When renovating your home, there’s no need to buy everything new. In fact, sometimes it’s actually better to buy second hand. Here are some tips to help you become a better bargain hunter.

We all want to live in houses that look like they came straight from the pages of a magazine, but décor can be expensive, unless you know how to snag a home décor bargain. That’s the cue to shop for second hand decor pieces, here’s what you need to know:

When renovating your home there is no need to buy everything new

In fact, in some cases it is actually better to buy second hand. Here are some tips to help you become a better bargain hunter:

Budget first

Figure out what you need to buy, make a list and then set a budget for these items. Remember to be realistic about how much you want to spend (R50 for a couch will probably get you nowhere) and then stick to your budget.

Do your homework

Find out how much the item that you plan on buying would cost new. Then find out how much it would cost to repair or clean an item that needs some TLC. When you go trawling antique stores, you need to keep both figures in mind. Remember that collector’s or antique items might be a bit more expensive, but that they are often worth the money.

Read more: Winter décor essentials

All the time in the world

Many bargain hunters view this activity as a hobby: you might strike luck and find what you’re looking for after one shopping excursion, but often you need to dedicate some time to the search.

shop for second hand decor via pexels

Size matters

Remember, you are looking for items to fit into a specific space or room and that you might have constrictions in terms of size. No matter how beautiful a cupboard is, if it is too big, it’s too big.

Transporting items yourself vs delivery charges

You also need to think about adequate transport when you are buying second hand furniture: rent or borrow a larger vehicle to transport larger objects, or check if the store delivers, and factor this into your costs.

Read more: African art: the next big decor trend

Assess the condition

When buying anything, from mirrors to couches, you need to check whether they are damaged and if so, how badly. Assess the situation: if something only has small damages which can be repaired cheaply, then go ahead. However major structural damage might cost you more than a new item.

Rather pass on this, no matter how cheap the bargain. Check objects for odours: something that smells funny now will keep on smelling funny, especially when the smells are from pets, smoke or mould. A mouldy smell indicates that something might be rotten.

Remember when buying anything: for now is forever. Buy something that is durable and will last.

Catherine Schenck – All4Women

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