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The Insider: How to find nice junk online

Oh the joy of stumbling across a little second-hand shop, crammed with random tat – and hidden treasures. They're rare these days, and increasingly pricy. The good news? There are lots of ways to get your rummage fix online (and it doesn't begin and end with eBay).

Blog days

Junk newbie? Get inspired at Tales of a Junkaholic (simetra-junkaholic.blogspot.com). Its author, Artemis Russell, also suggests theseventytree.blogspot.com – "full of ideas" – and hellomrfox.com for "great flea-market finds".

Let's go outside

Plan indoors, shop outdoors: carbootcalendar.com does what it says on the label. Salvo.co.uk does the same for architectural salvage outlets.

Bid there, done that

Game for eBay? Some tips: narrow sifting by bookmarking favourite shops (I love Dotsshabbychicshop). Bid-phobic? Befriend the "buy it now" tab. For surprises, type "vintage" and "used" into the "home and garden" search box. Welcome to junk heaven.

The clash

Pre-order Emily Chalmers' ace Modern Vintage Style (Ryland Peters & Small, £19.99), out April. "Nothing has to match," she writes, "your taste will bind it all together." Mix modern and old, Chalmers advises.

Happy shopper

Two favourite, affordable rummagy web stores: pips-trip.co.uk and theokcorral.co.uk. Real jumble fans could brave cybergrot.com – if only for the category headings.

Give back

Oxfam's online second-hand homewares were a recent, joyous discovery. As is Newcastle-based recycleyourfurniture.co.uk.

Finders keepers

Seeking specifics? Try clever search engine shopadilly. co.uk. And relax.

Find Kate's blog on affordable interiors at yourhomeislovely.blogspot.com