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7 Tips for Buying Used Furniture

Buying used furniture is a great idea. It helps you save money, gives money back to others in your community, and even saves the environment from another unnecessary addition to a landfill; but there are lots of things we could do while shopping for used furniture to make our lives even easier. Check out our list of tips below to get the most out of recycling (and up-cycling) used furniture.

  1. Look for Used Furniture in Alternative Places: Most people flock to Craigslist, garage sales, and consignment shops for discounted used furniture. Many do not know that there are alternative places that you can find, sometimes higher quality, used furniture. For instance, a lot of hotels will give away their furniture when remodeling. Try calling around hotels in your area to see if they’re getting ready to part with any pieces. Another option is furniture retailers. Furniture retailers often rent furniture to corporations/film sets and have gently used pieces they will sell for a discounted price after a certain point.
  2. Consider Re-upholstery: If you can look past an interesting piece’s strains and rips, you can customize a gorgeous antique to your own custom style with a little work. Not sure how to do it? Check out these tips for reupholstering a chair.
  3. Shop with dimensions in hand: While a piece of used furniture may look great and fit a need you have, it may still not be the right fit. Save yourself the trouble by being aware of the room you have in your home before you purchase. It’s not enough to imagine the space, but measure it too. There’s nothing more disappointing then buying a piece, getting it home, and finding it won’t fit.
  4. Think Twice Before Buying a Used Mattress: This tip is the hardest to take. While it may seem like the most affordable option, unfortunately used mattresses can contain pricey pests. Los Angeles is annually at the top of the list of cities with the most bed bug infestations. While bed bugs can be treated, treatment prices can range from $1,500 to $2,000 for a 200 sq ft. place. It’s important to that in consideration when you calculate the cost of a new mattress vs. an old one. If you can’t get a new mattress right away, consider a new futon mattress or air mattress in the mean time.
  5. Know Your Limits: Consider the price of the item, what you can fix, how much it will cost, and what you really can’t fix. There’s no use investing in used furniture if you can’t afford to really keep and use it. Some fixes are cheap and easy to do. Scratches on wood furniture can often be easily filled in with scratch pens and wood can be stained sometimes with only household ingredients. If parts of the furniture are completely missing, the piece is not cheap enough, or you’re not really ready for a complete overhaul, it’s probably not worth your time, space, or money.
  6. Pick Hardwood Over Laminate: It’s usually pretty easy to tell the difference between good quality hardwood furniture over cheaply made laminate furniture. Laminate furniture is usually shiny and often still bears stickers showing user-assembly. These pieces are usually cheaply made and are more difficult to repair. Older, more quality made hardwood furniture is overall a better investment.
  7. Use Buddytruk to Take it Home: Instead of wasting a bunch of money on renting a moving truck or wasting a favor with a friend to borrow theirs, try Buddytruk. Our drivers are ready to provide on demand moving help when you need it. Download Buddytruk for iOS or Buddytruk for Android to save money while moving items.

Have any of your own tips to share from previous experience? Shout out below!

Brian Foley

Founder & Chief Executive Buddy. Once voted "Most Likely to Walk Outside Barefoot" Loves puppies, iced coffee, and surfing.

Comments 39

  1. Considering repair and re-upholstering furniture can save you a great deal of money, still. Tip number three really makes me laugh, I bought a bed too big for my doorway once and now I only shop with the dimensions of my space in my hand! Thanks for the information, I’ll use it on my furniture hunt.

  2. This is a great article, Victoria! I’m glad that I stumbled upon it because I’ve been thinking about buying some used furniture. I think you’re absolutely right: it’s important to pick hardwood furniture over laminate; you want to make sure that you’re not sacrificing quality. I’ll be sure to keep a look out on that. Thanks for sharing this with us!

  3. I’ve always liked the articles in this site. This is the main reason I decided to express my gratitude for the great tips you give all of us. Thank you and I believe I speak on behalf of all your readers when I say that. Keep being so helpful. Moving on is an area where people often don’t know exactly what to do and it’s a thing that needs to be planned carefully.

  4. I am looking for information about interior design ideas…..This is amazing, now I learn a lot about how to choose the right stuff for my household. Thank you for sharing your experience!

  5. My wife and I are looking to buy some furniture from our friend, but we want to make sure we are making a good decision with doing this. That being the case, I really appreciate you giving me some insight about this and letting me know what things I need to consider before buying any. I’ll be sure to look carefully at the couches, and be sure we are getting a good mattress if we find one. Thanks for sharing this with me, it was a big help.

  6. This is a great article, Victoria! I’m glad that I stumbled upon it because I’ve been thinking about buying some used furniture. I think you’re absolutely right: it’s important to pick hardwood furniture over laminate; you want to make sure that you’re not sacrificing quality. I’ll be sure to keep a look out on that. Thanks for sharing this with us!

  7. It sounds like a good advice to pick hardwood furniture over laminate furniture. I guess it will be something for me to keep in mind the next time my wife takes me to the furniture store. We sure would need a new set since the ones that we have are getting old and ripped.

  8. Thank you for the help. My husband and I are about to buy some outdoor furniture for our patio. I had not thought about checking the warranty, as you suggested. How extensive should a warranty on furniture be?

  9. I really like your tip about shopping with dimensions in hand. That seems like a really smart thing to do so that you will know if something will actually fit in your home. My husband and I are trying to furnish our new home so we will have to keep these tips in mind while we do our shopping. Thanks for the great advice!

  10. Thank you for posting. If you like firm sofas, look for one with traditional coiled springs. If you want a softer feel, go with zigzag coils. Before you buy, take off the cushions and press down on the base of the sofa. The coils should push down and spring back into place immediately.

  11. I never thought about asking hotels in the area if they are selling furniture. That could be a great way to get furniture that is in great shape and high quality! My new wife and I just moved in together, and we are working on furnishing our apartment. I will have to call around to some hotels and check if they have anything for sale.

  12. Nice article, very informative about buying used furniture as you mentioned the beneficial point is that you can keep more money in your pocket by buying used furniture. I used to shop at Doukani.com an online classified for buying used furniture in UAE.

  13. It is beneficial to buy used furniture than to buy new furniture because we can save our money by buying used furniture but we should take care about some deeply things while buying used furniture otherwise we have to face problems later. you have provided information about very necessary aspects. This information is really very useful for people who are interested to buy used furniture.

  14. When we buy used furniture we should take care about some deeply aspects. sometime due to little bit knowledge about relevant facts people buy low quality furniture. you are really helping people by providing the information that which things are necessary to be cared while buying used furniture.

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