Tips On Buying Used Furniture

By Rakesh Jain

There are multiple sources in your local area where you can find quality used furniture at a low price. Classified ads are one of the most common ways for people to offer their used furniture for sale. This of course includes offline classifieds like your local newspaper or independent magazines like the Green Sheet offered in the major cities of Texas. For online classifieds you have the most frequented site for classifieds in Craigslist.com. There you will find online classifieds by owners, used furniture stores and consignment stores.

Plan a budget and stick to it. Sure, second hand furniture is cheap. But after buying ten tables, six cabinets, and five couches that you don’t really need, you might find yourself spending more than what you planned for. Individual price is cheap, but take a step back and look at everything as group to know the actual price. Add everything up, including the delivery fee.

If you want the old furniture to have a light color, check the original color of the wood by rubbing across an exposed unfinished part (you’ll find such portion on the back or inside of the furniture) with wet finger. By this, you will come to know what the color of the wood will be when varnished with natural stain. Also remember that naturally dark wood can’t be lightened.

This suggestion ties in with the previous one. Test the item. Lean on tables, sit on chairs, recline onto the sofa or bed and shake a little to test the springs and legs. Squeeze the covers and the cushioned areas to make sure there are no sharp edges or hidden rips. If there are any extendible parts, for instance with fold-up tables or cabinets, then don’t be afraid to test each of these and open up the piece of furniture to its full extent.

When you want to buy used vintage furniture, decide first on the period you will want your piece to come from. For instance, if you want wrought iron furniture that screams Victorian era, look for breaks and joins if the furniture has it, then it’s not wrought iron but cast iron furniture. Another telltale sign is that Victorian wrought iron is characterized by grapevine leaf and fleur de lis designs.

Ask about storage. Furniture owners sell their old furniture. It likely hasn’t been used in months or even years. Before buying a couch or recliner, ask where it was stored. Was it stored inside or outside? You don’t want furniture that has been outside and exposed to the elements, at least not without a large discount.

The one huge issue that you should watch out for is bed bugs. While these commonly infest mattresses, they can also be in other types of furniture. Go along and carefully inspect any seams in the furniture that you are considering buying. Get a good idea what the signs of bed bugs are before previewing the item for sale so that you know exactly what to look for. Also be sure to look for signs of any other pest or insect related problems. If you feel that there are pests associated with this piece of furniture, don’t buy it and bring it into your house.

You might also find some used furniture being offered online. Be very careful here, especially if you’re asked to pay before you see the furniture. Like a yard sale, you’ll want to inspect this furniture from all angles before paying. This is especially true if the seller has not uploaded any images of the furniture. Be certain you don’t commit to buying anything until you see it.

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