Looking for a way to save cash, be kind to the environment and help a good cause? Then roll up your sleeves and go hunting for a second-hand bargain.
As this month is Second-Hand September*, now’s the time to up your game when shopping for ‘pre-loved’ clothes, shoes, furniture and toys.
And to help you do so, we’ve prepared some tips on sniffing out the best charity shop bargains.
- Walking into a charity shop and seeing a jumble of clothing can feel daunting. But don’t be overwhelmed; just take your time and keep an open mind. Look out for quality fabrics, quirky patterns or colours you love wearing.
- If you have little ones, watch for seasonal items such as wellies, waterproofs and gloves, and Crocs and wetsuits. Children grow so quickly that you’ll likely only get a season or two out of these items, so best to go second-hand.
- Charity shops are a great place to find barely used sporting goods such as tennis rackets, cricket bats and shin pads. Some stores also sell musical instruments, which – after a quick tune-up – are ideal for beginner musicians.
- Fashion houses have become more generous with their sizing over the years, so when looking at vintage garments, size up or try them on in-store.
- When looking at furniture, think creatively. Consider reframing artworks and reupholstering tired-looking sofas and chairs. Chests of drawers and wardrobes can be updated with a lick of paint and new handles.
- Many charities also have online shops selling high-quality items, so keep an eye on what they’re listing.
- If you don’t hit the jackpot on your first charity shop visit, persist. You never know when a fashionista or sports-mad collector will have a clear-out and donate a treasure trove of items.
- Charity shops tend to see a surge in donations in January when many people offload unwanted Christmas items.
- Keep the second-hand cycle going by donating your quality unwanted goods to your local charity store.
*Oxfam’s Second Hand September campaign encourages everyone to buy only used items for the month.