Thrift store furniture shopping: All you need to know

  • By Easymove
  • 06 Nov 2019

Many consider buying used furniture at thrift stores a ‘hit-or-miss’. They believe that they will either hit the jackpot and find a great piece of furniture at an unbelievable price or end up buying a ridiculously inferior quality product. The truth in fact is that thrift store shopping is an art rather than a ‘hit-or-miss’ game and if you have the patience to perfect this art, you might not only save hundreds of dollars, but also stumble upon unique and antique furniture pieces that you won’t be able to find even at swanky stores.

You should definitely consider buying used furniture at thrift stores if you have moved into a new home and are trying to decorate it on a budget. Easymove makes thrift store furniture shopping online in all major U.S. cities including Chicago, Indianapolis, Memphis, New York, Miami and Austin extremely easy. Here at Easymove, we enable thrift stores to list their inventory on our app. You can shop for used furniture at a bargain price and have the furniture delivered to your home within the same hour.

Many people use Easymove app to find great deals before visiting the stores. It helps them save time and find furniture pieces in their budget and as per their requirements quickly. Once you find a furniture piece that fits your budget, you can visit the store to investigate its condition. You can hire movers and helpers on the spot with just a few taps on your smartphone and have it delivered within an hour. Download Easymove app now and start shopping for furniture at thrift stores.

In this guide, you will learn about the most important things you should keep in mind when shopping for furniture at a thrift store or also about some of the most popular thrift stores you can find in almost all major U.S. cities.

Here are the four most important things to consider when shopping for used furniture at a thrift store:


Know your budget before buying furniture

We have seen even the most financially disciplined people to give in to the temptations and overspend when shopping for furniture at thrift stores. Before you walk into a thrift store, you should definitely have a budget in mind.

There are always great deals to be found, but don’t let the temptation of bargain price tags lure you into buying furniture pieces that you have no use for. You will not only end up overspending, but also clutter your home. Remember that furniture makes up the largest part of clutter in a home.

And, since you are already buying used pieces, they will be most difficult to get rid of when you will try to declutter.

Quality matters

Once you have determined your budget, it becomes quite easy to find furniture pieces at a bargain price. But one of the most common mistakes people make is to skip due diligence and ignore a quality check.

They are often blinded by discounted rates. And, this is what has brought a bad name to thrift store furniture shopping. The onus of doing a quality check is on you.

antique furniture

Here are some of the things you should check:

·      Are the drawers sliding in and out seamlessly?

·      Are the legs uneven?

·      Are there any foul smells, particularly in hidden places such as drawers?

·      Will the furniture piece fit in the place you are buying it for?

Chemical odors can be toxic and potentially pose an array of health risks. They are very difficult to get rid of, so steer clear of furniture with horrible odors.

Act quickly

While you should do you due diligence, over-analysis is certainly not a good strategy when it comes to buying used furniture. Once you have found a good quality furniture piece, act immediately and buy it before someone else does.

Remember that used furniture pieces are kind of antique products. They are sold out quickly at thrift stores, so you may not get a second chance.

Waiting means that you’ll likely lose it to the next person who loves it enough to buy it on the spot.

Keep an open mind

This advice will sound counter-intuitive, but what makes thrift store shopping really stand out is the element of surprise. You may find something really great or something that you never expected. If you don’t buy it on the spot, you will lose it to the next person.

While looking for a nightstand, did you spot a drum? Well, you can find a way to repurpose that drum for a nightstand. Be creative and try to figure out how you can use a product in a way that is different from its original purpose?

Popular thrift stores for buying used furniture

Now that you are aware of the important considerations, the next step is to decide where to buy used furniture. While thrift stores such as Goodwill and Salvation Army are large national chains, you can also shop at independent stores specific to your city.

Pricing, the selection of products and quality may vary by location and store, so if you are new to used furniture shopping you should probably visit major national chains as well as local stores in your city.

Alternatively, you can
download the EasyMove app and get an idea of the price range and selection of products that thrift store offers in your area. You will also get to know how moving used furniture to your home from a particular thrift is going to cost you.  

As already mentioned, Easymove enables thrift store owners to list their inventory on the app.

 There are different types of thrift stores:

·      National chains such as Salvation Army and Goodwill

·      Independent and family-run thrift stores

·      “Vintage” or “Antique” Thrift Stores

Many national chains are non-profit thrift stores. People donate used furniture to these stores and your purchase benefits charity.

Here are some more details about two of the most popular national chains that offer used furniture at discounted prices:

Buy Used Furniture in Goodwill 

If you are looking for a common furniture item such as a table or chair, Goodwill is probably one of the best options. They usually have a wide selection of furniture for everyday use.

Visit a Goodwill store on weekends when they get a spike in merchandise. You should also keep a tab on ‘Sale Days’ when they offer discounts on top of the already discounted price.

If you are looking for antique and unique products, Goodwill stores may not be the right place.

Buy Used Furniture in Salvation Army

If you are looking for furniture in excellent condition, head to a Salvation Army store in your city. Not all furniture pieces donated to them are put up for sale. They are usually very selective. However, the quality comes at a price.

You will find products priced on the higher end compared to other national chain stores. This shouldn’t dissuade you from exploring Salvation Army stores because they too organize ‘Sale Days’ and offer heavy discounts.

Final thoughts

Hopefully, this guide will help you avoid common pitfalls when shopping for furniture at thrift stores.

Thrift shopping is gaining popularity as a way to décor your home on a budget. If you like going out for shopping, you will definitely love visiting thrift stores in your area.

And, if you want to indulge in thrift shopping from the comfort of your home in order to save time and money, you should definitely take a look at the inventory listed by various thrift stores on our Easymove app. You can compare prices and check out special deals or discounts being offered by different thrift stores in your area at one place.