Sell what you want to re­place be­fore buy­ing new things. That way, you know ex­actly what your bud­get is and your house doesn’t be­come clut­tered.

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• Most of the se­cond-hand fur­ni­ture or bric-a-brac groups are closed com­mu­ni­ties: you have to ask to join, af­ter which an ad­min­is­tra­tor will ap­prove your re­quest. Se­lect your group care­fully: the more mem­bers, the more po­ten­tial buy­ers. • If you see a post you like, comment be­low it to se­cure your po­si­tion in line. Then send a Di­rect Mes­sage to the seller, us­ing the Mes­sen­ger app. Do not di­vulge per­sonal in­for­ma­tion in the com­ments as this could put you at risk. • Re­mem­ber your man­ners: if you see a post you dis­like or a price you think is un­rea­son­able, keep your opin­ion to your­self; oth­er­wise, you might be banned from the group. • When a deal has been made, make an ap­point­ment to meet the seller. Ideally, this should be in pub­lic; if it’s at some­one’s home, take a friend with you. One of the ad­van­tages of buy­ing an item on Face­book is that you can put a face to the seller. And as the groups are man­aged by one or more ad­mins, sus­pect buy­ers or sell­ers will soon be called out, and banned. • Cash is king un­less you want to se­cure a pur­chase, in which case an EFT will do. But re­mem­ber that this is at your own risk. • Don’t feel obliged to buy an item if you aren’t 100% sat­is­fied when you see the prod­uct in real life. Be clear from the start and in­di­cate whether you’re just keen to take a look or if you’re def­i­nitely mak­ing a pur­chase. This way, no false ex­pec­ta­tions are cre­ated. And re­mem­ber, a seller can de­cline to re­serve an item; the idea is that who­ever pays first is the lucky buyer.

Trinket box, small grey vase and yel­low stor­age pouch from H&M Home; pin­cush­ions from Wool­worths

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