Buying Used Furniture Vs New – Worth It or Just Gross?

buying used furniture vs newIs your dilapidated sofa finally kicking the bucket? Are you moving? Perhaps, it’s time for some new furniture. But here’s the dilemma: You’re on a budget. So buying used furniture vs new is next on your mind. What are the pros and cons?¬†When is it worth it…and when is it just gross?

We’re going to explore all of that in today’s article.

I was curious to hear from real shoppers from all incomes and walks of life. Therefore, I conducted an informal survey on social media by asking one simple question:

When does it make sense to buy used furniture and when do you invest in something new?

Let’s review their answers.

Buying Used Furniture Vs New – Survey Results

Dozens of participants weighed in on this topic with a variety of responses. However, I did see a few consistent themes emerge:

1. Buy more used furniture when you have young kids and pets.

“I think in the child rearing stage used dressers, coffee tables, night stands etc. are all the way to go,” one mother of three wrote. “Everything gets ruined anyways.”

“I buy used because of my children,” wrote another parent of young children. “They are rough on everything and I’m not going to pay top dollar for nice things that will end up on the burn pile in a couple of years.”

2. No used fabric furniture.

“Tables and chairs are one thing, but I would never buy a used couch because I don’t want to get bedbugs,” wrote a Florida mom.

“I buy all kinds of wood furniture used because it’s better quality,” wrote one participant who has had success with DIY projects. “I normally chalk paint it to make it new again. Couches, beds, I definitely invest in new.”

3. Buy new for a good price.

“I personally prefer buying new,” wrote a newlywed and at-home entrepreneur, “however… I LOVE a good deal, so when I find something I like I keep an eye on it until the deal is worth it!”

How This Applies to You

What I see from the majority of responses are three things:

  • Cost is important. Buying furniture when it financially makes sense is a priority for most people.
  • Health is important. Bed bugs, used fabric, and the general mystery of what has absorbed into cloth furniture is enough to convince most people to buy new.
  • Seasons of life strongly affect the decision. When you’ve got kids spilling snacks everywhere or a pet who decides your slip covers make good chew toys, it changes the value you place on your furniture.

Furniture made of wood is often completely fine for most people in my survey to buy used. For example, the process of sanding and staining or repainting a coffee table is often much simpler than reupholstering a chair. Others strongly valued the older furniture because of how well it was made. One responder enjoys an eclectic mix of antiques.

Others strongly valued the older furniture because of how well it was made. One responder enjoys an eclectic mix of antiques.

One responder enjoys an eclectic mix of antiques.

The Takeaway

What can you take away from this research? Buying used furniture vs new has many upsides and even a few drawbacks worth considering. If your top priority is your budget, then don’t be discouraged that you could never afford a new mattress even though you want one for health reasons. You may need to get a little creative with other furniture decisions, like buying a chest of drawers secondhand then sprucing it up.

Or perhaps it’s time to sell some of your own furniture and household goods in order to purchase new items. Make sure you check out these 7 free apps that will help you sell your used goods!

Your Turn: Let’s hear from you! Where do you stand on the idea of buying used furniture vs new? Tell us in the comments below!