I LOVE second hand furniture shops! There is something so relaxing about walking around second hand furniture shops or neighborhood garage sales on a Sunday morning with a coffee in your hand. I like to wander through the aisles of the antique furniture for sale at second hand stores and imagine what kind of life a cool piece might have had before. You never know what valuable treasures you are going to find.
More recently (cough cough thanks Covid), I have been really enjoying online thrift shops. Online thrift stores make shopping for your new apartment or condo super easy. Oftentimes, you can search for the exact item you are looking for and specify your budget beforehand. You can even set a custom radius to see if anyone in your area (or building) is selling something you might need.
While online thrift shops might be advantageous compared to in-person furniture thrift stores in some ways, they also pose their own challenges! Today, we are going to be your go-to guide for online second hand furniture shops!
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Top picks for Online second-hand furniture stores
Let’s look at where you can buy and sell used furniture online:
Poshmark doesn’t just sell used clothes online! You can also find some great used furniture items at a reasonable price. Poshmark also lets you save your items for later so you can always come back to an item if you need some more time to think about it – which I appreciate. Best of all, Poshmark has a money-back guarantee policy if you receive an item that didn’t match the listing description.
Facebook Marketplace has become one of the most popular online marketplaces to buy and sell used furniture. It's integrated with your facebook profile and messenger which makes it easy to communicate with buyers and sellers. I also find Facebook Marketplace is straightforward to use on mobile. One downside to Facebook Marketplace is there are a few scammers and fake sellers. Check out our top tips for buying used furniture to avoid these!
Kaiyo is one of my favorites if you are in the New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Pennsylvania areas. Their staff will pre-pick good-quality items, assemble them, and deliver it for you! You don’t have to worry about scam sellers or bed bugs with Kaiyo, hooray!
You knew this one was coming! Craigslist is a great place to look for second hand furniture in your area. There are also no commission or listing fees which make the site more accessible for everyone. Like Facebook Marketplace, be cautious of scammers since Craigslist holds no responsibility for the transaction between the buyer and seller.
In my opinion, Etsy has the most stylish pieces out of all of the online used furniture stores. Plus, you are supporting small businesses across the country! One downside to be aware of with Etsy is that since your seller might be located a little farther away, shipping costs can add up and items could take longer to arrive compared to other options on this list.
1stDibs is by far one of the best options to buy antique and vintage furniture online. Like Chairish, their furniture pieces are on the pricier side. One option to get around this is to check out their online auctions where you can sometimes get a bargain for a trendy designer item. I think the coolest thing about 1stDibs is that you can filter their furniture selection by ‘time period’ – going all the way back to the 1750s!
AptDeco handles everything between the buyer and seller. They will also issue refunds if you receive the wrong item or it doesn’t match the listing description. If you live in the NYC area, this one is a great go-to.
Why should you consider shopping at a second hand furniture shop?
There are so many reasons to shop at used furniture stores. When you buy used furniture online, you save money, lower your carbon footprint, and don’t support unethical labor practices. You are contributing to a healthier planet.
Americans throw away 12 million tons of furniture every year and 80% of this ends up in the landfill. Additionally, the production of fast furniture can involve unfair wages and child labour. This is how they keep the cost low for new furniture items.
You can also sometimes find higher-quality items when buying from used furniture stores. New furniture tends to be made from cheap particleboard and won’t hold up well over time.
Is it worth buying furniture used?
That depends on who you ask, and what you are buying. Some furniture items, which we get into later, are not the best to buy used. But other items like chairs, tables, sofas, bed frames, and ottomans are GREAT to buy used.
I recently bought a dining set on Facebook Marketplace and it was the BEST purchase ever! I paid under a third of what it would have cost me to buy new and besides a few scratches, it was in perfect condition.
In my experience, the biggest downside to buying used furniture online is getting the item into your house or condo afterward. Most buyers selling used furniture online do not offer delivery so make sure you have a way to get your purchase home.
What is the difference between used/resale and thrift furniture stores?
These phrases are sometimes used interchangeably when we talk about second hand furniture shops. Home Stratosphere describes the difference between the two as such:
“Thrift furniture stores are operated by and for the benefit of nonprofits or charities. They accept donated furniture and sell it…Used or resale furniture stores buy used furniture and resell it for a profit. In some cases, they act like consignment stores where they’ll sell furniture for clients and then split the proceeds. This way the store isn’t out of pocket up front.”
What not to buy at a used furniture store
Mattresses and pillows: Mold, bed bugs and other pests can be found in these kinds of used items. Need I say more?
Used toys and children's items: Just for safety reasons, I would steer clear from buying items like strollers, cribs, and car seats used – online or in person. (Check out these amazing eco-friendly kids' toys).
Electric appliances: This one is a little risky. Old appliances might be a fire hazard if the wiring is old or out of date. Better to be safe than sorry with this one.
Top tips for buying used furniture
Buying used furniture online can be tricky…
- First ask yourself, can you refurbish something you already own?
- Set a budget! You can’t finance used furniture you have purchased online like you might be able to with traditional furniture retailers. So, that is something to keep in mind.
- Make sure the item wasn’t recalled. Check SaferProducts.gov to see if the item you are considering purchasing has been recalled. If it has, make sure you have proof from the seller the item has been properly repaired.
- Look at the details! I have said it before, and I will say it again. When shopping for used furniture, carefully inspect every chair, table, or rug before buying it. If the item is missing hardware or has a scratch, ask yourself if it’s fixable and if not, will you be happy with the item as is?
- Look for items that are going to last longer and are more durable.
- Take a tape measure with you. Measure out all your spaces you are looking to fill with your used furniture finds beforehand and bring the tape measure with you when you go to look at the piece. This will make the decision process MUCH easier.
- Don’t sweat it if you don’t find anything at the first place you look. Finding cool used furniture pieces online that fits both your budget and your current décor will take some time.
- Be cautious of scammers and fake posts. I have been noticing this more and more on Facebook Marketplace. NEVER purchase an item and send money before you see it in person.
- If you don’t have access to a vehicle, you can pay for an uber or hire a delivery service to transport your item home for you. You can also ask the seller if they would deliver for an extra fee.
If you're keen for some more thrifting tips, we also have guides to help you thrift and resell your used clothing items including:
- 37 online thrift stores for secondhand clothes
- Best thrift shopping tips
- How to host a clothing swap party
How to sell used furniture online
Wondering how to sell used furniture? That's right, you can also sell your used furniture on online marketplaces!
- Choose the platform you would like to sell your item on, some are more intuitive than others. I like Kijiji and Facebook Marketplace to sell my used furniture because they don’t take a fee from sellers. Remember, you can post one item on multiple sites/apps. In fact, I encourage this because it will boost your chances of selling your item.
- Clean your item as best you can before taking pictures.
- Snap a few pics in good daylight, show all the angles! You don’t need a professional camera for this (a smartphone will do).
- Upload your item images, description, and size to your listing.
- So your potential buyers have a better chance of seeing your listing, make sure you hit the ‘home’ category if you have the option to do so (or something similar). You can also sometimes include item tags like ‘couch’ or ‘wood’ which will also help with this.
- Check your messages often. I can’t tell you how many times I missed a potential buyer when selling my used furniture online because I forgot to check my inbox.
- If time passes and you have no buyers, you can refresh your listings, lower your price, or drop it off at your local thrift store for donation.
Final thoughts Online Second Hand Furniture Shops
I hope after today you agree that buying from online second hand furniture stores is good for your pocketbook and the planet! Online marketplaces like Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace can also be more accessible than an in-person second hand store. Remember to follow our tips to get the best deal and avoid scammers and fake posts, good luck!
Did you know we have a ton of guides here on The Eco Hub that will help you get rid of your old stuff responsibly including: