An empty house that fills with wood-accented furniture.

So you're looking to decorate your living space. Instead of ordering from IKEA, consider sourcing second-hand furniture!

While hunting for the best second-hand pieces might seem less convenient than checking out on an online shopping cart, the effort is well worth it.

A house decorated with modern furniture. Photo by Spacejoy on Unsplash

Source used furniture instead of buying new if you are...

  • Decorating within a budget

  • Furnishing a rental unit

  • Looking for unique pieces

  • Designing your living space around a certain era

1. Second-hand Stores

A second-hand furniture store. A customer looks at items on a shelf. Photo by Julien-Pier Belanger on Unsplash

These in-person stores resell sought-after items in good condition from donations or consigners. You'll find an eclectic mix of newer and older products for you to browse at affordable prices.

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  • Search for chain thrift stores for the cheapest prices, like Goodwill or Value Village.

  • Explore independent stores for harder to find items.

  • Shop around at different stores to compare prices and quality before you buy.

2. Estate Sales

Estate sales are a way for homeowners to sell almost everything in their homes. You'll likely find large furniture items like tables, sofas, and dressers at an estate sale.

A person wrapping up a piece of furniture to prepare for moving.

Join an email list or search online to find them!

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  • Arrive early for the best items.

  • Arrive on the last day for the steepest discounts.

  • Bring cash for extra discounts.

  • Inspect fabric and wood items especially to gauge how much cleaning or preservation work is needed for upkeep.

3. Yard Sales & Flea Markets

Items being sold at a flea market. Photo by Mats Hagwall on Unsplash

These provide another way for homeowners to sell items directly to you at an affordable price, with room to bargain if you need.

You'll often find smaller trinkets and decorative items here, rather than big-ticket furniture pieces.

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  • Shop around at different vendors to compare price and quality before you buy.

  • Inspect an item's quality before you commit to it.

  • Ask the vendor about the product source and previous usage to gauge if the product is worth the price.

  • Don't be afraid to bargain!

4. "Stooping"

"Stooping" refers to when people find free furniture pieces available to grab from someone's porch or on the street.

Someone saying,

You can find items to "stoop" by walking around your local neighborhood or checking social media where people share available items, like this Instagram account.

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  • "Stooping" can get competitive. When you see something you like, act fast!

  • Call for van service, like UHaul or Uber XL,to help you pick up and transport large furniture items.

  • Avoid upholstered items. They are the hardest to clean after being out on the street.

5. Facebook

The Facebook app open on an iPhone. Photo by Timothy Hales Bennett on Unsplash

Facebook offers two platforms for people to buy and sell used furniture:

  • Facebook Marketplace, one of the options on your homepage.

  • Facebook groups that are targeted to users in and around your community.

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  • Ask for many item photos.

  • Check the seller's rating.

  • Meet in a public area for pickup.

  • Pay in cash and do not swap electronic payment information.

6. Online Shopping Sites

A person scrolling on an online shopping website.

Want the convenience of online shopping combined with the savings from buying used furniture? Some websites help you shop directly from sellers online:

  • Ebay: users bid or "buy it now" based on sellers' desired price.

  • Craigslist: users view classified advertisements posted by sellers.

  • Kijiji: (available in Canada only) users view classified advertisements posted by sellers.

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  • Trust your gut to vet sellers while chatting with them. These platforms reveal the least information about sellers.

  • Send money after committing to the item.

  • Meet in a public area for pickup.

  • Pay in cash and do not swap electronic payment information.


When shopping for used furniture online, what should you NOT do?

Take Action

A house transforming from older furniture to newer furniture.

Ready to decorate? Try these steps to find your next piece:


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