5-minute guide to finding secondhand bargains

Where to buy secondhand goods?

Unlike America, storage auctions in the UK are rare. Despite Team Brandori being synonymous with storage auctions, Brandon says they spend the majority of their time buying second hand goods from more traditional sources.

Car boot sales

Car boot sales can be fantastic for finding hidden gems. There are plenty of examples of items being bought at car boot sales and then being sold at auction for a significant profit.

A £1 vase from a car boot sale in Dumfries turned out to be by Lalique and sold for £32,450

A vase was bought for £1 from a car boot sale in Dumfries and turned out to be a 1929 Feuilles Fougeres piece by the renowned French designer Rene Lalique. It sold for £32,450 at auction.

Success stories don’t need to be as dramatic as this – as a number of small profits can add up to a very successful trip. Looking for a car boot sale? Car Boot Junction offers a dedicated directory so check them out here.

Antique fairs

Those with an eye for a bargain should take advantage of antique fairs. With a number of events happening daily - Antiques Atlas has a thorough schedule of events here - there is plenty of opportunity to bag a profit.

The UK is amongst the best places in the world to find value in antiques because of its rich history of invasion, conquest, trade and invention.

Nothing gets the juices flowing more than rooting through items consigned to domestic history, an experience all treasure hunters should relish.


eBay is a huge marketplace with millions of second hand goods for sale, and as sellers are often auctioning off unwanted, new, or almost-new items at a fraction of their valuation, a number of deals are available to savvy traders.

Tips to find the treasure amongst the junk


Prior to going to find second hand goods, it’s imperative you have conducted research. Make sure you have as much information on the event you’re visiting, so you know what goods will be sold and the seller’s history. Once you have the knowledge you can make an educated guess about what will be there.


A hallmark is an official mark struck on items made of precious metals such as gold and silver, which certifies their standard of purity. To be a true hallmark, it must be the guarantee of an independent body or authority that the contents are as marked. Having a good knowledge of hallmarks is vital when spotting value, and if you have more knowledge than the seller, you’re on to a winner.

Certificates of authenticity

A certificate of authenticity (COA) is a seal or small sticker on memorabilia or artwork. It’s a sign of authenticity for a specific item, which highlights that the item is the real deal. They are very common for pieces of art and sports memorabilia, so always check when buying these items, if they don’t have a COA, you should be cautious.

What’s currently popular and rare?

Having a good understanding of what’s popular and rare will ensure you can sell your purchase quickly. So by finding deals on items that tick both of these boxes, but are under-priced, is a good way to make a solid profit.

Poor spelling

This may seem strange, but not on eBay. Where sellers list their own items, hundreds of words are misspelt each day offering significant discounts to savvy online shoppers – as other buyers won’t find the incorrectly labelled items.

When you’ve found your treasure

Now you’ve got tips from the experts on finding value on second hand goods, you are ready to go out and find treasure of your own.

Thanks to Safestore for sharing these tips.