A Guide to Good Finds on Gumtree by Alex Stedman

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Read on for Alex Stedman’s Guide to Good Finds, her personal favourite Gumtree finds and tips to make the most of our platform.

Chris and I have been using Gumtree since we first moved in together 10 years ago, from selling camera equipment to help fund DIY projects, to buying the finishing touches for our renovation projects, it has been our saving grace many times.

What I love the most about this way of shopping is not the convenience (although sure, that’s pretty great), it’s not the saving money (that’s a given), it’s the community spirit that it brings about. We sold a rattan rocking chair this evening, as I’m typing upstairs(!) to a family that live three roads down, they popped round after their baby was asleep and dropped by just after we had put our two down.

Recently SOLD on Gumtree: Rattan Rocking Chair and Four Poster Bed.

We’ve sold so many things over the years, camera equipment, wedding props and a few months ago, we even sold our amazing four poster bed. I loved it but we had come to realise it no longer suited our growing family and by selling it on the site, it went to a couple who loved it as much as we did. 

Gumtree steps in as your life adjusts and finds a sustainable way to work within your community, making real change at the same time. I always try and ask myself before I buy anything these days: ‘can I find it secondhand?’.

Good Finds happen on Gumtree

What exactly is a ‘Good Find’? It could be something you’ve been after for years and have always kept in the back of your mind, or something you’ve been saving up for and you find at a fraction of the price. But for me, I love Gumtree for the smaller, possibly more mundane finds that are, in fact, integral to making our everyday more enjoyable. Not as fancy as a four poster bed perhaps, but just as impactful. Last summer we laid our garden lawn using top soil found via Gumtree, it was in the middle of the crazy heatwave and everyone was planning garden BBQs during our first pandemic summer. We needed soil and lots of it to lay our turf and found 4 tonnes of it up the road, saving around £400 in the end, amidst a general shortage of garden supplies! And Gumtree will be there as our garden evolves over time. I currently have alerts set for terracotta pots in my area and have been eyeing up some plants too (yes, you can even buy plants via Gumtree!).

Soil sourced on Gumtree for a fraction of the high street price.

How to get yourself a ‘Good Find’

My tips would be:

Set up alerts – if there’s something special you’re after, it’s a good idea to set an alert so you don’t lose hours searching every night. Gumtree does the hard work for you and will alert you when one comes in that matches what you want!

Narrow down your location –  I like to remove any temptation of when I find the perfect item but it’s a 5 hour drive away (*unless it’s an item you are really after, and sometimes it’s worth the extra journey!)

Always double check all the measurements – If it doesn’t sound right or you need a little more info, it’s so easy to message someone quickly and find out, rather than take it home and it doesn’t fit into the alcove you imagined for it.

Keep your eye out for brands – Gumtree is an amazing place to score vintage (especially furniture), familiarise yourself with brands and ranges to help you seek out exactly what you’re after. I have saved searches and alerts for Ercol Windsor chairs, bamboo cabinets and Welsh dressers (I didn’t know what a Welsh dresser was until I did some research and now it always brings up exactly what I’m looking for when I type it in!)

Sometimes I like to search by postcode, as you never know what might be selling in your area (your road, even!) that you didn’t even know you were looking for!

My top tip for selling? Don’t be afraid to sell something that may seem small, even if you’re listing it for free, you’re still doing an amazing job of upcycling and one person’s junk is another’s treasure, don’t forget!

Latest Good Find: Baby Pram

Our latest ‘Good Find’ has been a pram, sourced via a local North London seller. Our pram gave up the ghost days before my mum was due to babysit, and luckily we found one hours before she was visiting – the entire transaction (messaging, organisation and pick up) took a few hours and made our everyday as a family so much easier. As a mum with two kids, I have really started to understand the financial (and environmental) reality of a growing family and now look secondhand before buying most things for the kids, and will be listing everything once we’ve outgrown it, too. That’s what I love about Gumtree, it’s basically about saving the planet as much as it is about saving money, and who wouldn’t want that?!

Are you a growing family looking for a Good Find? Take a look at our guide to the best bargains for parents with small children. For the ultimate Good Find, it’s probably worth checking out our guide to finding the best freebies on Gumtree!