Illustration by Emma Toogood

Reuse and Recycle: Purchasing Second-Hand Items

With the summer in full swing and lots of people leaving or moving from student accommodation and student properties, there…

With the summer in full swing and lots of people leaving or moving from student accommodation and student properties, there are lots of opportunities for students staying in Lincoln to grab some bargains to spruce up next-years accommodation!


It is quite common for students to buy extra furniture for uni accommodation – I got some free-standing shelves for my 2nd/3rd-year house to store all my textbooks. Although mine were fairly cheap from Amazon, it is definitely worth having a browse on social media e.g. Facebook Marketplace or community groups, to see if anyone is selling stuff for really cheap. I’ve even seen people giving things away for free!

Just bear in mind that most things will be collection only, so if you don’t have a car then you’ll have to be prepared to find a way to get it home – it can be quite a laugh with your friends, carrying a piece of furniture across Lincoln though!

Don’t forget to avoid things which need to be affixed to a wall, unless your landlord allows you to do that.

Also, look out for anything else useful like kitchenware or photos/lamps!


I’m not sure if a plant can strictly be classed as a ‘second-hand item’… However, quite often on community groups on Facebook or other local selling pages, people sell plants they’ve grown at home, both big and small. These can be a great addition to your uni house and can add a bit of life to your room!

Textbooks/Learning Equipment

Around this time of year, there are lots of textbooks available second-hand as many students either won’t need them for the following academic year or want to sell them once their course has finished. This is a great way to save a chunk of money and reduce paper waste!

You might also be able to get stationery or other course-related items to help you next academic year.


Like with furniture, a lot of students have a clear-out over the summer ready for the new term to begin, or ready for when they move home. This is a great opportunity to check out apps like Vinted or Depop for pre-owned clothing, shoes and accessories, along with listings on Facebook Marketplace and groups. This is brilliant for expanding your wardrobe in a cost-effective and eco-friendly way.


Sometimes you might be lucky enough to come across someone clearing out something like an old PC screen or a small TV. This can be great for saving money, especially if you don’t need something too fancy if you’re only going to be at uni for a few years.

Do remember to ask for evidence of the item switched on and working before you commit to buying it.

As with anything you buy online, don’t forget to keep personal details safe and make sure you are safe when collecting any items – if possible go with a friend or meet with the seller on campus.

Don’t forget that you could sell some things online too – you don’t just have to be the buyer!

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