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15 Best Furniture Thrift Stores Buying Tips To Know
Modified: February 7, 2023
100% easy and effective tips when shopping in furniture thrift stores! Head to your local store and snag yourself some great deals today.
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“Where can I buy second hand furniture?” Some stores accept donated items such as furniture, clothes, etc. or sell products on consignment. These kinds of stores are known as thrift stores or charity shops.
The cash raised in thrift stores is mainly used to support non-profit organizations or charities. They are quite popular nowadays because there’s a chance that one will discover antiques and rare or collectible items at these stores. This article will provide 15 excellent tips for buying furniture from thrift stores.
What Are Furniture Thrift Stores?
Furniture thrift stores are establishments known to sell gently used furniture and other related items at a discounted prices, in most cases to raise funds for charity organizations. Examples of furniture thrift stores near me include Housing Work Thrift Shops and Cure Thrift Shops.
15 Tips For Buying Furniture At Thrift Stores
Below are several tips to consider when buying furniture at any thrift store:
1. Check The Furniture Before You Buy
Regardless of whether you’re buying used furniture on Craigslist or any other thrift store, ensure that you’ve tested out the furniture before you make payment. Open up the drawers in cabinets and inspect them, sit on chairs, and lean against tables. Before finalizing your purchase, you must confirm that it is in satisfactory condition so that you can use it at home.
2. Trust Your Senses
Ensure that you make full use of your senses when buying items from thrift stores. Furniture that was at someone else’s home may come with unusual scents. Take this into account when purchasing second hand used furniture from shops. Some smells can be aired out, while others (like the smell of cigarettes) cannot.
3. Second Hand Mattresses Are Breeding Grounds For Germs
Although it may be tempting, we definitely advise you against buying second hand mattresses. This is because mattresses can contain germs, bacteria, or insects that you cannot see. If you want a mattress but cannot afford to buy a regular one, consider opting for a futon mattress or air mattress instead.
4. Re-Upholstering Can Help You To Save Money
Used and old furniture may have been made with high-quality components and thus only require minor touch-ups to look as good as new. Although it’s not always the case, “old is gold”. Like how houses in the past were solidly constructed, furniture that was made many years ago tend to be of great quality. Think of the money you could save: next time you drop by a second hand store, instead of buying a nearly-new replica, opt for a rustic-looking Queen Ann chair instead.
5. Choose Those Cushions Carefully
All cushions were not created equal. Be wary of sofa cushions that are made using mesh support or Styrofoam peanuts, as those usually don’t last too long. Instead, choose an 8-way hand-tied support structure and pillows filled with down feathers or wrapped foam.
6. Laminate And Veneer Furniture Can Be Beautiful
Don’t write off veneer and laminate furniture just because they’re not made from solid wood. Check whether the veneer adheres to the particleboard or the substrate material on which it is attached. Depending on where you use the piece of furniture, laminate furniture can handle more abuse and daily wear and tear than wood. Laminate can often be glued back if it falls apart, however, be cautious of items where large sections do not adhere.
7. Furniture Made Of Hardwood Will Last Longer When Taken Care Of Properly
Hardwoods such as maple and oak make durable and sturdy furniture. When buying used wooden furniture, especially sofas, stay away from softwoods such as pine. Pine is better for parts that don’t have to handle weight and pressure over a long period.
8. Paint And Metal Make A Great Combination
Furniture made from wrought iron or aluminum is beautiful when it has been refurbished. When you discover used metal furniture, don’t focus on what it looks like at present; instead, think about its potential. Simply remove any rust and paint it over with a durable powder coat of exterior paints – certain kinds are made specially to cover metal furniture. You will be amazed by how a new coat of paint breathes life into your second-hand piece of furniture.
9. ‘Assembly Required’ Doesn’t Always Translate Into Sturdiness
Self-assembled furniture are excellent and economical alternatives to branded furniture. However, when looking for furniture in thrift stores or second-hand used furniture stores online, do take a closer look. Often, the furniture may not have all of its original parts, or its original structure may already have been lost.
10. Old Furniture For A New Purpose
Would you like to use an old dresser as a bathroom vanity? This concept is one of the latest trends and is particularly suitable for antique and older furniture. Make sure that the wood or other materials that are used is waterproof; if not, consider applying a coat of polish to the furniture. Although re-purposing furniture is a great idea, be extra careful not to ruin your newfound treasure.
11. Get On Second-Hand Furniture Retailers’ Mailing Lists
Many established online thrift stores or used furniture stores receive deliveries on a regular basis. In fact, some of them may get their furniture directly from warehouses or other retail sources. Ask if the particular retailer/company has a mailing or e-mail list. That way, you can be notified when new shipments are due, and be among one of the first to receive your items!
12. Check Out Furniture Retailers Who Rent Furniture First
Before looking for an excellent place to find used furniture across the city, check out furniture retailers that rent furniture to companies. These pieces of furniture are usually used sparingly, and often, these retailers hold sales to get rid of their inventory. One common misconception many people have is that used furniture is worn out and generally in poor condition: this is not necessarily true. Sometimes, customers rent furniture for just a few months before returning them to their respective retailers.
13. Second-Hand Furniture From Hotels Can Be Ideal For Your Home
Although they can be a little more challenging to find, hotels often sell old furniture to the public when they’re undergoing major renovations. Check the newspapers, online classifieds, and social media to know whether hotels in your area may be having furniture sales.
P.S. As mentioned earlier in this article, stay away from the mattresses and you’ll do okay.
14. Use Auction Sites
Furniture auctions receive furniture from property sales, furniture stores, unused storage units, and many other sources. Search for furniture auctions in your area to seek out high-quality used furniture. Auctions have a somewhat discriminatory taste when it comes to choosing their furniture, which means that the average quality of furniture (and prices) tend to be higher than that from online classified advertisements.
15. Know Your Dimensions
When buying used furniture, you need to have an idea of what space to fill and how big that space is. You must be prepared since no furniture catalog (containing the dimensions and descriptions of products) will likely be given to you. Even if you don’t know the exact dimensions of your space, you’ll need to have a rough idea. Word of warning: most second-hand furniture stores won’t allow returns.
5 Reasons Why Thrifting Is Good
Thrifting is beneficial not only to humans but also to the environment. Here are five reasons you need to thrift:
1. Thrifting Is Good For Your Budget
Thrift stores sell items at extremely low prices compared to their retail counterparts. No feeling is better than getting a great second-hand item for just a fraction of its original price. Although cheaper, second-hand products can be of better quality than new pieces. One good sign of it being durable is that it lasts long enough to be donated – and remains in good quality! The longer it lasts, the longer it stays out of the dump.
2. Thrifting Is Good For The Environment
Thrifting promotes orderliness and a healthy environment by reducing waste and pollution levels. The average American throws away 81 pounds of clothes annually, which translates to about 26 billion pounds of clothes – these go straight to the landfills. Thrifting helps to limit the number of natural resources needed to create new fabric, or make clothing.
3. Thrifting Is Good For Your Community
Most thrift stores serve a charitable cause, be it funding a mission, job training and placement, or simply providing affordable alternatives for communities that may be less well-off. Plus, the money you spend will be given back to the community, so you’ll reap some emotional benefits. It is quite easy to keep track of where your clothes and goods have gone. Instead of being shipped halfway across the world, second-hand products are sourced locally.
4. Thrifting Is Good For The Globe
Buying second-hand products decreases both the production of new items and the need for people to produce them. While it keeps prices low, mass production of furniture often comes at the expense of human rights. Women, children, and impoverished people are usually the ones at the suffering end, facing poor working conditions, long hours, and receiving meager pay for their efforts.
5. Thrifting Promotes Style
Thrifting can help you to create your own style and stand out from the crowd. It’s easy to get creative and think outside the box when shopping for second-hand items. It is an exciting challenge to refresh an item and make it new again. You will find unique items for your home that tell compelling stories. And – the good news is – vintage rarely goes out of fashion.
Best Places To Find Inexpensive Used Furniture
Here are some of the great places to buy second-hand furniture at affordable rates:
- Yard Sales
- Local thrift stores
- The Re-Store
- Estate Sales
- Flea Markets or Swap Meets
- Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace
- Classified Ads
Best Online Thrift Stores
You can get quality second-hand furniture at various online thrift stores. They include (but are not limited to) the following:
- Sotheby’s Home
- Krrb (Bought By Apartment Therapy)
- Urban fusion Decor
- Viyet (Purchased By Sotheby’s)
- Patagonia Worn Wear
- Asos Marketplace
To wrap things up, it is highly recommended you consider the tips above mentioned in this article before you buy your furniture from a thrift store. This might help you to make a choice well suited for your needs.
Frequently Asked Questions About Furniture Thrift Stores
1. What Should You Not Buy At Thrift Stores?
Although thrifting is a great way to buy high-quality items, there are certain items you need to avoid purchasing at a thrift store. Here is a list of things to avoid buying at thrift stores:
- Children’s safety equipment including cribs, strollers, and car seats
- Electric appliances
- Stuffed animals
- Anything that looks damaged or stained
2. Do Thrift Stores Deliver Furniture?
Only a few local thrift stores will deliver since they already have trucks anyway to pick up large donations and such.
3. Can You Thrift Online?
Amid the Covid-19 pandemic, thrift stores are starting to take their businesses online. You can now do all your thrifting from the comfort of your home, which means you can see more of what’s out there and have it delivered straight to your door.
4. What Are The Best Online Vintage Thrift Stores?
The best online consignment sites to score vintage designer fashion include the following:
- Vestiaire Collective
- The Real Real
5. What Is The Purpose Of A Thrift Store?
The purpose of a thrift store is usually to raise money for charity through the nonprofit group. The Salvation Army and the Goodwill stores are two examples of second-hand shops that sell used furniture near me. Thrift stores can be found in all cities across the United States.