Buying Second Hand Furniture

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Whether you are looking for a crafty side project to start on or the perfect piece of furniture to fill the missing spot in your home, there are great places to find second-hand furniture for sale and may have just what you are looking for. Here are a few ideas of where to find these gems and what to consider when purchasing them to help you avoid buyers remorse.

When to Buy Second Hand Furniture

Over the years, it has become more and more common to see businesses and homes incorporate second hand furniture into their design. If done well, it can help accentuate you or your business's personality and style, making it both welcoming and trendy. If you are starting fresh and moving into a new place or workspace, or are just looking to give your place a fresh look, now is the perfect time to start making it your own.

What to Buy

Before heading to the shops and throwing cash at anything and everything that catches your eye, plan ahead and consider what pieces of furniture you need and what style you are going for. Are you looking for large pieces such as couches, chairs and tables that have a strong and loud presence? Or do you need something on the smaller scale, such as vintage light stands or oak stools? Make sure that there is a specific place for this new addition. Often, pieces of furniture will catch your eye in the shop, be brought home and refurbished only to be discarded as they don't fit where they were intended to go.

Where to Buy

Once you know what style you are going for and pieces of furniture you would like, you can look for these items that are put online for sale by the owner or third parties. Some websites cater towards those looking for high-end vintage and antique furniture, while others sell to those with slightly smaller budgets and perhaps different taste.

For those that want a more hands-on approach, head to a local flea market which allows potential buyers to see exactly what they are purchasing. While the perfect 1960’s piece of furniture may look comfortable and in good condition online, it may be quite the contrary.

Tips on Buying

Here are a few things to keep in mind before handing over the money.

  • Carefully Inspect. If the furniture needs a lot of restoration work done to it, make sure can actually have the potential to be restored. If there are bins for sale, but have noticeable cracks, or if there are items where the legs seem unstable and water or termite damage can be seen, they are not worth investing in.
  • Take Measurements. Always measure the space where the new addition will go into the home or office and bring the measurement tape with you when you go shopping. There is nothing worse than shipping it home only to realize it doesn’t actually fit.
  • Shipping Cost. When you make your budget, don’t forget to consider the shipping and delivery charges that will go on top of the furniture cost itself.
  • Consider the material. Tables and chairs that are made out of metal, such as iron or aluminum, are a great investment. Even though they may look rusty and worn, the rust is relatively easy to remove and repaint, leaving them looking like new. Hardwood, like oak and maple, is extremely durable and can give a room a deep and rich look. Stay away from pine, though, or at least don’t put anything heavy on pine furniture. They are not known to be the greatest for bearing too much weight.

When Not to Buy

There are times when it is best to walk away. Even though the piece may look like it has potential, don’t buy it unless you know where it is going and that it fits in with the other décor in the space. Chances are, you won’t be able to return your purchase and buyers remorse is what we all hope to avoid.

Always avoid buying mattresses. They can be full of mold, dust mites or bed bugs that will cost you much more than what you saved by buying a used mattress.

Avoid buying heavily used upholstered furniture, especially if it smells. Sofas, chairs, and pillows can be tempting to buy, but if it was heavily used, they most likely aren’t that comfortable and may be extremely expensive to reupholster. Smells such as smoke, fire, cigarettes and cooking odors are very hard to get rid of as well.