best second-hand stores
Second-hand stores are increasing in popularity as it is a great way to save money and the environment. Gary Gershoff / AFP

The best second-hand stores in the UK make it easy for us to be sustainable, protect the environment and save money. 

Today, living on our own comes with a hefty price tag. Aside from tuition fees and rent, students need to pay for textbooks, food, furniture, and more.

Through thrifting, you can find many of these items — in good condition — for a fraction of the cost.

Thrifting has become increasingly popular over the last few years, with many websites encouraging this act.

In the UK, there are over 3,800 second-hand stores that sell preloved items. In 2021, these stores saw a growth in sales by 27.2%.

We all like nice things and they do make life better. At the best second-hand stores in the UK, you’ll be able to find these and more. 

Here are the four best second-hand stores in the UK to find all your essentials: 

second-hand stores

Second-hand stores are a great way to find your course textbooks without spending a bomb. Source: Sam Yeh / AFP


One of the best second-hand stores online, eBay is where you can find everything you need, from furniture and homeware to clothes and even cars. 

All you have to do is check the second-hand box when searching for items.

The site connects you with people near and far when searching for a specific item. You can even find preloved textbooks, which could help you save some money.

Begin your thrifting journey on eBay here.

Abe Books

On top of paying for rent and university fees, students also need to spend money on textbooks — and new ones don’t come cheap.

Abe Books was established to help university students buy textbooks from students who are ready to pass them on.

This way, it not only saves the students some money but allows helps the environment.

On top of that, you’ll also be able to sell the old textbooks you are no longer using — and earn good money too.

second-hand stores

The best second-hand stores allow us to buy refurbished tech, like mobile phones and laptops, too. Source: Said Khatib/AFP

Back Market 

Technology has become essential in our lives. However, with a new model coming out ever so often, many old items are being dumped.

Back Market aims to address this problem by making restored items mainstream. 

They sell professionally refurbished products from brands including Apple and Samsung.

Technology isn’t always the most affordable, especially on a student’s budget. But at Back Market, you can find items up to 70% off the original retail price.  

All items are graded as either fair, good or excellent based on their cosmetic appearance and technical condition, so you’ll know just used your pre-owned item is.

There is a 30-day return policy and items are sold with a minimum warranty of 12 months.

Check out Back Market here.

Charity Shops

The UK is known for its charity shops. In fact, one can be found on nearly every street – you can barely walk a few metres without running into one.  

Here, you can find preloved clothes, furniture, vintage items, books and more. You can even choose to sell your old items to earn some money in return.

The best part is that these shops all work towards raising money for the local community or an organisation.

Not only will you be saving the environment, but you will be able to help those in need as well.