Where to Find Second-Hand Furniture
What is an apartment without furniture? As I approach the move-in date for my new home here in Pennsylvania, I am beginning to acquire some furniture to add to the basement apartment I will be living in. You may have previously read my posts about planning for the apartment and budgeting for items such as the furniture. Now that I am finally on this side of the country, I am able to begin to purchase the furniture.
But where to purchase it from??
If you have read the post in which I describe my budgeting process, you might notice that I don't have the budget to buy all my furniture new. In fact, I will be buying most of my furniture second-hand (and probably would do so even if I did have more to spend!).
Nowadays, there are a lot of places one can go to find furniture that is in excellent condition. Keep in mind, the way the furniture looks when you buy it is not necessarily how it will look when it is complete. I encourage you to check out Pinterest for ideas before deciding on the furniture you want for your home. Do you want bookcases? A desk? A kitchen island? There is a lot of furniture pieces to find at thrift stores and yard sales which can be updated and even torn apart to form something new.
So where should you look for furniture?
There are two types of places I would recommend searching: the internet and in-person places. Click the following links to jump to a specific item or read through the post as you see fit.
Best Overall for Furniture Finds: Facebook Marketplace
Online Furniture Finds: Craigslist; Next Door
In-Person Furniture Finds: Yard Sales; Goodwill
Best Overall for Furniture Finds: Facebook Marketplace
I love Facebook Marketplace. Over the past nine months (since deciding to leave Redding) I have sold most of our furniture using Facebook Marketplace. The site made the transactions incredibly easy. I felt comfortable posting my furniture on the site and selling the furniture from my home. I only rarely had someone agree to a time and not show up and I had only a singular scammer.
As a buyer, I have had an excellent experience so far. I have been able to find items such as hutches/bookcases, standing wardrobes, and more for free. My new dining table is solid wood, comes with an extension and four chairs, and cost me only $45. I am already beginning to collect a number of the items on my list and I am happy with the prices and quality of the items I am getting.
Facebook Marketplace is also easy to navigate. I usually put Doylestown into the search bar for location and set the radius to 20 miles. I then go into "home goods" and click "furniture." Though you could scroll through the endless offerings of furniture, there is also an option to search for keywords like "hutch," "table," "desk" or anything else you may be searching for. Just like most sites, you can put in a price range, delivery options, and other filters.
Online Furniture Finds:
Craigslist has been around a lot longer than some of the other online sources of furniture. I tend to find that there isn't as much available on craigslist and what is available is either more expensive or of lesser quality (or both!). Craiglist transactions can also tend to feel less safe than those done through Facebook Marketplace (perhaps that's just me?). Don't avoid Craigslist as there are often great finds there as well but keep your wits about you as you use this site.
That being said, Craigslist does have good organization and for most cities and regions there is a Craigslist to be found. Currently, we reside in the Poconos and while I have yet to find anything from Craigslist that I like, there is plenty of furniture on the Poconos Craigslist. I do find that the Craigslist messaging system can be more frustrating than other sites and often sellers won't respond for days.
I recently discovered Next Door when endeavoring to get news of our family's yard sale out into the community. Next Door is a site (and app) that connects people with their neighbors for all kinds of reasons. It is used for advertising and finding yard sales, selling/buying items, and getting important news out there. Lost your dog? Tell your neighbors on Next Door! Hear about a new ice cream store opening in your neighborhood that tastes heavenly? Inform your neighbors! See a burglar casing houses in the culdesac? Tell the police... and then your neighbors.
I don't know as much about the buying/selling process on Next Door. While I was able to sell out homemade clothes hanger (essentially a standing closet), I haven't bought anything off of Next Door. However, it does seem easy enough and well organized. I encourage you to check it out and get back to me!
In-Person Furniture Finds:
I love yard sales. Most of my teacups (of which I have many) came from yard sales. I have a gorgeous maroon clock I bought from a yard sale for a dollar or two. As a kid, I would occasionally buy stuffed animals (for $0.50 a piece) when my mother dragged us to yard sales with her. One of these stuffed animals stuck by my side through at least one surgery/procedure.
Yard sales are also a great place to find cheap furniture. I can't count the times my mother and I have found a table, end table, or nightstand for $5 at a yard sale. Often wooden chairs, nightstands, end tables, and other smaller furniture items are sold at yard sales for cheap. Yard sales are also a great place to find decor for your home. If you have decided what you want your home to look like, you can look through yard sales for smaller pieces to add to that. Instead of picking up a singular piece of furniture at each home, you are searching for multiple items (and potentially saving on gas!).
When I go to yard sales, I like to plan ahead. This means looking on sites like Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace as well as GSalr.com to find yard sales occurring in the area. I do my best to find sales close together and I note the time each sale begins. Most people prefer not to have early visitors so if a sale begins at 9 am, I endeavor to get around to all the other yard sales that begin earlier before hitting that one. Often, these sites will also have pictures or keywords. Look for "multi-family" sales, "moving sales" or sales that specifically mention furniture in their descriptions.
If nothing else works out, there is always Goodwill. Goodwill has locations all across the country. Almost all my teacups that weren't found at yard sales came from Goodwill. Goodwill is a great source for cheap tea cups and mugs and I have heard on many other crafting sites that they can be relied on for items such as frames, baskets, and other items. Goodwill is a hit-or-miss store. You may find something excellent that you can do up to look great in your home. Or you may not find anything that fits. I have not yet visited a Goodwill on this side of the country but I did see a small selection of furniture in the Redding Goodwill.
There are other thrift stores out there that have the same effect as Goodwill (good quality furniture and items for a much lower price). Though I am most familiar with Goodwill, I encourage you to check out your local thrift stores. What do they have that you can DIY or update?
Whatever store or person you are buying your furniture from, make sure you have your crafter eyes on. There are thousands of DIYs out there that simply come from repurposing an old piece of furniture. Others take a piece of furniture and give it a face lift with a coat of paint and some new hardware. Make sure you see past whatever the furniture looks like in the moment and think about what it could look like with a little effort.
(Credit: shanty-2-chic.com; architectureartdesigns.com; contest.generalfinishes.com; thecottagemarket.com; sassmagazine.com)