. To find car boot sales near you, check your local paper or keep an eye out for signs and banners advertising them.
10. Free stuff!
Finally, you can pick up some fantastic items without paying a penny via online groups like Freecycle or Freegle. These communities enable people to give (and get) stuff for free in their own towns so they can reuse them and keep good stuff out of landfills. Membership is free. All you have to do is search for your nearest local group, register and then you’ll get email notifications when free items become available. You can also place a free ‘wanted’ ad if you are looking for something in particular. Just remember, if you do benefit from free stuff, it’s just as important to give as to receive.
Over to you.
Have you bought second-hand items from any of these retailers and free classified ads services? If so, tell me about your bargain buys. Would you be happy giving or receiving a pre-loved/secondhand gift for Christmas or birthdays? As always, I’d love to hear from you.
Pin for later:
By adding your post to the linkup you are agreeing to be notified of su