I'm a second-hand expert – how you can pick up vintage and antique homeware for £100s off | The Sun

ROBYN Moon has been visiting antique fairs and charity shops since she was a baby, so knows a thing or two about picking up a bargain.

Her mum and family friend showed her the ropes from an early age and by seven she was learning how to haggle to get the best deals.

The 31-year-old is currently based in Surrey and works in social media for a Japanese manufacturing company.

For her, second-hand shopping is about saving money and nabbing steals but also feeling part of a community.

Part of that involves running the @secondhandsurrey Instagram account where she shares money-saving tips with her over 3,700 followers.

Robyn sat down with The Sun to share some of those tricks, in particular how to find the best and cheapest homeware.

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Car boot sales

Most people have a car boot sale near them, and you can find some absolute steals there, Robyn said.

But it's worth drawing up a list before you head to one as it will help you focus on what you actually need to get.

Robyn has used the technique to pick up super cheap homeware items in the past, including a wooden sideboard for £40, which would usually sell for around £300 on platforms like Vinted and Etsy.

It's not just sideboards she hunts for though.

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"I look out for Fortnum and Mason hampers, and I'm always looking for other home interiors," she said.

"Denim is one of the biggest polluters when it's made new. If I can buy second-hand denim, it's better for the environment."

Facebook Marketplace

In the modern age, platforms like Facebook Marketplace can be really useful for bagging a bargain.

Robyn has previously found a 1903 antique mirror on sale for £5 which would usually sell for £300.

Meanwhile, she bagged a wooden sofa for £30 which would usually go for £100s.

Anthropologie is an American company known for its clothing, jewellery and homeware.

You can even find items for free as well, as Robyn found out three years ago.

She managed to nab a free printer from a seller near her home which still works to this day.

When it comes to picking up these types of deals, Robyn said it was all about being consistent and timing.

She said: "Check the pages frequently. Also check in the middle of the day.

"Sometimes, people might list something in the middle of the day and most people will look at those sorts of things in the night time."

Head to your nearest antique fair

Antique fairs can be prime locations to bag a cheap homeware item.

Robyn recently bought two vases at one for £15, which would usually sell for up to £80 each.

There's a database where you can find your nearest one, Robyn said – www.antiques-atlas.com.

You can try finding your nearest through a quick Google search or on Instagram too.

She heads to specific fairs around the country, including one at Kempton Racecourse in Surrey.

It has been going for around 30 years and runs on the second and last Tuesday of every month.

It's one of the most popular fairs in England because it's so close to the M25 and has a train station nearby.

But if you don't live near Surrey, Robyn suggested visiting larger antiques fairs, where stock levels will be higher and you've got more choice.

When it comes to actually finding the best deals, Robyn's top tips were haggling and timing your trip.

She said: "Don’t be afraid to haggle. Ask the dealer for their best price.

"They will have a price in mind of what they want to get. Towards the end of the day people will sell stuff for cheaper too."

Look out for look-a-like products

Robyn said a lot of major retailers, including Primark and Zara Home, have been focusing their attentions more on homeware products since the end of the coronavirus pandemic.

She's spotted plenty of people on TikTok and Instagram sharing more homeware-related content too.

But rather than heading there to buy the items new, you can bag similar-style items in charity shops for less.

In some cases, you can get the original products much cheaper too, including Anthropologie items.

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She's picked up jugs for £2, and even a golden croissant box for £10 that usually sells for £20.

Plus, she recently found an Anthropologie mug for 50p which would usually sell for £12.

Do you have a money problem that needs sorting? Get in touch by emailing [email protected]

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