I still remember the days when my husband and I were furnishing our first home together. Newly married, neither of us had much money to spend on new furniture. Enter secondhand furniture—we quickly discovered that you could get lightly used furniture of decent quality at the local thrift shops and consignment stores for a very reasonable price. That was a game changer, and we were able to nearly furnish our entire house with used furniture. To help you do the same and save money, here are my top tips for buying used furniture.
Examine All Furniture Closely
Not all used furniture is created equal—that’s why it’s important to examine all pieces closely before you buy them. Examine the structure of the piece and make sure it is in good condition, or that it was built with quality in the first place. Check that any joints in the furniture are stable and well-constructed and see if you can find a brand name that will help you determine the quality of the furniture. You should also determine the quality of the furniture’s material—hardwood furniture will generally be of higher quality than veneer or particleboard. Finally, if you’ll be purchasing any upholstered furniture, it’s essential to check for bed bugs and other pests—the last thing you want is those little critters scurrying around your home!
Test Before You Buy
Sure, it’s great if the furniture looks nice, but remember, the main purpose of getting it is so you can use it, not just look at it. Before you buy a piece, be sure to test it out, especially if it’s a piece like a couch or chair. Make sure it’s comfortable and doesn’t have any weird lumps, broken springs, or sagging cushions. Is it in good condition and something you can imagine sitting on every day? Then you’re good to go.
Don’t Be Afraid To Shop for Antiques
Antiques are defined as pieces that are over 100 years old. This might sound off-putting, but in reality, antique furniture can be just as high quality and sometimes even sturdier than new, lower-quality furniture. If an antique piece is in good condition but its surface is looking a little worse for wear, remember that you can easily restore old furniture to make it look new.
There Are Certain Pieces You Shouldn’t Buy Used
Despite the obvious benefits of buying used furniture, there are a few types of pieces you should avoid buying used. Steer clear of old, used mattresses, as these can often be lumpy or infested. The same goes for old, upholstered pieces—often these are in bad condition. Furthermore, if a piece has structural damage, smells, or is missing a part that will be hard to replace, you should pass on it.
With these top tips for buying used furniture, you’ll easily be able to furnish your home for less without sacrificing quality. And who wouldn’t want to get a great deal on a quality piece of furniture? Next time you need a piece, try out these tips—you may just find a treasure for your home.