Second Hand Sofa Guide
Second Hand Sofas – Ultimate Guide
Are you looking for a great second hand sofa but don’t know where to start? This guide is here to help. We cover all the best places to search for second hand sofas (online and in store), along with loads of tips and tricks to make the process as safe, easy and good value as possible. This guide has the following sections:
- Best websites for second hand sofas
- Retail stores that sell 2nd hand sofas
- Prices – how much to pay for a second hand sofa
- Quality checks
- Pick up or drop off?
- Staying safe
- Reasons to get a second hand sofa
1. Best websites for second hand sofas
These days there so many websites where you can find used sofas that the choice can be a bit overwhelming. Below is the shortlist of what we consider to be the best available, plus our suggestions for getting the most out of them.
a) Freecycle, Freegle & Trashnothing
If you are strictly shopping on a budget, then Freecycle, Freegle or Trashnothing are a great starting point. They work the same way: through town groups and free giving and receiving. The difference between them is that Freecycle is a global organisation, whereas Freegle & Trashnothing are just UK based.
It’s always a good idea to know why people are selling a sofa for free. Sometimes, if it seems too good to be true, it probably is. We definitely recommend viewing the sofa before you make any commitment to take it.
Be prepared to put in a little work with these sites because there aren’t many sophisticated filters. It may be a case of setting an alert and keeping an eye out – though watch out for your inbox becoming full! Alternatively, you could post a wanted listing and see if anybody happens to have what you’re looking for.
For specific advice on using the site, see our Freecycle Guide.
LoveJunk is a junk removal and reuse marketplace and another excellent option for free second hand sofas online. It works a bit like the Freegle and Freecycle sites but is a lot more focused, with great filters. Use their filters to set your location and search within that radius. They have lots of listings of sofas, as well as many other furniture categories.
You can message the seller easily over the LoveJunk platform without having to share any personal contact details. Ask any questions you need and make an offer to collect for free if you like the item. They have an app or website. Joining LoveJunk just requires a valid email address.
Find 2nd hand sofas for sale in the main section or available for free in Gumtree Freebies. Find sofas for sale by going to For Sale > Home & Garden > Dining, Living Room Furniture > Sofas, Armchairs & Suites. Alternatively, use the search bar if you have a specific item in mind, e.g. “brown leather sofa”. Then you could apply filters like location, distance and price.
If you’re looking for free sofas, the easiest way is to add £0 max price to your search. Otherwise, you can try the Freebies section (For Sale > Freebies) but you can’t apply many filters here – not even category. So you might have to scroll a bit to find anything!
d) Facebook marketplace
In the marketplace area of Facebook, make sure your location settings are accurate. The best way to look for sofas is to use the search bar and then the filters. Or (on the menu down the left hand side) go to Home Goods > Furniture.
There’s a Free section on Facebook Marketplace too. Watch out when browing here! Some people list items as ‘£0’ but are actually selling when you check the description. Don’t be misled and check the descriptions carefully.
An advantage of Facebook is that you’re able to see the profile of whoever is selling. We recommend a quick look to make sure it doesn’t look dodgy. Look for a few pictures, some friends and activity that dates back at least more than a few months. Some people’s profiles are very private but it’s still a good test to see if they look trustworthy. On the same note – make sure your profile looks nice! Trustworthiness goes both ways.
This is a great place to find second hand sofas for sale, especially vintage ones. Free stuff, not so much. That doesn’t mean there’s not free stuff to be found, but it’s definitely more of a seller’s marketplace.
From the homepage, find the navigation bar at the top and click on ‘shop by category’. From there, go to Furniture and Homeware > Sofas, armchairs and couches. Then you can choose what kind of sofa you’re looking for. Alternatively, use the search bar to look for something specific. Knowing how to effectively search for things on eBay will save you loads of time. Use the advanced filters to your advantage:
- Exclude words from search results – if you know you don’t want a leather sofa, add a minus in front of the word. For example “-leather”
- Try ‘nearest first’ in the ‘sort’ tab – coming across a gem just down the road is way more convenient than at the other end of the country
- For genuinely good quality second hand items, set ‘condition’ to ‘used/ seller refurbished’
- Auction or buy it now? Try both, but you may have a preference for the buying method. If an item is just up for auction, you can always try messaging the seller to see if they have a ‘buy it now’ price
Searching for second hand sofas can be a case of playing the long game. Save your search and set notifications if you want alerts for any new listings. Make sure your postcode is accurate for nearby listings. You can use the web or the app to search eBay.
Another good site to find used sofas for sale. To find sofas from the homepage, go Category > Home & Garden > Living Room Furniture > Sofas & Armchairs. Or use the search bar for a specific sofa. From there, use the filters on Shpock to narrow down search results based on location, price, condition and delivery options.
People can often be very generous about the condition of their items so double check pictures and descriptions even if it’s listed under ‘Very Good’.
This site is best for buying sofas, rather than getting them for free. Their free section really doesn’t have very much on offer, so we recommend the free sites listed first if this is a priority.
Filter results by postcode search, price range and advertiser type. Sellers on Preloved are encouraged to provide dimensions for furniture listings which is very useful to have without having to ask. Respond to adverts agreeing to the offered price or propose a counter offer.
2. Retail stores that sell 2nd hand sofas
Online is great, but sometimes you just want to go and try them out or have a browse in person. The main places to look are charity shops that sell furniture. Below is a list of charities that sell furniture. Follow the links to find your nearest store.
- British Heart Foundation (you could also shop for used sofas online from BHF’s eBay site)
- Red Cross
- Sue Ryder
- Salvation Army
There will also be plenty of independent charities selling used furniture near you. A good place to find them is in your council’s bulky waste collection pages. Some councils have community reuse shops and others recommend local furniture reuse organisations.
3. Prices – how much to pay for a second hand sofa?
Prices paid for second hand sofas vary from nothing to in excess of £200. Unlike buying a new sofa, second hand prices for sofas vary a lot. It all depends on how urgently the owner wants it gone and also how nice and in condition the sofa.
Literally thousands of sofas are given away for free every week on sites like LoveJunk and Freecyle, or donated to charities like British Heart Foundation who then sell them for profit.
The main message is, when in doubt offer to collect for free and see if the owner says yes.
Below are a few examples of prices paid for preloved sofas. But these are just examples.
L-shaped second hand sofa, £30
Large grey couch, £75
DFS sofa, £55
L-shaped sofabed, £35
Velvet sofa, nearly new, £60
4. Quality checks
Before you hand over any money, double check a few things. If they aren’t already provided, ask for more pictures (or better, a video) to identify any:
- Visible wear and tear
- Mould or insects
- Wobbles/ loose nails
Problems with the upholstery can be repaired and you can fix a wobble. We would advise against a sofa that shows any signs of mould or insect infestation. Even if you clean it thoroughly, it can be hard to know where the problem is coming from.
Of course, the best option is being able to see in person whether the sofa is in genuinely good condition. You could also do the sniff test this way. If not possible, make sure you’re happy with the description.
5. Pick up or drop off?
Depending on the distance and the item itself, it might be realistic and the cheaper option to go and pick it up yourself. If you only have a car, you can probably put your back seats down and fit a set of drawers in there, or a dismantled desk. Otherwise, you might want to consider hiring a van for anything bigger.
Alternatively, the seller might be very kind and offer to drop the item off. This is a great option, but be aware that this makes it harder to say no if this is the first time you see the item in person and don’t like it. Maybe it doesn’t match the pictures or the dimensions were wrong – though you are well within your rights, it can get a bit awkward if they’ve come all this way and you say no.
Another drop off option is to hire a courier service. Not just for small packages! You can also hire a courier service to pick up and deliver big items, like sofas for example. Certain second hand sites can help you arrange delivery. Have a look at companies like AnyVan or Shiply to see their prices.
6. Staying safe
Here’s some final pieces of advice for staying safe and not ending up with an item you don’t want.
- Pick up where possible – avoid giving out your home address by going to pick up your item. If necessary, it’s also easier to turn an item down this way as you are the one travelling.
- Go with a friend to pick up, or have somebody at home when you expect the delivery. This isn’t just for safety but to help you maneouver anything particularly big in and out of the house.
- If it’s not right, don’t feel pressured into a decision! Finding a good second hand sofa might take some time and patience.
7. Reasons to get a second hand sofa?
It’s time for a new sofa, but why choose second hand over new? First of all, a second hand sofa will be much cheaper than a new one. Whether you’re on a budget or just thrifty and frugal, going second hand could save you lots of money. It’s also one of the best things you can do for the environment. By shopping for your sofa second hand, you’re preventing an old one from going to disposal.
It’s true that it takes a bit more work to find a great used sofa as opposed to buying new. You have to put in time to scour second hand websites or shops. If you don’t know where to look, it can be overwhelming. This article is here to help! Save time by understanding your options and how best to use each one.
- Free Furniture Near Me – find free used furniture online
- Second Hand Garden Furniture – Buyer’s Guide