10 Best Places To Buy Old Furniture To Upcycle

10 Best Places To Buy Old Furniture To Upcycle

Check out all the places you can get old furniture to upcycle it into a new and totally unique piece

10 Best Places To Buy Old Furniture To Upcycle

Since time began, people have been finding new uses for old things – From the war era and the “Make do and Mend” mentality through to the present day. Indeed, even the Wombles back in the ’70s were on their A-game when it came to helping the environment, collecting and recycling rubbish to use in creative ways.  

This mindset has not diminished and one of the growing trends is upcycled furniture. You’ve probably watched all the programs, got your cupboards full of paint and stencils, and now just bursting to unleash the creative beast and get stuck into turning your upcycling furniture ideas into something bespoke and beautiful.   

Except, where on earth can you buy old furniture to upcycle? Some of the best places to buy old furniture to upcycle are through online platforms places such as Facebook Marketplace, eBay and Preloved.

However, there are many more places you might not have considered where you can pick hidden gems to upcycle. So read on to find out the 10 of the best places to buy old furniture to upcycle


  1. Facebook Marketplace 
  2. eBay
  3. Preloved
  4. Gumtree
  5. Freecycle
  6. Charity Shops
  7. Households Waste Recycling Centre
  8. Free ads
  9. Outside People’s Homes
  10. Car Boot Sales

  1. Facebook Marketplace

Facebook had 2.910 billion monthly active users, as of 2021, placing it 1st in their ranking of the worlds most active social media platforms.  Of those 2.9 billion, more than 1 billion global users use Facebook Marketplace.  

It stands to reason that with that many people, buying and selling items, this is a good place to buy old furniture to upcycle. 

No matter where you are in the world, you can type in the search bar, select the distance you are willing to travel and find furniture suitable for upcycling all from the comfort of your sofa. 

Not only can you bag a bargain, but often you will find people giving away furniture for free just needing arranging and collecting.

2. eBay

eBay is one of the most used auction internet sites for finding furniture. Similarly, to Facebook, you can peruse from the comfort of your armchair, suitable furniture before bidding on items for your next upcycle project.  

This is a useful way of purchasing items as you can set your limit of how much you are willing to pay and can grab some great bargains.  

Do be aware that by using this site you run the risk of being outbid.  Another disadvantage if you are impatient like me there may be a delay from bidding to winning the auction to receiving your item. 

Top tip for eBay – always check the measurements – we have all heard stories of people thinking they are grabbing a bargain only to find out they’ve purchased dolls house furniture! 

3. Preloved

Preloved is perhaps one of the oldest and reputed largest classified online advertising sites in the UK.  With over five hundred categories to search through and 10 million members, there will be something for everyone.  

Selling everything from pygmy hedgehogs to Harley Davidsons.  They have a good selection of preloved furniture looking for a new home.

If you join as a preloved member you can become part of the community. There are no selling or listing fees and they offer an alternative to the auction sites.

Buying and selling are easy with preloved and they even have a Freeloved section, for people giving away furniture for free.

Related articles:

4. Gumtree

Similar to Preloved, Gumtree is another internet-based classified site where you can buy and sell pretty much anything, simply register your details on the site, grab a coffee and scroll and search to your heart’s content for furniture wanted for upcycling.

5. Freecycle

FreeCycles motto is  “Changing the world one gift at a time, with a mission to build a worldwide sharing movement that reduces waste, saves precious resources and eases the burden of our landfills”

With nearly 10 million members, in over 5,300 towns, you can find other members giving away furniture for free.  

Sign up to become part of the community and receive regular emails advising the items that are being given away for free.  You can also post to ask for furniture wanted for upcycling

Do be aware that this generally works on a first come first served basis, so be quick and you may be able to pick up some furniture to upcycle.

Related articles:

6. Charity shops

If you prefer a visit to your local high street to look for furniture, how about giving your local charity shops ago, not only can you buy old furniture to upcycle, but also support a local charity of your choice. 

Several hospice and charity shops now have larger out-of-town units with an array of furniture that is just sitting and waiting to be rehomed and to become beautiful bespoke Refurnished furniture.

7. Household Waste Recycling Centre’s

Despite current daytime programs alluding to the possibility of picking up furniture from your local tip for free, this is a grey area in legal terms.

Before you start donning your overalls and climbing down into the recycling bins and hauling away items that pique your interest, other than the safety issue, be aware that the guys at the tip are not allowed to let members of the public take anything away, and no, not even if you bung them directly a couple of quid. 

Legally it’s the property of the Local Authority and operatives working at the tip can be breaking company rules, it can be a sackable offence as classed as gross misconduct if they let members of the public just take items of waste.

However, more recycling centres have “shops” now popping up on-site, often run by local charities or for raising money to the local hospice where you can view and pay for items of furniture, these will have been items that have been pulled out from going to landfill as too good to waste.

The prices can vary depending on the area and not all Recycling Centre’s have these pop-up shops, but it’s worth checking your local Household Waste Recycling Centre and you may get to go home with a bargain.

Related articles:

8. Free ads

Perhaps more of a retro way of selling, but how about checking out the notice boards at the supermarket or the noticeboard in the post office local shop window or the classified ads in the local paper

For people who aren’t as technologically minded, these are still used to buy and sell and offer services to others.  

With fewer people using them, some great bargains can be had. 

9. Outside people homes

Furniture can sometimes be found with signs saying “free to a good home” or “free please take” left outside people’s houses. However, this is not to be confused with the sofa or items of furniture out on the drive whilst people are in the process of moving or cleaning out the garage.

  If there’s a sign on it, it’s fair game, if you like it and can let loose your creativity to upcycle, get it in the car before someone else snaps up the freebie.  However, if you remove something from someone’s property that is outside being aired or moved outside whilst the owner decorates that’s potentially theft and can get you into a lot of trouble! 

Where possible always ask the owner’s permission, a quick knock at the door to check is a lot better than having the owner press charges for theft. With the rise in Camera doorbells, the chances are you will get caught.

Equally, even if the item is in a skip on a driveway, don’t assume it’s free to a good home, anyone other than the property owner found rifling through its contents will be trespassing.  

Aggravated trespass is chargeable with a maximum penalty of three months in prison, although rarely enforced, is it worth the time and trouble for a free chest of drawers?

If the skip is on a public road, the items are still under the ownership of whoever has hired the skip until the skip hire company collects it. Taking these items could still fall under theft in the eyes of the law if the owner presses charges.

So, give the owner a little knock and ask if you can have them, and you never know what gems you may be able to intercept that haven’t made it to the skip yet.  

10. Car boot sales

Last on the list and always worth a look to buy cheap furniture to upcycle, are your local boot-fairs, why not while away a few hours in the sunshine looking for some pieces of furniture that will be suitable for your next upcycling project.

If you like to haggle and are happy to have a rummage you may find some interesting bargains… The only downside is carrying it back to the car!  

Related articles:

Key Takeaways

As you can see there are several different places for finding where to buy cheap furniture to upcycle.

For those people looking from the comfort of their own home, there are internet sites such as Preloved, Facebook Marketplace & eBay to peruse whilst having a cup of tea. Or try your luck with bagging a freebie from Freecycle.

If you prefer to leave your house to look for furniture, why not try the local charity shops on your high street or your local Household Waste Recycling Centre. 

In the summer months go out for a rummage at car boot fairs and jumble sales 

Check out the free ad boards at your local supermarket and newsagents and post office and whilst travelling about, keep your eye out for those gems sat by the roadside looking for new homes.

Whichever way you do it, there are bargains to be had and a multitude of items to save from landfill, so sandpaper and paints at the ready… Happy Upcycling!