eBay can be a fantastic source for good value new and used items. It’s auction and buy now options have created a global phenomenon and 1.1 billion items were listed on the marketplace site globally in 2017, the company says.
This is from a wide range of products. According to the company’s data, a makeup product is purchased every three seconds, an automotive part every second and a video game every eight seconds. The UK is particularly interested in iPhones (with 7.7 million searches), fidget spinners (with 21.7 million searches), Lego (at 4.4 million searches) and the 2016 Christmas favourite, the Hatchimal (at 4.5 million searches).
DIY on a budget
The sites managers and users has also noticed a growth in the sale of second-hand furniture within local, and national, markets. That’s probably because of more people trying upcycling and adding shabby chic items in their home.
Upcycling is where a consumer buys an item then repaints or varnishes it, updates its look and, possibly adds additional elements. This could see a vintage chair painted and recovered, or a dresser given sticky-back door coatings and new handles.
At the time of writing a search for furniture on the UK site gets over two and a half million listings. This volume of choice means buying online can be a great opportunity for people to get value for money when decorating their home.
How to buy an item to upcycle
That said, there’s still a few things to consider:
- How are you going to transport your purchase? Large or unwieldy items may not easily fit in the back of your car. Check with the seller before collection to see if your purchase can be disassembled. Or if it’s very heavy. It’s often worth getting quotes for couriers from a site like Shiply. It can be much cheaper than you might think.
- Do you have the skills you need to complete the project? If this is your first attempt at making over an item then choose your work wisely. It’s much better to do something of modest ambition and enjoy getting it right than try something too complex and give up halfway through.
- Do you have the space you need to complete your project? DIY can be messy and take up space in your house for a day, or days (depending on what you’re doing) at a time. Think about whether you will be able to ventilate well from any product or paint fumes. And whether you need to hire any specialist tools to get the job done properly.
- Is the piece right for your property? Vintage pieces of furniture can often be bulky or reminiscent of a very particular style. However, you can do a lot by changing the colour or handles of a chest of drawers or a dresser – let the rest of your room inspire you in getting your makeover right.
- Finally, make sure you prepare your furniture properly. If you’re using paint, then pieces that have already had an older coat of varnish will need at least a light sanding. Possibly even a coat of primer. This will make for a far better quality of finish.
Happy bidding and good luck!