The real estate industry likes to call homes for sale, if they’re not new-builds, “existing homes.”
In reality, they’re used homes, sometimes gently used and, sadly, other times they’re used and abused.
The same goes for cars and anything else that is on the resale market. Yes, there’s a lot of junk out there, but there are often amazing deals on items in as-new condition.
If you’re thinking of refurnishing a room or two this summer, don’t overlook used furniture and start your shopping online.
We’ve rounded up some tips to get you started and to keep you safe while making your purchases.
You’re not alone
Nearly half of Americans shopped for resale items during the pandemic last year, according to OfferUp.com’s Recommerce Report. The category producing the most growth was home goods.
“The average American saved $400 in 2020 by shopping for furniture and home goods on resale marketplaces, and just shy of one in ten saved over $1,000,” according to the report.
Although many Americans have reverted back to in-store shopping, others have stuck to their pandemic routine of shopping online and opting for curbside pickup or having items delivered.
Whether your goal is to save money or you’re looking for something that you can’t find in local furniture stores, online resale shopping is fun, convenient and thrifty.
Where to point your browser
To get the most bang for your buck, visit local platforms and apps that offer in-person transaction service. Even with the price of gas what it currently is, you’ll still pay less to pick up a piece of furniture from the seller’s home than to have it shipped from across the country.
Some of the resale platforms that offer local search include:
- OfferUp.com (easiest way to shop is to download the app. Set search parameters to “Local pickup only”)
- Facebook Marketplace
- Ebay.com (click on the word “Advanced” next to the blue search button on the right side of the page. Scroll down the page to the “Location” box and set your parameters)
Other sites offer resale furnishings and accessories and, depending on the seller, you may get free shipping.
- Everything but the House
- Poshmark (you’ll mostly find accessories here)
- Cort Furniture Outlet (sells previously leased furniture)
- Goodwill (most items are up for auction but you’ll find some that you can purchase immediately.)
Tips for buying home furnishings online
Unfortunately, cybercrime is real. Fortunately, online shopping scams aren’t high on the list of crimes. Investment and romance scams take the top two spots.
It’s still important to protect yourself while shopping online. Look closely at the photos of any item you’re interested in. If you’d like additional photos, contact the seller. If you have questions, get them answered to your satisfaction before committing to the purchase.
When working with local sellers, be mindful of online buying etiquette and safety. Plan to meet in a busy, public spot.
Show up on time for your appointment. If you can’t make it, give the seller as much advanced notice as possible.
Shopping online for furniture and home décor accessories can save you a lot of money. Be smart, stay safe and happy decorating!