11 Second Hand Furniture Buying Tips

FurnitureThe furniture in your house is one of the reasons that you love your home. Furniture makes all your rooms come together and helps you to enjoy the amenities of a comfortable lifestyle.  Since new furniture is expensive, one can’t often replace furniture as often as one would like to. Instead of having to save up for furniture, many folks buy second hand furniture from pawn shops, second hand furniture shops or via online classifieds websites (like Junk Mail).

The Household categories are very popular on our website. There are currently more than 75,000 adverts posted in these categories. Many furniture buyers and sellers are making use of Junk Mail’s categories for kitchen furniturebedroom furniturebar furniture,diningroom furniturelounge furnitureantique furniture and other furniture categories to trade. More than 26,000 classifieds are currently listed in all these categories combined.

Many of you using Junk Mail are probably wondering what to do or what to look out for when buying second hand furniture. Junk Mail would like to help you today. Here are 11 Second Hand Furniture Buying Tips:

  • Try out furniture before you buy: Whether you buy second hand furniture on Junk Mail or from a second hand store or a garage sale, ‘sample’ the furniture before you pay the seller. Open up the drawers in cabinets, sit on chairs and lean on tables.  If an item has been damaged you need to confirm that it is still in decent enough condition for you to start using it at your home. Even if it is damaged, make sure that you or someone else will be able to fix it and pay appropriately for the condition of the piece you’re after.
  • Trust your senses when buying second hand furniture: Pre-owned furniture may come with the odors of previous owner. Keep this in mind when making your decision. Some odors may air out and others like pet and smoking odors may not air out at all.  Don’t get too caught up in the great deal that you’ve found and forget that the furniture is going to be part of your home and family for years to come.
  • Second hand mattresses can harbor germs: Although it’s very tempting, second hand mattresses are not recommended to be used again. Take note that mattresses can harbor germs, bacteria and bugs that you can’t see.  If you need a mattress but you can’t afford to buy a brand new one, consider getting a futon mattress or air mattress until you can afford a traditional one.
  • Re-upholstering can you save you money: Some second hand furniture might have been constructed with quality materials and components, but they may just need a facelift.  Furniture was made with better workmanship and quality products years ago.  Instead of passing on an old looking Queen Ann chair, think of the potential and money savings to buying a brand new replica furniture piece.
  • Pay attention to the support system of couches: Couches are not created equal in their inner construction.  Inspect the mesh support or styrofoam peanuts for the sofa cushions.  They will not last a long time.  Opt for eight-way hand tied support construction and cushions that are filled with down feathers or wrapped foam instead.
  • Laminate and veneer furniture can be beautiful: Don’t pass on veneer and laminated furniture just because it it’s not solid wood. Check for veneer adhering to the particle board or the material it’s mounted against. It depends on where you will be using the piece you’re buying, but laminated furniture can take more abuse and daily wear and tear than wood can. Laminated pieces can also be glued back together if it’s coming apart. Be weary of pieces that have large sections that are not adhering though.
  • Hardwood furniture will last longer when taken care of: Hard woods like oak and maple make durable and strong furniture.  When buying second hand wood furniture, especially sofas or couches, stay away from soft woods like pine.  Pine is better for pieces that don’t have to withstand weight and pressure over a very long period of time.  Look at the type of wood when you consider buying a second hand piece for durability.
  • Metal furniture makes good seconds: Second hand wrought iron or aluminium furniture can be beautiful when it has been refurbished. If you find second hand metal furniture think of the potential rather than judging its appearance.  Take note that you can remove rust and repaint the furniture with a durable powder coat of outdoor paint (which is especially made for covering metal furniture).  You will be surprised how a new coat of paint will breathe life into your new find.
  • Children’s furniture may have been recalled: Be careful when you’re buying second hand children’s furniture. The furniture could have been recalled and the owner just wants to get rid of it. Another important thing to remember is that it could have been damaged and fixed (but not properly).
  • Make sure to refinish old furniture for its new purpose: So you want to take an old dresser and use it as a bathroom vanity? This is one of the latest trends and it works beautifully especially for antique and older furniture.  Make sure that you refinish the wood or other dresser material in a waterproof finish.  Re-purposing furniture is a great idea but you don’t want to ruin a new-found relic.
  • Shop with dimensions in mind: When shopping around for second hand furniture you need to have an idea of what space you need to fill and how large that space is.  You basically need to be prepared. Make sure you have a general idea of measurements.  Even if you don’t have specific dimensions, have a good idea of how much space you have to work with.

We trust that you’ll find these tips useful. If you have, please share this post with your friends on Facebook and Twitter.  If you have a tip that you can add to this list, please comment on this post and share it with the readers of the Junk Mail blog.

You can also check out these posts for more second hand buying tips on the Junk Mail blog:

Henno Kruger

Digital Marketing Campaign Coordinator at Junk Mail Publishing.

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1 Response

  1. Pedro Chryst says:

    I couldn’t resist commenting. Perfectly written.

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