1.) Try out furniture before you buy:
Whether you buy second-hand furniture on Craigslist, or at a garage/estate sale, ‘sample’ the furniture before money exchanges in hands. Open up on drawers in cabinets, sit on chairs and lean on the tables. If an item has been spoiled you need to confirm that is it still in satisfactory shape for you to start using at your house or it is not in shape. Even if it is damaged, make sure you are confident enough you or someone else can fix it and pay accordingly for the condition of the piece.
2.) Trust your senses when buying second-hand furniture:
Furniture that has been in someone else’s home may have the smells of past owners. When purchasing furniture consider this in your decision. Some smells may air out, while others like pets and smoking smells may not. Don’t get so enamored in the great deal that you forget that this is getting ready to be part of your house and family for years to come.
3.) Second-hand mattresses can harbor germs:
Although tempting, second-hand mattresses are not at all recommended to use more again. Mattresses can contain germs, bacteria, and bugs that you can’t see. If you require a mattress and can’t afford to purchase a brand new one, consider purchasing a futon mattress or air mattress until you can afford a traditional one.
4.) Reupholstering can save you money:
Second-hand and old furniture may have been formed with quality structural components and may just require a ‘facelift’. Similar to renovating an older house, furniture was made with better workmanship and quality products years ago. Instead of seeing an old-looking Queen Ann chair at an antique store, think of the potential and money savings you have to buy a brand new replica furniture piece.
5.) Pay attention to the support system of couches:
Couches are not formed equally in their inner construction. Be aware of mesh support or Styrofoam peanuts for the sofa cushions. They will not last for a long time. Instead, go for an eight-way hand-tied support construction and cushions that are filled with down feathers or wrapped foam.
6.) Laminate and veneer furniture can be beautiful:
Don’t reject veneer and laminate furniture just because it isn’t made of solid wood. Check for veneer adhering to the particle board or substrate material it is affixed to. Depending on where you will use the piece of furniture, laminate furniture can take more abuse and daily wear and tear than wood. Often times laminate can be glued back if it is coming apart, but be wary of pieces that have large sections not adhering.
7.) Hardwood furniture will last longer when taken care of:
Hardwoods such as oak and maple make durable and strong furniture. When buying second-hand wood furniture, especially sofas, stay away from softwoods like pine lumber. Pine is better for pieces that don’t have to withstand weight and pressure over a long period of time. Look at the types of wood when you consider buying a second-hand piece for durability.