New furniture doesn’t come cheap—especially the good stuff. While you could sit on the floor for the rest of the year while you save, searching for budget furnishings will allow you to start enjoying your home sooner. Of course, finding used furniture you’d actually want requires more effort than a quick search on Craigslist. To get the best stuff at the best price, you need a plan of attack. The way your home feels is important. However, your wallet can’t be ignored.
Finding quality used furniture goes beyond a simple search of the classifieds. Below are some tips that will help you achieve your goal of furnishing your home for less:
Tip One: Make a Wish list
It helps to know what specific pieces you hope to buy in advance so you can look for those instead of try to come up with a list of key words. Browse online furniture shops, or go into the stores themselves to find what you want, and make a list. Look for deals online. People listing single pieces of furniture often use online community message boards or groups to post a description and photo of the item at hand. Other online resources, such as auction sites, are excellent sources for finding deals on new and used furnishings. I, personally, have had the most success with local online swap groups, where people offer things they no longer need and you may request items that you need.
Tip Two: Set Up Price Watching
When you need a lot of stuff, searching Craigslist multiple times per day can get pretty tedious. Automate the checking process with price watch tools. For Craigslist, use www.ifttt.com to set up price alerts for pretty much any item. For other sites, you can monitor price fluctuations with a site named PricePlease. This way you can stay ahead of any price changes, regardless of whether the store has a sale or just discounts the item you want.
Tip Three: Check Thrift and Consignment Shops
Never rule out thrift stores and consignment shops. While you may find a handful of undesirable goods, if you visit regularly you’ll often find great quality used furniture you wouldn’t expect to see at a thrift store. Looking online can score you some great deals, but don’t forget the real world. Thrift stores such as Goodwill are often the first places people think of when they need to get rid of a piece of furniture in a hurry. People don’t just donate odds and ends, either; you can often find dining room sets, end tables, lamps and desks in good shape for very low prices.
Tip Four: Visit Estate Sales
Have a penchant for antique or unique furniture pieces? If so estate sales may be the best place to look. Estate sales typically feature tons of furniture and décor items, specifically items that are collectable. If you are looking for a special piece at a discounted price, estate sales are the best place to check.
Tip Five: Seek out Neighborhood Garage Sales
Make your rounds at garage sales. People still put on good, old-fashioned garage sales as a convenient way of making money and moving things out from the comfort of their homes. In addition to finding garage sales by signs posted around neighborhoods, you might also have luck with garage sale postings on Internet community message boards or in your local newspaper. Be sure to get to garage sales as soon as they open to nab furniture items, as they are typically the first items to go.
Last but not least don’t forget to plan the pick-ups for all of the fantastic furniture that you have just purchased. If you purchased your items from a store, be sure to inquire about any free or low cost delivery services they may offer. Otherwise you will need to arrange a vehicle for picking up your goods. You can find suitable vans and trucks at standard car rental services like Enterprise and Budget. If cost is a concern, ask friends and family or barter services with someone who owns a vehicle large enough to transport your goods. With a little planning and effort you can have a beautifully furnished home for half the cost!