Stannah’s Pre-Loved Guide: A one-stop shop for buying and selling pre-loved treasures
The trend for second-hand shopping has taken off in recent years - with more than 4,000 stores in the UK that specialise in selling used items. Pre-loved items are unique for their positive impact on the environment, support of local communities and charities, and the chance of nabbing a vintage find that’s not usually available. What’s more, second-hand items are most likely cheaper than brand-new purchases.
More people than ever are buying second-hand items in the UK, and today, online marketplaces, charity shops and shopping sites have made it even easier to bring second-hand buyers and sellers together.
Our guide to buying and selling pre-loved items will help you to discover the beauty and value of sustainable shopping – along with improving the chances of finding a bargain. From clothing and accessories to furniture and collectables, the pre-loved market offers a treasure trove of unique finds and sustainable choices.
What does pre-loved mean?
"Pre-loved" describes any item that has had a previous owner, playing on the affection that it likely received from its owner, who’s ready to share the love with someone else – but these items are also commonly known as "used" or "second-hand" too. Items often feel nostalgic and show an appreciation for the item's previous life.
We analysed search data to find the UK’s most popular pre-loved items according to Googled terms – with cars and furniture topping the list.
Pre-loved clothes, cars, and… Stairlifts?
Did you know second-hand stairlifts can be purchased as an alternative to new ones? This can be a great option to save money – opting for a reconditioned stairlift can save you up to £1000. A reconditioned stairlift comes with a new set of batteries, upholstery and customised rails that perfectly fit your staircase. All parts are thoroughly inspected and put through a 42-point check manufacturing process. The process of buying and installing is similar to buying a new stairlift. Reconditioned stairlifts can also be rented, which is a great option for short-term use and presents a significant cost saving.
Where to buy and sell second-hand items safely
If you’re looking to sell old items or want to shop more sustainably but don’t know where to start, fear not—these are the top places to buy and sell pre-loved goods. While lots of second-hand shopping is online now, there are still plenty of places to buy used goods in your local area or on your high street – filter through and find the perfect platform for you.
Buying and selling with authenticity
It’s important to check the authenticity of items you sell or buy online or offline. The best way to prove the authenticity of items when selling is by uploading photos of:
- Different angles
- The logo
- Close-ups of patterns and stitches
- Damage (if any)
- The product working (if tech)
It’s also important to check a seller’s profile, how many items they’ve sold, their reviews and their verification status. For instance, the eBay Authenticity Guarantee helps buyers shop with confidence. Experts physically inspect eligible purchases before they are shipped to the buyer or returned to the seller.
How to safely buy and sell
Buying and selling online can be convenient, but it's important to prioritise safety and protect yourself from potential scams or fraudulent activities. Here are some tips to safely buy and sell online:
Protect personal information: Be cautious about sharing personal information with buyers or sellers. Communicate through the platform's messaging system rather than sharing personal email addresses or phone numbers.
Exchange money through the platform: Most websites have security safeguards in place to protect their consumers, but only if customers pay through their websites. Avoid sharing card details online or sending cash directly to the seller.
Always make transactions through the app: When selling something online, you always face the danger of dealing with a dishonest customer, so be sure the site you're using has your best interests in mind. Vinted, one of the free listings websites, for example, operates as a mediator between the seller and the buyer.
Ask a friend or family to tag along: Local or neighbourhood platforms, such as Facebook Marketplace, encourage customers to complete their purchases in person whenever possible. Take all necessary steps for safety before the exchange, such as meeting in a public area or informing a friend or family member of your plans, and if possible, take a member along with you.
Safety should always be a priority to ensure you don’t lose any money, risk your privacy or end up unhappy with what you’ve purchased. Make the most of your second-hand buying and selling experience by doing your research before you start.
Happy pre-loved shopping!