While moving into a new house or apartment can be an exciting endeavor, it can also be expensive especially if you do not have enough furniture. When you need essential pieces like dining room chairs, a couch or bed frames but are on a tight budget, shop at second hand furniture stores to find the items you need. Keep in mind the following tips when searching for used furniture to make sure you obtain quality items that suit your practical and aesthetic needs.
Prioritize Quality Over Quantity
You want to make sure that you purchase furniture that will last for years and withstand normal wear and tear. Furniture made from hardwood is durable and long-lasting.
Look for pieces made from sturdy materials such as birch, maple, mahogany, teak, oak and cherry. Avoid furniture made primarily of cheap veneers and pine. The cheaper materials will not be able to withstand as much weight as hardwood furniture and are more suitable for drawer linings or decorative panels.
If you do not like the color of the hardwood but are in love with the design of a piece, you can stain it yourself to obtain the hue you want.
For balcony and outdoor pieces, look for furniture made of aluminum or wrought iron. If the furniture has minor imperfections, you can refinish the piece yourself. It is fairly easy to remove minor rust stains and repaint the metal with heavy-duty outdoor paint.
Examine Labels and Tags
Make sure to examine all labels and tags before you buy used furniture. Remember that the point of shopping used is to get a reduced price on items that would normally be out of your budget range.
Look for the name of the manufacturer and where the furniture was made. Do not hesitate to ask sales people about the origins and history of furniture pieces.
Some quality pieces of furniture have serial numbers that can help you trace the origin of the items. Bring your smartphone with you so you can look up labels and manufacturers as you shop. You may be surprised to find some unique and vintage pieces when you research furniture in resale shops.
Test and Inspect
Make sure to examine each part of used furniture items for signs of imperfections like warped wood or cracks. Reputable used furniture dealers will not sell you defective furniture that will be unsafe.
Quality furniture will have well-made joints and no signs of extensive wear and tear.
You should also test the furniture for comfort before you buy. Take a seat on coaches and chairs, examine drawers and lean on tables to make sure they are not wobbly. Look underneath chairs, tables and sofas for signs of imperfections.
Keep House Dimensions Handy
When you shop, you do not want to buy something that is too large for your home. Make sure to keep the dimensions of each room handy so you know exactly how much space you have available.
Your dimensions should include the square footage of rooms, the width and height of entrances as well as the measurements of staircases. If possible, make a copy of a scale drawing of your home's layout as well to keep with you as you shop so you can visualize where you want to place furniture items.
Stick to Your Budget
Once you get going shopping, you may be surprised at the wealth of quality items on sale via used furniture stores. But do not go crazy and blow your budget. Stay on track by keeping a list handy of your essentials and what you can afford to spend on each item.
If you do not find what you want right away, ask retailers if they have an email list that you can join to find about when new shipments of used furniture come in to the store.