What Should You Look for When Buying Used Furniture?


Quick Answer

When buying used furniture, look for well-made items, hopefully a known brand name, that are clean and without major damage. Furniture made by better manufacturers lasts longer and is more durable, so it should still be in good condition when found secondhand.

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Full Answer

Buying secondhand furniture is a way to save money and allows the buyer to look for creative or unique pieces with character. However, thrift stores, resale shops and online listings can have many soiled, torn up or unstable items of furniture too.

Always take a hard look at any pieces before purchase. Look under the cushions and check the bottom of the furniture for the manufacturer's name. Finding known, high-quality furniture manufacturers secondhand is ideal, because the pieces are low in price and usually very well-made.

Inspect the furniture for tears, damage from age or even signs of an insect infestation. Sit down on couches and chairs to get a feel for the cushions and support. The seat should have some give, but be firm and provide plenty of back support. If possible, open up the cushion covers to see if the foam is still good or if it has turned yellow, dry and crumbly. Even if the cushions are old, they can be replaced with new foam, especially on a piece of furniture that is the right price.

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