Whether you recently moved or just want to spruce up your space, buying used furniture can be a great way to furnish a space on the cheap. Many people sell their used furniture at deeply discounted prices, meaning you can get a steal on everything from beds to bookshelves.
Of course, special care should be taken when you’re buying anything used—and that goes double for furniture. Here are some of our best tips for buying used furniture.
Too often, people who want to ship large furniture items are trying to scam you. Keep your search local to avoid any problems. Try Facebook Marketplace, OfferUp, or Craigslist for localized listings.
Read descriptions carefully.
The seller should disclose any and all problems with the item in the listing. This should include scratches, dents, missing/broken hardware, paint chips, and more. If these things are missing from the listing, don’t be afraid to ask.
Don’t be too picky.
When you’re buying used items, you can’t expect them to be in new condition. If you find a piece you love, be willing to forgive a small scratch or other minor imperfection. If you wait around for something “perfect,” you’ll probably never find it!
Make an offer…a fair offer.
You want a great deal on your furniture (that’s why you’re buying used, after all), so don’t be afraid to make an offer that’s lower than the seller’s initial asking price. That said, make sure your offer is reasonable and fair. “Lowball” offers are usually a turnoff to sellers.
Make sure the item is going to fit in your space. Take careful measurements to make sure!
Meet in public.
When buying used furniture from a private seller, make sure you put safety first. This means you should always meet in a public place where plenty of people will be around. Unless you have a good reason to trust the seller, avoid going to his/her house to make the exchange.
Back out if you’re not sure.
If you meet the seller, inspect the item, and decide you don’t want the item after all…speak up! You shouldn’t be stuck with a piece of furniture you don’t want just because it’s awkward to tell the seller you’ve changed your mind. Be polite and apologetic, but definitely say something.
Transport with care.
Make sure you have what you need to transport the piece safely. Whether that’s a borrowed truck, several blankets to pad the corners, or tie downs to keep it secure, make sure that you’ll be able to get your furniture piece home safely.
If you follow these tips, you should be able to buy used furniture safely and effectively. Enjoy your new piece!
(Looking for tips on selling new furniture? We’ve got those, too.)
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