New Apartment, Used Furniture? How to be Savvy!

Used furnishings can be like a pair of jeans: the best ones are usually worn and have a little imperfection, but they look and feel better than the starchy super new ones.

You don’t have to be considered a pauper anymore to furnish your home with used furniture: in fact, it’s all the rage!

From the East Coast to the West, savvy shoppers are now following the French way of furnishing their pads with chic second-hand items.  Here are 4 tips on finding cool used furniture for your apartment.

1. Leave No Stone Unturned

Think you’ve looked everywhere? Think again.  Places for amazing used furniture finds can include flea markets, second hand stores (yes, even the hipster ones that seem overpriced may have a bargain or two), antique stores, thrift shops, yard sales, estate sales, Craigslist and Apartment Therapy classified ads.  If you’re feeling *ahem, extra adventurous, there may be some great finds around the neighborhood dumpster. No joke.

To find cool used furniture and home accessories in Los Angeles, check out this guide by CBS or the list on YELP Los Angeles.  One of our personal favorites? TINI (This Is Not Ikea) off of Fairfax.

2. Touch It Before you Buy It

This may sound like common sense, but the urge to find great used furniture somewhere like EBay is a tempting one! Unless you can touch it, sit on it and look for any structural damages in person, don’t buy it.

3. Know Your Deal Breakers

It’s easy to let the excitement of a great find cloud the common sense of overlooking a serious problem.  Case in point? Bugs and odors! Apartment Therapy says, “If a cat peed on the sofa at some point, or you suspect bed bugs, then think twice about your find. If there is a strong smell of kitty, or smoke, know that there is vinegar in your furniture’s future. In the case of bugs, I don’t think you want to touch it with a ten foot pole.”

TLC has 5 tips for avoiding bed bugs HERE.

4.  Consider the “Real” Price

Don’t let the high of a low price tag sweep you away without first factoring in any additional costs.  Unless you like the items exactly the way that it is, consider professional or DIY refinishing, reupholstering or carpentry costs.  If it’s a larger item, consider the cost of either bribing a friend with dinner to help you move it or to hire a real mover.