It’s still Second Hand September, so what have you been shopping for? Found any unique items perfect for your wardrobe or your home? Well, this time we’re going to be looking at all the ways you could shop for secondhand furniture like a pro. So if you find a great secondhand piece, don’t forget to use #SecondHandSeptember on your social media.
Why shop for secondhand furniture?
There are so many reasons why you should buy secondhand furniture. But we’ll just list down three compelling reasons why you should scour the thrift stores for an old couch or vintage table that still has some vavavoom left in it.
- It’s cheaper. Let’s face it, there’s an economic crisis. Prices for everything are skyrocketing. The last thing you need to worry about is the sleek and pretty coffee table that would cost you a quarter of your life’s savings. You can buy a coffee table and two more items for less at a thrift store.
- It’s got personality. No, we don’t mean the cigarette stains or the sharpie markings. We’re talking about vintage furniture that you probably can’t find in any department store. And yes, these could be conversation pit couches from the 80s or an antique mirror that would be perfect in your room.
- It’s environmentally friendly. A perfectly good piece of furniture deserves to be in someone’s home, not in a landfill. So why not extend its life for another 5 or maybe even 10 years? You’re helping the planet while making your home a comfortable and stylish place to live!
Are you convinced just yet? It seems like it because you’re still here! Well, now that you’ve thought about buying secondhand furniture, what are the things you need to know before going shopping?
Before you go thrifting…
- Measure the empty space you want to put your furniture in. You probably already knew this but it’s very important that a piece of furniture you pick fits the space you put it in. Sure, if you’re the queen or king of spatial awareness, then eyeballing an object to fit a space would do the trick. But it’s advisable to just invest in a tape measure for Christ’s sake. Saves you the time and trouble of buying something that doesn’t even get through the door.
- Set your budget and bring only that amount. If you’re going to be spending more than what you’ve planned, that’s just like throwing away your money for a new piece you could buy at IKEA. Set a budget, be a responsible human being, and stick to it. We’re sure you don’t want to live off just instant ramen for the next couple of weeks.
- Have an idea of what you want. Go with intention. Have a Pinterest board, save pictures on your phone, search for midcentury modern styles, or get inspiration from Animal Crossing — whatever floats your boat really. If you don’t know what you’re going for, then you’ll end up with something that you don’t really want (that goes for different aspects of life too, hun!) So make sure to know what you want — from the color, type of cloth, wood, etc.
- Have a plan for getting it home. There are stores that actually help deliver the item to your doorstep for a fee. But if the store doesn’t have that option there’s always an alternative. If you have your own vehicle then that’s great. But if you don’t, you can either borrow, rent, or ask a friend ahead of time to help you move your furniture.
- Check for quality. Find out what it’s made of — is it fragile or durable? What kind of wood does it have? Is the glass still intact or is it replaceable? Ask yourself these questions while you’re through items. This way, you’ll know if a piece is actually worth it or worthless.
- Smell it. No, we aren’t joking. Literally, take a whiff of it. Secondhand furniture can also spill its previous owner’s secrets. There might be a faint smell of spilled food or drink or maybe cigarette smoke which could be very off-putting when you bring the piece home. You don’t want to spend so little on furniture and end up with pounds to pay for power washing.
- Assess the damage. If it has some wear on it but you still want it, try to assess whether you can still have it repaired…or if the repairs would be costly. Of course, you can always DIY. But make sure that your skills can handle doing the repairs yourself. Otherwise, you’ll be paying for more than what you initially planned.
- Scan all surfaces. Inspect the back of a couch or any other areas that you usually don’t see. Check drawers and cabinets, basically every nook and cranny. There might be damage at the back or underneath the furniture piece. It’s better to check while you’re still in the store since most secondhand shops don’t have a return policy.
- Be patient. This is how it goes with shopping secondhand. You can’t always find the perfect piece right away. But don’t hastily buy something that you haven’t given a once over. Take time to assess a piece and see whether it is the right fit for you and your home. Otherwise, you can end up with something damaged or not worth your money.
Going to thrift stores to find secondhand furniture can be quite an adventure especially if you know where to look.
Don’t have time to scour the shops? Don’t worry we’ve got you covered. If you want to find some secondhand, vintage, or antique furniture online, you actually can! Just go to lomasearch.com for some of the most amazing deals on everything secondhand.