Used furniture can be a practical way to add to your home’s decor without breaking the bank. While the phrase may conjure up some idea of a couch found next to a dumpster or an ugly dresser handed down just in time for your first apartment, the fact is that it’s possible to find high quality used furniture that has little more wear and tear on it than the floor model at the brand name furniture store.
But many used furniture sellers know exactly what they have on their hands, leading to prices that are not so far off from what a brand new sofa or dining room table might cost you. That means finding the right deal can take a little work. These 10 tips can make it easier:
1. Plan your purchase.
Shopping for new furniture can include plenty of staring at catalogs, making sure patterns match and all that. Shopping for used furniture is a very different animal. You can, and should, have a general idea of the style and colors you want for your home, but be prepared to be flexible. The more flexible you can afford to be, in terms of how well your furniture needs to match an ideal, the better you can do in finding the right pieces. Make a list ahead of time and determine where you’re willing to be flexible – that list can help you stick to your budget when you see an end table or something else that matches your new purchase better than what’s already in that space.
2. Examine furniture carefully.
One of the biggest problems you can face when purchasing furniture second-hand is determining just why the seller is getting rid of that furniture. If you’re working with a middle-man, such as a consignment shop, it’s still important to take a good look at the piece — check for cracks, signs of repair and anything else that seems out of the ordinary. Purchasing something that has a little more wear and tear on it is not out the question. Instead, a scratch or a patch job can give you an opportunity to negotiate the price downwards.
3. Consider repairs.
Everyone wants furniture they can move in and be done with. But the more work you’re willing to do on “new-to-you” furniture, the more opportunities you have to get a deal. Major repairs may be too much, but small repairs, a fresh coat of paint or some new upholstery can make a deal look much better. You don’t have to do all the work, either: many upholstery shops offer a variety of repair services, as well as a way to turn a comfortable couch with a pattern straight out of the 70s look more…