Furniture is an important part of your living space at home and now, more than ever due to the work from home scenario. But what happens if you can not afford all the furniture you like and don’t want to buy the furniture you can afford. So, what kind of options do you have then? Second hand furniture, of course.
Decorating your home does not have to be an all-or-nothing event. You can always get great pieces on a budget, as used furniture sells for cheap and can be of great quality (if you know where to look!)
….Still not sold? Here are some reasons why you should consider purchasing second-hand furniture:
- Savings: Even if you are not on a budget, second-hand furniture is a great way to accessorize your home. And in the process, use your savings to buy other things that you want!
- Environment-friendly: With mounting environmental concerns our world is facing, this is one of the few ways we can help. With pre-loved furniture, you are minimising your carbon footprint.
- Fun stories: Second-hand stores have an aura around them, and used furniture always has a story to tell. For instance, purchasing an old-school grandfather clock will have a great story behind it (that you can tell your guests or children!) and add a vintage vibe to your house.
Once you decide that you will be purchasing second-hand furniture, we have a few tips to get you started:
Check out your options: Before you embark on the wild journey of purchasing second-hand furniture, assess your buying options. This can be done according to your budget, or even through word-of-mouth from friends and family. Here are a few options you can consider for secondhand shops:
- Thrift stores: You can find old-time thrift stores in older parts of the city you live in. If not this, the online thrift store market is gaining momentum in India. You can check these out too! However, remember to check the reviews and verify the sellers before paying the money upfront.
- E-commerce websites: Finding used furniture for your home should be as easy as clicking a button on your laptop. The e-commerce market is flourishing with used good furniture! Some of the common sites to check are eBay, Facebook Marketplace and Quikr
Trial runs are important: If you are opting for offline shopping, make sure to check out the furniture thoroughly before getting it home! For this, open the drawers, cabinets, and check under the furniture to see if the construction is sturdy or not. If it is damaged, you can always negotiate to get it for a lower price, or move on to a better option. You can also ask the seller to pay for the repairs if you really like the piece and want to take it home!
Go with your gut!: Used furniture requires careful examination, especially since it has been with another person for years who you may not know personally. You will have to check whether the item has been maintained well. In such cases, it is best to go with the visuals and your gut instinct! Pro tip: Do not use gut instinct for online products, as it is easy to get deceived by scamsters.
Re-upholster used furniture: If the product you are going for is sturdy, has solid construction but looks shabby, it might just need revamping in terms of upholstering or polishing. You can do this at home by yourself, or hire someone to do it for you. If you do decide to do it at home, it can be a fun DIY project for you and your family.
Polish or touch up old furniture: You can always refinish the furniture to make it look brand new, as if you just got it from the store! For instance, if you are an art enthusiast, you can paint your dresser with floral motifs and get a retro piece. Alternatively, you can refinish the wood, get it polished and get a completely different looking piece.
Be wary: It is extremely important, to be cautious when it comes to buying old furniture. You really won't know where it has been, how it has been used and if the product was maintained well. So, keep these points in mind:
- Check the internal structure of couches. If this is not sturdy, chances are the furniture will break apart even before you can fully utilise it! This is valid for all types of furniture.
- Avoid purchasing second-hand children’s furniture. This is because children's furniture is of weaker build.
- Stay away from used mattresses as much as you can. Even if a mattress looks decently clean from the outside, you can never know what kind of bacteria, germs, stains or bed bugs it might harbor! This one is a clear no-no from our side
Hardwood furniture vs. pine lumber: When you look at types of wood and their durability, oak and maple wood are highly durable. These types of wood retain their sturdiness and provide a strong foundation for years. On the other hand, wood like pine is not designed to withstand weight for too long. Best to keep away from that!
Go for metal!: Another great option in terms of material would be metal. Iron and wrought aluminum usually enhances aesthetic of the home. Additionally, you can always use outdoor paint to repaint the furniture and remove rust which will make it look brand new! Metal furniture is highly durable and can stay in your family for years to come
Smell the furniture: This may sound unusual, but it is best to keep your nose perked up while getting involved in second-hand furniture. If the product also has some smell, you can clearly identify that it is hard to clean and does not rid smells easily. We are sure this is not something you want to have around in your home.
Check the brand out: Last but not least, ask the seller about the brand of the product, and verify it with the help of the bill receipts, if possible. This can help you get back to the internet and check out the brand. Reviews of such products will help you make the decision, too.
Second-hand furniture is a great way to keep your house looking fresh and fun, although it does come with a few warning signs. Once you comfortably assess the product and are happy with your decision to buy, you can be happy with your choice of purchase.