Buying secondhand furniture online is a great way to add unique, one-of-a-kind pieces to your home. But it also comes with its own set of pitfalls that you’ll want to avoid if you’re looking to score a deal.
Before you head out to your local Craigslist or garage sale, make sure you sample the items you’re considering buying. That can mean opening up drawers and cabinets or sitting in chairs or tables to see how comfortable they are.
1. Look for a reputable seller.
When it comes to buying secondhand furniture online, it’s important to look for a reputable seller. This will ensure that you get the best quality furniture for your money.
There are several places to find good quality secondhand furniture online, including Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace. These sites have a wide range of items for sale, and they’re usually arranged by location.
While these sites are convenient, they can also be a bit risky. Make sure to check out the seller’s feedback and do a little research before buying from them.
2. Check the item’s condition.
Whether you’re buying online or at a local store, make sure to thoroughly examine the item. Little scratches and dings are normal for used furniture, but major cracks and missing parts will indicate a serious problem.
The type of wood a piece is made from is also an important factor to look at. Soft woods like pine or MDF, are likely to warp and become uneven over time, whereas harder woods like oak or maple will generally hold up better.
Ideally, you’ll want to buy secondhand furniture that you can easily restore to a high-quality, well-made state. If not, you’ll likely end up with something that won’t last long and that you’ll have to replace in the near future.
3. Check the shipping costs.
When buying secondhand furniture online, it is important to check the shipping costs. This can be a big expense and will add to the cost of your purchase. Fortunately, most online furniture stores will be upfront about their shipping costs and are likely to provide a better rate than you would get with a traditional local delivery service.
In addition to checking the shipping costs, it is also a good idea to check out the packaging options available. Using thicker cardboard, double boxes or a crate will help to ensure that your furniture arrives in the same condition it was shipped in. This is especially important when buying a larger piece like a sofa or couch. Additionally, make sure to measure and weigh your item before committing to any shipping services.
4. Check the item’s dimensions.
One of the most important things to do when shopping for secondhand furniture online is to check the item’s dimensions. Because you are not shopping in a catalog with upfront descriptions and dimensions, it is vital that you do this to ensure the piece of furniture will fit where you want it to be placed in your home.
Another thing to consider is whether the item you are looking at has been recalled for safety reasons such as fall hazards, lead paint or flammability. If so, you should look for tags or labels to learn more about the product and whether you can return it. Also, look for signs of damage. These could include cracks, broken legs or supports and signs of previous repairs.
5. Check the seller’s feedback.
When you’re buying secondhand furniture online, you should always check the seller’s feedback. That way, you can get an idea of the quality of the item and whether it’s a good deal.
Another thing to look out for is whether the item has been recalled or has any other issues that need to be addressed. You can run a product through the Consumer Product Safety Commission website to find out if there are any recalls on it.
If you’re a first-time buyer, it’s best to go for a reputable peer-to-peer platform or company that has consolidated warehouses and offers customer support in the event of any problems with your order. Some platforms also offer returns in case you’re not happy with your purchase or the item isn’t what you expected.