How to find great items on Gumtree

In this blogpost I’m chatting GUMTREE. Well, really, how to find great items on Gumtree! #finditonGumtree

Truth; I’m nervous to share this post. Perhaps the perceived judgment for buying second hand but by writing this I hope that some people can relate, share their successful buys - whatever they may be and realise that it’s actually pretty great.

So this post will be filled with WHY, HOW and avoiding DISASTER (ever melodramatic)

Ok, so let’s start with the WHY. As everybody in this world knows, the amount we throw away is phenomenal. If you think about even what you have within your own household, how many times you change or replace items from clothing, shoes, beds, fridges, washing machines even in just a short few years I’m sure you can mentally calculate it’s a fair amount. Times that by all the people living in your street its a mind-blowing amount.

Now, things need replaced, or do they? Would you consider repairing that broken washing machine or would you see it as paying a little now to then eventually have to pay full price to replace it? Once you have your new one plumbed in I doubt you really think about the old one? It goes to the dump and then what? (to be honest, I don’t know, this is just food for thought for you and I) To become more conscious about our consumption of well, everything!

So back to WHY I like using Gumtree

Find something unique

Many of the styles I like, i.e. stuff my granny would’ve owned many moons ago, I wouldn’t be able to source brand new. I adore vintage Ercol, Art Deco pieces and vintage mirrors. Although modern versions of these are available you can’t beat the original.


You can sometimes find AMAZING bargains on Gumtree, a lot of the time people selling items aren’t looking for much they really just want to get rid of it and don’t want to take it away themselves so they list it SUPER cheap to gain quick interest! *be wary though sometimes if its too good to be true, it probably is!

Better for the environment

When you buy on Gumtree you’re buying second hand. Everyone will have mixed opinions on this but for the environment, using Gumtree saves so many items from becoming unused or thrown away.

One man’s trash is another man’s treasure. What one person may think is worthless may be cherished by another.

No monthly cost

For instance, if you’re in search of a new sofa you might pop into DFS (or similar) they have very handy repayment or credit options. So, on the day you may only have a small amount or even nothing to pay for a shiny new suite. Then a year down the line you start to pay £60 (estimate) per month for said sofa, which now perhaps doesn’t feel so new, then you continue to pay this for perhaps another 4 years. It’s a fairly large financial commitment.

So instead, you look on Gumtree, OK, you might need £500 (estimate, ours was no where near this) cash the day you collect and OK, it’s not brand new but if you choose wisely it might only be a year or so old. Guess what? That’s it. No more repayments it’s yours.

You’ve saved yourself some pennies and you’ve saved said sofa from a possible dump fate.

Create a space that is as individual as you are

It’s EASY to get caught up in TRENDS, some will last but if you’re buying in trend not because its YOUR style but because it’s popular you’ll be unhappy pretty quickly as the new trend is coming in less than 6 months.

Scroll Gumtree, Pinterest, Instagram save items that you really do LOVE and find a way to create your own style within your home.

I definitely have Eclectic taste (basically love a bit of everything bung it all together and hope it works) but really there are no rules, it’s your home style it to be as individual as you are.

Simple and fast

Download the Gumtree app, send a message securely using their messaging service, email, text or call (this depends on what info the seller gives). They even

People who are selling on Gumtree usually want the item gone as quickly as possible, especially big items as its likely their replacement will be coming shortly which is good for you right? No long waiting periods. OK, it’s no Amazon Prime but it can be fast.

My Top Tips For Using Gumtree

Search out with your local

If you are looking for something specific type that into the search bar, start your search within say 5 miles, then add on 5 miles until you’ve found something you like. There’s a handy ‘saved’ section too. I’ll go up to 30-40 miles out to find what I’m looking for.

I tend to search for IKEA, Ercol, Swoon but other times just type in vintage and it brings up a broad range of items.

Update price, location and search term to find the best deal.

Check for good images

IF you were selling online you would want to take a good, clutter free image right?! So one of the things I look for is good pictures. Showing the item at different angles to see if there is any damage etc. Now I’m not looking for perfect images but you wouldn’t want to buy an item if the surroundings were a mess because how well has the item been looked after?

Look at the pictures - does the room look dirty?


This one is important to me too, I understand that the seller isn't going to spend a lot of time creating the perfect AD but I do like the info. Of course, people can lie or make details up but at the end of the day if you’re happy with the item then whats the issue?

In an ad I like to know about cost, damage, how old it is, location and whether it’s a smoke free home. If they don’t say this in the AD I’ll message and ask them for these details.


If it’s too good to be true, it probably is

(I’m sure I am repeating myself but this one is important)

If you’re searching your vintage buys like Ercol it’s likely the buyer knows what it is worth. So if its listed at an unbelievable price there’s maybe something wrong with it.

Safety - The avoiding disaster part

Never transfer money or payment online. We were so close to being scammed when we sold on Gumtree a few years ago.

Never share your location - be rough and stick with your town not village. I’ve been asked where I’m coming from, likely to be for directions but I will only say my local town or say we’re half an hour away etc.

If you ever get a ‘bad feeling’ even if you’re outside the house, just leave it. You can text apologising for not being able to make it but if you get a negative feeling, especially if like me you are going on your own or with kids in the car, just leave it.

That’s just a few of my tips, I’ll have a think of all my steps when buying and add these on at a later time.

*this post was not in affiliation with Gumtree or any other partnership.

Hope you’ve enjoyed this or has given you something to think about.

Karen x