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A mid-century armchair in a vintage furniture shop.

Shopping Guides: Our Top 10 Tips for Shopping Secondhand

A mid-century armchair in a vintage furniture shop.

IMAGE: Vinterior seller Chase & Sorensen via Instagram

Secondhand September means out with the new and in with the old, a philosophy we wholeheartedly believe in. From fashion to furniture, buying pre-loved has never been easier or more important. That’s why we’re sharing our top tips on shopping for secondhand furniture.

Research secondhand furniture shops

Fortunately, there are a lot of secondhand furniture shops out there. Unfortunately, it’s easy to get lost in them. Research where to find the pieces you like and save your time and sanity.

Make a list 

It’s unlikely you’ll find everything on your list, but having a general idea of what you’re looking for will help you to focus your secondhand shopping.

Be open to the unexpected

Part of the fun of shopping vintage is never knowing what you’ll find. Use your list as a guide, but stay open to finding something beautiful along the way.

A collection of chandeliers hanging from a shop ceiling.

IMAGE: Vinterior seller Pure White Lines via Instagram

Only buy what you love

It’s easy to get excited by all the pre-loved furniture available. Try to buy only the pieces you love and avoid your home becoming a museum of other people’s stuff.

Avoid vintage furniture trends

Secondhand furniture shopping offers you the opportunity to find one-of-a-kind pieces. Ignore vintage furniture trends and avoid following the crowd to discover your signature style.

Build a collection slowly

Building a collection of furniture and home décor pieces is a lifelong process. Buy slowly and let yours grow organically. That way you’ll have interiors you cherish, filled with pre-owned pieces you love.

A collection of blue glass jugs on a shelf.

IMAGE: Vinterior seller Zebra Homeware via Instagram

Get your dimensions right

There’s nothing worse than finding a piece of furniture you love only for it not to fit in your home. Measure the space for the item and the doorways it’ll need to get through on its way in.

Check over every item

It’s important to buy quality pieces when shopping secondhand. Check over the item for signs of damage, wear and tear, and any imperfections. When buying pre-owned furniture online, request more photos of the condition if needed.

Remember you can mend

Many issues can be easily fixed. Armchairs and sofas can be reupholstered, while wood pieces may only need sanding down and resealing. You’ll find restoration services in most towns that can help.

Sell something to buy something

If your secondhand purchases have become all-consuming, adopt a one-in-one-out policy. Sell a piece you no longer need or love to give you the space and cash to shop sustainably again.

A final note

Hopefully, you found our tips helpful, whether you’re a seasoned second-hander or taking your first steps into the world of vintage furniture. Shop around, have some fun, and find pre-owned pieces you’ll love at Vinterior. 

Do you have any top tips for secondhand shopping we’ve missed? Or have you stumbled upon a pre-loved shopping secret you can’t wait to share? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

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