Frugal Furniture: How to Shop for Secondhand Furniture

tips on saving on furniture

Frugal Furniture: How to Shop for Secondhand Furniture

Don’t you just love a great deal? Whether it be on clothing or house wares, shoes or a great hand bag, a good deal just makes you feel, well, good! But how do you find good deals on bigger items, take furniture for example? The cost of new furniture items these days is about enough to blow your mind. $125.00 for an accent chair? $850.00 for a new sofa? If you are trying to furnish an entire room of your home, you might feel like you need to mortgage your house just to pay for it! Well here is the good news; you don’t have to break the bank in order to furnish your home with some quality furniture finds. Below, you will find some great tips for how to shop for secondhand furniture like a pro!

It is totally possible to fill your home with fabulous furniture finds while still staying frugal and in budget. When you shop for secondhand furniture, you can still find quality and clean pieces with plenty of life left. Take a look!

How to Shop for Secondhand Furniture:

First, where should you look?

Check out online options.
Craigslist is full of secondhand furniture options such as sofas, chairs, end tables and more just waiting for you. Buyers tend to be good about listing measurements as well as photos so you can make an informed decision, but always ask to see the piece in person before you buy. Always take a buddy with you when you go to look at any pieces, as well as your measuring tape to double check dimensions. If there is a certain piece you are in the market for, you can always list your needs in the “wanted” section as well.

Peruse the local thrift store.
Thrift stores are perfect for looking for used furniture pieces and the items tend to get updated weekly. If looking for something special, ask the store manager if you can leave your number so they can call you if something comes in. Be sure to know your discount status (are you a student? Senior citizen?) so you can get that great piece for even less! Pieces are added often, so when in the market try to swing in a few times a week to browse.

Go garage hunting.
This is an excellent way to find used furniture pieces for a song. Check your local paper for garage sale ads, specifically those who are advertising furniture pieces. Get there early to get a good look at what is available. Remember, you can always barter with the seller politely for a lower price! Try doing that at a furniture store! It would never happen!

Peek into antique shops.
While furniture can be pricey at antique shops, you can still find a good deal. Many shops carry unique items that you can’t find anywhere else for a reasonable price. Plus, most antique shops will give you a discount if you are paying with cash!


O.k. so you found a piece, now what?

Examine the bones.
This means take a look at the structure. Are all of the legs intact firmly? Is there any splitting or molding in the wood? Is all of the hardware intact? Are there upholstery rips or deep set stains? Don’t worry about cosmetic features, we can fix those later. For now, just make sure the piece is solid and sturdy!

Check your measurements.
Chances are that when you buy secondhand, the piece will NOT be returnable. Avoid any issues by knowing the measurements of your space and knowing the measurements of your piece. You don’t want any surprises when you get it home. Carry your tape measure in your car so when you find a piece you can be prepared.

Get the best price.
Secondhand purchases give you a chance to wheel and deal. Ask the seller if that is their best price, or what is the least they will take for cash. If buying from a shop, ask if there are any cash discounts, day of the week discounts, etc. Every penny you save can really add up! Remember just to be polite and it will go a long way.

Hooray you bought it! Now what?

Cart it home safely.
Keep rope and an old sheet or bedding in your car so you can wrap the piece up. You don’t want it to get scratched or damaged on the ride home. Some pieces may be able to be disassembled for an easier ride and fit.

Give it a good scrub.
Use a basic wood cleaner and soft cloth on any wood pieces and a simple oil soap and warm water mixture on your other pieces. Carpet and upholstery sprays are great for upholstered pieces, as is a freshening spray like Febreeze.

Fix cosmetic flaws.
If you want to start fixing flaws, get out some sandpaper and paint, fabric, a staple gun, etc. All of these are great tools for making a piece look like new. You can easily sand away any scratches or scuffs before painting, put new fabric over an old seat cushion, or add fresh paint. The choices are endless and can totally transform a piece.

Now where should you put it?
Well I can’t help you with that part! But what I will say is that every time you look at your new to your furniture piece, you won’t be able to help but feel pride!

Feel free to share pictures or your story of finding great deals at the Second Hand Store!

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