Each year Americans discard more than 12 million tons of furniture and furnishings, 80 percent of which end up in the landfill! Much of that furniture could have been put to good use as used furniture has value. Some companies are starting do something to combat this damning statistic. With more awareness, could upcycled bedroom furniture become more widespread in the future?
Although sometimes items may require a little TLC, there are many advantages to buying used furniture. In this post, we outline the main benefits of buying used furniture, let you know where you can find quality used items, and offer purchasing tips and tricks.
Advantages of buying used furniture
Buying used furniture is often more sustainable, ethical, and cost effective than purchasing brand new items. The top benefits of buying used furniture include:
- Better price: Even when compared to fast furniture, which can be priced extremely low, when you buy a used furniture item you will likely spend less money. Plus, there’s a good chance that the item will be made out of higher quality materials and last longer.
- Supports your local economy: When you buy from a thrift store or neighborhood yard sale, you are directly supporting your local economy. You are literally putting money into the hands of your neighbors.
- More sustainable: The furniture industry wreaks havoc on the planet. Not only are millions of tons of furniture discarded each year, but furniture production also contributes to plastic production and deforestation.
- Doesn’t infringe on human rights: Furniture production can involve unfair wages or even child or forced labor. You can avoid supporting human rights violations, by purchasing a used item instead of one from a company that uses unethical practices.
Where to buy used furniture
You can find used furniture to buy both online and in-person. Online marketplaces, such as Facebook marketplace or Offerup, show you what items are for sale near you. Of course, you can also search the old fashioned way. Visiting yard sales, estate sales, and thrift stores are a great way to find treasures.
Another option is to consider renting. This is ideal if you think you’ll be moving in the short-term and don’t want to lug an additional larger item to a new place.
Finally, hotels that are renovating sometimes sell their existing pieces for low prices. You can find inventory of used hotel furniture on RichRooms.com. (Editors Note: We here at GGA HQ find gently used scores over at TheRealReal.com)
General tips and tricks for buying used furniture
Before making a purchase, there are some basic safety and quality considerations to think about. You can download this helpful guide to buying used furniture free here. Think about doing the following before making a used furniture purchase:
- If the item smells, pass on it.
- Look for bed bugs and say NO to items that are infested.
- Check that the item hasn’t been recalled. You’ll only be able to do this if you know the make and model.
- If you can go see the item in person, make sure it doesn’t have any damage that wasn’t pictured. You can also test it out, by putting some weight on it or opening drawers.
- If the item isn’t perfect, can you still use it? You may be able to restore or upcycle it.
Image credit: Apartment Guide