The Allure of Pre-loved Pieces

Date: 09 October 2018


There is a certain charm to sourcing a pre-loved piece. Not only does it feel like you’ve hustled a little harder to find it, but you can more often than not, pick up quality pieces at a fraction of the price. There is a real sense of achievement to a quick fixer-upper that ticks all the boxes for your home. Whether it’s restoring a timber sideboard, reupholstering some cushions or relacquering an outdoor setting, with the right approach, you can source all manner of household pieces – sometimes you just need to know where to start.
As with any purchase, begin with a checklist of questions you’ll need to know before you could confidently purchase a pre-loved item. This checklist will help guide your purchase decisions. Make a mental list on non-negotiables that you want in your piece and exercise patience. Trawl the usual suspects, Gumtree, Ebay and even Facebook Marketplace are great places to start. Tip! Save your search terms so that you’re automatically notified any time an item is listed that matches your criteria.
Once you find a piece that catches your eye, you’ll need to know a little about the owners lifestyle. Are they a smoker? Do they have any pets? This will help you understand wear and tear, and any associated odours before you invest more time into this listing. If you’re hunting for a designer piece, or a piece reminiscent of a particular design period – i.e mid-century modern – then there is an entirely new set of questions to consider. Ensure you ask whether the piece is an original, and if so, if it has been authenticated. Whether or not you mind if it is a replica is irrelevant, requesting this information will amplify your negotiating power later on should you decide to pursue the purchase.
When shopping second hand it is easy to become caught up in the adrenalin of finding a bargain, so exercise caution. Triple check all your measurements, including your doorway if you’re purchasing a big-ticket item like a lounge or fridge. Don’t cross your fingers and hope for the best!
Don’t underestimate the value that you can find in a second hand piece if you look hard enough, many people are willing to part with items for free for the simple convenience of having it removed for them. Otherwise have confidence in the value you assign to the piece and the price you are prepared to pay and negotiate until you are satisfied with the outcome. 
Don’t forget if you prefer to treasure hunt in person, vintage stores and local op-shops are a wonderful place to begin your search. Op-shops are typically better suited for small wares, think vases, ceramics, table settings and all manner of crystal. Seek out your closest vintage stores for other homewares and furniture. They have done the hard trawling for you!

Tags: home improvement, home decor