7 Tips for Buying Secondhand Furniture from AptDeco


Whether you’re moving to a new home or simply looking to change things up, pairing secondhand furniture is a great way to update your space without breaking the bank. Not sure where to start? Have no fear. We asked the furniture experts over at AptDeco to share their top tips for finding the perfect “pre-loved” piece. With everything from traditional 19th century Louis XVI commodes to retro vintage Eames chairs, AptDeco will have you scoring high-quality used furniture in no time! Check out the team’s savvy pointers below and be sure to head on over to the AptDeco blog for more stylish, used furniture! Enjoy $20 off your next order with AptDeco, just use the promo code “LOFTY20” at checkout!

Buying secondhand furniture is always a smart way to save money, find unique pieces, and shop in a more sustainable way. “Secondhand” means pre-owned or pre-loved, and encompasses a whole array of vintage, antique, and modern & contemporary pieces.

According to this Wall Street Journal article, furniture costs have fallen on average about 50% over the past 30 years. Cheap furniture imports drive down prices and create a market full of throw-away furniture. However, buying secondhand has become increasingly popular since you can buy quality pieces at a fraction of their original, out-of-box cost.

There are so many good reasons to buy secondhand, especially if you’re an informed buyer. We’ve come up with 7 tips on how to buy secondhand furniture the right way!

1. Where to buy

The most common thing people ask is “Where should I go to find the right pieces?”. It’s a great question because the answer is constantly changing. The first step is to look for local yard sales, thrift shops, Facebook groups, and most recently–AptDeco.

2. Be Patient Buy Quick

Buying secondhand used to be a hassle and more like a scavanger hunt to find the right pieces. Now, secondhand furniture websites and online groups are making the search process simpler than ever. One big difference between the secondhand market and a big-box website is that turnover is quick—you’ve got to jump on a deal or there’s a good chance you might lose a piece you love. It’s a lot like real estate, where the available options will change every day. Be patient in your search, but ready to pounce quickly when you’ve found what you’re looking for.

3. Good Images

If you end up buying online, make sure the item you’re interested in has adequate images. You should be able to see a both wide and close-up shots of the piece you’re purchasing, so you won’t be surprised by any damage. AptDeco guarantees that your item will be inspected for accuracy to listing at the time of pickup, but with other services you might want to stop by and take a look in person.

4. Authenticity

If you’re buying a secondhand piece manufactured by a well-known brand, you should always ask for pictures of authenticity or brand tags. Many big-box stores will tag upholstered furniture with a brand name and manufacturer’s location. The same goes for vintage and antique pieces. They will often have a stamp or a badge of authenticity – make sure to ask for proof.

5. Correct Measurements

After verifying the images, it’s important that you take the time to measure the space where you’ll be placing your item. If you notice that the piece you’re buying has dimensions that appear slightly larger (or smaller) than the actual piece in the images, make sure to ask the seller to double check or confirm these. Remember to measure your doorways and hallways as well! Your furniture has to get into the room you want to place it in. Unless you’re buying with AptDeco, most places don’t allow for returns. Most places will not allow returns for items that don’t fit. AptDeco can help to resell an item on your behalf if you’ve made a measurement mistake.

6. Description & Conditions

It’s no surprise that you’ll be happier the more information you have about an item. Always question online listings that have a very short, vague, or no description at all. At AptDeco, for example, we encourage our sellers to write brief (but rich) descriptions with specifics about their item and why they’re selling it. Sometimes people buy pieces but never find a way to incorporate them into their style or space. These can remain unused for years and make wonderful deals for buyers down the road Details will add to your experience as a buyer– the more you know, the better.

7. Be Creative

You may not always be able to afford the piece that you want the most, event at a discounted price. Getting creative is a great way to solve your problem. When you find an interesting deal, think about how the piece could be repurposed for your needs or incorporated in a new way. A stool can be used as a nightstand, and a large vase can be used as an umbrella stand. For that reason we always encourage buyers to be open-minded — with some creative thinking, you can find a one of a kind solution.

Whether you’re buying secondhand furniture online on a site like AptDeco or in person, these guidelines will make searching for furniture quite seamless.

AptDeco is the easiest way to buy and sell your furniture in NYC. Whether you’re moving in or out of an apartment, AptDeco will help you find the right pieces that fit your style, or will help you sell the furniture you no longer want. We provide the pickup or delivery of your item, handle secure payments online, and provide a hassle-free experience for buying secondhand furniture. Every item is inspected at pickup and is delivered right to your door – quality guaranteed. With over 500 furniture brands, multiple styles, and thousands of options to buy from, AptDeco is the most complete furniture website near you. AptDeco is committed with providing excellent customer service and a great experience.

Planning to sell your secondhand furniture on AptDeco? Once you’ve listed your items, don’t forget to select the “LOFTY” option on the “How did you hear about us?” pop-up window.