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It’s been the great debate since stores took their business to the Internet more than five years ago – is shopping better in store or online? Community websites and social media have given new meaning to online shopping, making it easier than ever to find your deal of the century.

We’ve all heard of Gumtree, eBay and Etsy – hubs of secondhand, handmade and discounted items that offer everything from tea cosies to couches to custom artwork. But you may not be aware of the new trend that’s seeing social media used to buy and sell unwanted goods for a fraction of the price.

Like any great new-age relationship, it all started on Facebook. Groups with thousands of members started popping up as places for individuals to sell their trash and buy someone else’s treasure (so to speak). As more and more users get in on the action, these Facebook groups have become much larger and more specific – likeminded individuals banding together to sell their once-loved Louis Vuitton pumps or purchases last season’s Mimco handbag from a likeminded digital friend.

No matter what brand, category or location you’re searching for, there’s a group for it – from Zimmerman to Tupperware to Hilux four-wheel drives. Much like with Gumtree, you can find the perfect armchair at 10 am and have it in the back of your car by 3 pm without having to worry about international shipping costs, weeks of waiting and the disappointment of having the item arrive looking nothing like the photo!

Sensing that this buying/selling trend is here to stay, the geniuses at Facebook have responded with ‘Facebook Marketplace’ – a one-click shop for the thousands of second-hand items being uploaded to the platform every day. Search using filters and keywords to find what you’re after, or get lost in the tens of thousands of random things available in and around your local area.

For things a little further from home, you can scour Etsy, eBay and Facebook, or even take to Instagram for some great secondhand finds. Well, known Instagrammers have been known to create new accounts wholly and solely dedicated to selling their pre-loved items, so keep your eyes peeled and snap up the bargains when you see them – they’re sure to sell quickly. When you find what you’re looking for, simply contact the seller via direct message to arrange postage or pick-up and voila! You’ve mastered Online Shopping 2.0.

SECONDHAND SCORES
Check out these Facebook groups for the chance to pick up a shopping bargain:

  • Mimco I love to Buy and Sell: 43,000+ members
  • Kookai – BUY – SWAP – SELL: 42,000+ members
  • Zimmermann Buy-Swap- Sell: 19,000+ members
  • Pandora New & Used Buy Swap Sell Australia: 17,000+ members
  • Witchery pre-loved sell and swap: 12,000 members
  • Sonny Angel Collectors (Australia): 2500+ members

Words: Anastasia White

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haven is all about family, life and style in Brisbane's inner city suburbs, the Gold Coast, south to Byron Bay. We have been keeping parents in the know for over eight years, with fun, fresh and helpful stories that they can take tips from or treasure in their own library.