Whether you’re looking for more sustainable ways to refresh your wardrobe or give your home a budget-friendly makeover – there are loads of great places to explore second hand shopping in London. From clothes by the kilo to thrifty vintage and even good old car boot sales, our guide will help you find pre-loved items, cheapo style.
Weigh Up Your Second-hand Clothing Options at Kilo Sales
Vintage shops and flea markets have been part of the fabric of London’s shopping scene for years. But, an increasing number of stores and pop-ups sell clothes by weight. The trends started in Europe, and London now loves it too.
You can find sartorial scales all over town, but like flea markets some have a small entry fee. One of the biggest kilo sales is the Brixton Village Kilo Sale at Pop Brixton, entrance is free and it’s usually held on the first weekend of each month. You’ll find a huge selection of vintage and retro clothes sold for £15 per kilo.
Elsewhere, Shop Kilo runs events all over London including Camden, Camberwell, and Peckham. It’s actually the OG ‘buy by weight’ in the UK, and runs events across the UK as well as our fair capital. There’s a small entry fee of £4 for early birds and £3 from 11 am and the cost per kilo is also £15.
Want to find more places to find vintage threads by weight? read our article on Kilo Sales in London
Browse Through the Rails of London’s Best Vintage Clothing Stores
If you love looking through racks of vintage and one-of-a-kind preloved outfits at a bricks and mortar shop, you’re in luck, London has plenty. You can usually find decent vintage pieces for between £25-50, as well as designer outfits for roughly the same amount as an average high street piece of clothing.
One of the oldest is Pop Boutique, in Covent Garden which has been running since the early ‘90s. Clothes range from the flamboyant and brightly coloured to more classic styles from the ‘40s to the noughties.
Elsewhere, head to Soho to Reign Vintage especially if ‘60s and ‘70s style is your thing, or while away hours at one of Beyond Retro stores, one of which is also in Soho, or head on over to Dalston or Brick Lane.
Looking for more second hand bargains for your wardrobe? Check out our guide to the best vintage clothing stores in London.
Grab a Bargain at a Car Boot Sale
For the uninitiated, it may seem like a strange concept – people gather in the car parks of various locations from schools to community centres and even fields and buy miscellaneous items sold from cars. But, car boot sales, or car boots as they’re often called have been popular in the UK for years. You don’t need a car boot of your own to visit one either (unless you’re planning on buying a lot!), there’s plenty right here in London.
Car boots generally run at the weekend, and some open very early (as in before 8am, imagine!), and charge a small entry fee of one or two quid. For those who prefer a weekend lie-in, one of the biggest in London is Battersea Boot, which runs every Sunday from 1:30 – 5pm. It runs all year round, and has been going since 1999, selling all manner of items from designer gear to vintage clothes, and antiques.
Over in north London, The London Car Boot Co. runs two car boots in Stoke Newington and Kilburn at weekends, although the latter (aka St Augustines) only runs on Saturdays. Fashion and furniture are the main draws at the Princess May Car Boot in Stoke Newington, but head down early for the pick of bargains.
Looking for more random bargains? Have a butchers at our guide to the best car boot sales in London.
Peruse Pre-loved Finds at London’s Flea Markets
Another beloved London pastime is mooching around markets, especially at the weekend. London’s flea markets are a haven for second hand shoppers, veritable treasure troves of antiques, records, vintage clothes, as well as furniture and homeware.
Brick Lane is home to not just one, but five different flea markets. Sunday is the main market day, especially at Old Truman Brewery which is home to the large, and much-loved Sunday Upmarket, and there’s plenty of food to be found at the Boiler House Food Hall.
But, east London isn’t the only place to find flea markets, head west to Portobello Road on Saturdays. The legendary street near Notting Hill is home to over 1000 traders and its various market stalls stretch out over half a mile.
For more second-hand stalls, browse our article on London’s flea markets.
Kit Your Home Out With Second Hand Furniture
Furnishing your home can quickly empty your wallet. But, moving into a new, unfurnished place or updating your current home doesn’t have to sting if you know where to find second hand furniture in London. Lucky for you, we do, and we recommend taking a tape measure too.
One of the cheapest options is to go to a specialist charity shop such as British Red Cross or British Heart Foundation, especially for ‘big ticket’ items like sofas, dining tables and wardrobes.
If you’re after more unusual pieces, it’s worth visiting more specialist places like second hand furniture warehouses like Alladins in Hornsey, which is in the backroom of a café. If you’re looking to furnish your home office set up, then head east to Docklands Office Furniture which has design classics like Herman Miller chairs and desks, minus the hefty price tags.
Second Hand Shopping Online
Chance are you’ve probably browsed through gumtree or ebay before looking to pick up a second hand bargain, but there’s some large second hand retailers that sell online too.
Preworn.ltd is one of the UK’s largest second hand clothes retailers, with close to 1 million items in stock. Special offer for London Cheapo readers, use this code to get 10% off (on top of any other sales or offers) when shopping: CHEAPO10 (that’s CHEAPO “ten”).
Still searching for furnishings? Read our guide to second hand furniture in London.