For those with a limited amount of cash who are not in line to inherit family heirlooms, namely significant pieces of furniture, exploring the used market is a worthwhile venture. Not only is it an excellent way to save money, buying furniture second hand ensures that your rooms will reflect your individuality instead of representing just another Pottery Barn or Ikea catalog page.
Even though you may be able to get great prices on gently used items, it pays to have a game plan when shopping for used furniture. Here are 7 tips that will help ensure that steal deal is also a sound investment.
1. Do not buy random things. Before you begin your quest for bargain furniture, carefully formulate a plan. Evaluate each space or room where you are in need of pieces to ensure that the item in question will fit. While you’re at it, make notes regarding the width and height of your entrances too. How sad would it be when you’re unable to get that incredible find through the door?
2. Carefully measure and record all of the details in a binder style notebook that you will keep on hand during furniture finding missions. Come to some conclusions about what you like and what you want. Peruse catalogs and magazines for pics of styles you favor-clip and save in your notebook.
3. Educate yourself. Bone up on furniture styles, construction methods, and manufacturers. That way, you’ll be a better judge of what’s what and whether or not something is actually a good deal. Learn to discriminate between the high end and cheap knock-offs. Also familiarize yourself with the various styles and periods of furniture. There’s classic, such as Duncan Phyfe, Queen Anne, and Chippendale, true Mid-Century and then unauthentic variations. Taking the time to learn about what constitutes timeless, good lines will be hours well spent. Also practice envisioning how various pieces of furniture can be changed with different paint, new fabric or hardware.
Here are some tips from on buying used furniture from the Furniture Detectives: