Here’s How to Upgrade Your Furniture on a Shoestring. Buy, Sell, Win!

So, I’ve decided that I’m sick of everything in my house. Well maybe not everything but definitely the furniture that we bought for our childless, executive townhouse that now looks ridiculous in our family filled, work from home, forever house.

The thing is, we renovated our Forever House and as all renovations go we blew out the budget. BIG. TIME. And now we have zero dollars spare to update our home style and I’ve just had to suck it up.

But the other night as I was, again, complaining about our boring old timber dining arrangements to our dinner guests one of my very savvy friends said “Why don’t you get a new one from Gumtree?”

I looked at her and scoffed, “Gumtree? Really?? Isn’t it just for smaller household items and clothes and stuff?”

“Babe, you don’t know you’re missing! You know our gorgeous bedroom suite? Well we got THAT on Gumtree and used the money we made selling our old one to buy it. It’s easy to upgrade your furniture for next to nothing!”

Where have I been and what have I been doing and WHY do I still have all the wrong stuff in my house??

So, I started by checking out what sorts of things were listed on Gumtree. In particular I was looking to simply update my dining suite. I know there’s absolutely NOTHING wrong with it but the timber is far too dark for my new digs and the beige, microsuede dining chairs are ridiculous with two little, grubby boys at home. I wanted something contemporary and light to brighten up and modernise the space and I thought to myself “WHITE GLOSS”.

Of course.

In the end I found the perfect piece. White gloss, six chairs [which can be wiped down with a sponge!] in excellent condition and fit my room perfectly for only $550. The RRP on this was $1799! I sold my existing timber table and chairs for $450 so technically I upgraded for just $100!

Here she is…


And I didn’t stop there.

Now that I had a new dining table, I needed to replace the side table. I accidentally stumbled over this near new Ikea Dressing Table. It’s not technically a side table but you wouldn’t know and at $70 figured it was a bargain!


Best bit is, while I was looking for the side table I found the most gorgeous buffet [I didn’t even HAVE one of them before!] which fills out the dining room perfectly.  Best of all it’s got the curved edges like my table which actually fit perfectly, anyone would think I actually bought them together! Being there were a few scratches on the top, I picked it up at a great price but it was nothing my strategically placed stereo won’t hide (and at $195 who’s going to argue?!)


Just look how much more modern, bright and fresh my dining room looks now! I would never have expected to be able to completely upgrade my dining room for under $400 and it was so easy! I did all my shopping online and then just called on Dad and his trusty trailer to help me collect from the sellers.


My next upgrade project is the bedroom… I reckon it’s time we sold our queen-size bed for a kingsize for all those nights when we have one of the kids crawl in at some ungodly hour. Still working on hubby for that one as that means new linen too! Perhaps a new outdoor dining suite is next in readiness for summer…

I saw the most gorgeous outdoor pieces unit on my search today…


I picked up $3,000 worth of second hand furniture for just over $800 and totally changed the look and feel of my dining room.  I seriously didn’t expect this outcome but one step led to another and before we knew it…

  1. Buffet – RRP $999 – Gumtree price – $195
  2. Dining table and 6 chairs – RRP $1799 – Gumtree price – $550
  3. Ikea Malm Hall table – RRP $199, Gumtree price – $70

Total new investment:  $815

LESS Income from sale of timber dining table & chairs – Gumtree sale price $450

Balance – $365 extra for total room upgrade. Winning!

There is no shortage of white gloss dining settings for sale on Gumtree, and all at a really affordable prices.  Here’s some more that might tickle your fancy:


My top 3 tips for sourcing great value second hand furniture online at a fraction of the new price:

  1. Do your research. Watch values for a little while and check out the brand new price at stores like Harvey Norman, Freedom, Nick Scali and more. Then when the value presents itself, you pounce.  Which brings me to point number two…
  2. Don’t delay. The good buys get snapped up quickly!  Call the seller (don’t email or text) if you stumble across a bargain. Seal the deal and arrange to visit promptly at a time to suit the seller. Go out of your way if you can as they’re motivated to sell and  you need to be motivated to get the bargain!
  3. Use clear, well lit photos to sell your items and include the RRP of what you paid new in your ad. This will get you a better selling price and often, close the deal much faster. Those with dim lighting or poor quality will reduce the interest (but on the other hand can get you a great bargain and even some negotiation room

I think the before and after pics speak for themselves!


Proudly brought to you by the fun folk at Gumtree, buy, sell and win on upgrading your home on not much!  It’s not that hard, and with a little clever searching you can do the same thing too!  What do you say?

Avatar of Belinda Jennings

Belinda's a passionate advocate for community and connection. As the founder of the Mum Central Network she’s committed to celebrating the journey that is Australian parenthood. Mum to two cheeky boys, and wife to her superstar husband, they live a busy but crazy lifestyle in Adelaide. Great conversation, close friends and good chocolate are her chosen weapons for daily survival. Oh, and bubbles. Champagne is key.

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