Looking for a way to save cash, be kind to the environment and help a good cause? Then roll up your sleeves and go hunting for a second-hand bargain.

As this month is Second-Hand September*, now’s the time to up your game when shopping for ‘pre-loved’ clothes, shoes, furniture and toys.

And to help you do so, we’ve prepared some tips on sniffing out the best charity shop bargains.

  • Walking into a charity shop and seeing a jumble of clothing can feel daunting. But don’t be overwhelmed; just take your time and keep an open mind. Look out for quality fabrics, quirky patterns or colours you love wearing.
  • If you have little ones, watch for seasonal items such as wellies, waterproofs and gloves, and Crocs and wetsuits. Children grow so quickly that you’ll likely only get a season or two out of these items, so best to go second-hand.
  • Charity shops are a great place to find barely used sporting goods such as tennis rackets, cricket bats and shin pads. Some stores also sell musical instruments, which – after a quick tune-up – are ideal for beginner musicians.
  • Fashion houses have become more generous with their sizing over the years, so when looking at vintage garments, size up or try them on in-store.
  • When looking at furniture, think creatively. Consider reframing artworks and reupholstering tired-looking sofas and chairs. Chests of drawers and wardrobes can be updated with a lick of paint and new handles.
  • Many charities also have online shops selling high-quality items, so keep an eye on what they’re listing.
  • If you don’t hit the jackpot on your first charity shop visit, persist. You never know when a fashionista or sports-mad collector will have a clear-out and donate a treasure trove of items.
  • Charity shops tend to see a surge in donations in January when many people offload unwanted Christmas items.
  • Keep the second-hand cycle going by donating your quality unwanted goods to your local charity store.

Where’s the best place in Walton On Thames to pick up a bargain? Let us know your favourite charity shop. Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Youtube

*Oxfam’s Second Hand September campaign encourages everyone to buy only used items for the month.

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