This post has been a long time coming but here it is!!! (picture me saying that last part the way Oprah does when she’s excited, ok?) Today I want to share some tips and tricks for scoring awesome furniture on websites like Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace.
Search lots of terms— If you’re looking for a dresser search all the words that people could call it. Dresser, chest of drawers etc. For a table search ‘table’, ‘dining’ (even ‘dinning’- mispelling for the win) For lighting search ‘light’, ‘lamp’, ‘chandelier’. ‘sofa’, ‘couch’. ‘bed’, ‘headboard’, ‘bed frame’. Also take away spaces from words like ‘bedframe’ and see what happens. A narrow table could be a ‘table’, ‘console’, ‘sofa table’ etc. “love seat’, ‘chair and a half’. You get the idea.
Be specific if you’re looking for something specific— if I want a pair of chairs, I search the word ‘pair’. I wouldn’t want to fall in love with a single one if I need two. Heck, search ‘pare’ or ‘pear’ too. These cane barrel chairs (only one here) were found on Facebook Marketplace. I loved them but my main man didn’t. I love him more so I resold the chairs.
Think outside of the piece’s original purpose— after searching different words like I said above, think about different pieces that could serve the same purpose. That’s how I found the desk that we used as our TV console at our old house. I originally wanted a dresser there but when you think about it, buffets, cadenzas, tv consoles and desks are around the same size and most would have met the size requirements I needed. From there you find one you like and bam!
Also small dressers could serve as nightstands and would offer more storage. That’s what I searched for when I found Joel’s nightstand online.
These stools were found on Facebook. They were too tall for what I needed but I bought them and cut the legs down. You could do that for any wood furniture with legs. A small table could be made into a coffee table or a side table. One time I cut an old telephone bench down and turned it into a little kids bench.
Don’t search ‘vintage’— that’s a young people word. This means that they think the piece is awesome and sell it for higher. They probably found it at an estate sale or on Craigslist before and are reselling it. That’s not to say it couldn’t be exactly what you’re looking for or what you’re willing to pay, it’s just something to think about. The word ‘old’ probably means it’s priced well. : ) My favorite $40 find of all time was this wardrobe. It was a young guy selling it to get rid of it. He definitely could have used terms like “vintage” and sold it for a ton more but luckily for me he didn’t sugar coat things and wanted it gone.
Search a store or brand— Before I found our awesome Crate and Barrel sofa, I had been searching Craigslist for sofas. I deleted that search and typed in ‘Crate and Barrel’ and boom there it was. Maybe its a good tip or maybe that sofa was only meant for me to see. #FATE.
Search for things you love— sometimes I’ll search “bamboo” or “wicker” and see what comes up. That’s how I found the table and chairs I used for our back porch at the our old house. You can see that makeover here.
Other tips— you can set up a search in Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace that notifies you when something new in that search becomes available. To do it on Craigslist, you’ll need an account.
If you’re totally in love with what you find and you’re willing to pay what they’re asking, then do it. Otherwise don’t be afraid to ask if they’ll sell it for less. All they can do is say no.
I’m kind of wimpy about driving super far but I’m sure if you broaden your search radius you have a better chance to find what you’re looking for.
This is me, laughing about how much money I’ve saved from buying things second hand.
I think that’s all I’ve got. Has this helped? I hope. Let me know if you have any other questions and I’ll try to answer them.
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Thanks for reading, friends!
3 thoughts on “Tips and Tricks for Finding Second Hand Furniture”
These are good tips! I also like searching for junk for sale / jumble sale (a very South African term). I'm with you on people using vintage and retro
Thanks for reading! I like that…'jumble sale"
Jessica, These are all fantastic tips! I am off to search for a few things I need using all of your tips. Thanks so much!