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Tips for Consignment Store Furniture Shopping

If you listen to the Home Improvement Show with Tracy Tesmer and Steve Roper on WDUN, then you know we are a fan of mixing consignment store furniture and home design. You can often find beautiful, quality pieces for your home at a low price; the trick is knowing what to buy and what not to. In today’s post, we are going to discuss some tips for consignment store shopping to help you get started.

Consignment Store Furniture Shopping

Consignment stores are great for homeowners looking to add a little flair to their home design without breaking the bank. The trick is knowing what to look out for when shopping. The right piece of furniture not only adds a pop of pizzazz to a room, it can make a wonderful conversation piece and add character or charm to a room as well.

Rule #1: Know What You Are Buying

When you walk into a consignment store, it can often be distracting, as there are many baubles vying for your attention. Going into a store with a plan is key to finding that perfect piece and not blowing your budget. Speaking of which, you should always have a budget in mind when you go into a store and try to keep to it.

There is, of course, nothing wrong with purchasing more than what you came in for – especially if you find some really interesting furniture pieces – but always remember the goal. For example, if you came in for a sofa, make finding one your priority. Otherwise you may leave the store with a bunch of items you never intended to get and a blank spot in your home where that dream sofa should have been!

Measure Your Space and Bring a Tape Measure

Nothing is worse than purchasing a consignment piece of furniture, loading it into your vehicle, and then discovering that it won’t fit in the space you imagined. Measure, then measure again to be sure.

Know the Consignment Shop Rules

Before you purchase furniture from a consignment shop, be sure that you know their return policies. Many furniture consignment stores sell items “as-is” or as a final sale and will not accept returns.

Inspect Your Furniture

Because of the rule above, you should always carefully inspect anything you purchase at a consignment store. The furniture is used, don’t forget, and is subject to wear and tear over time, no matter how well maintained it is. Look for chips, breaks, tears and “fixed” areas. If the furniture is going to be used for sitting or to hold things, check that it is sturdy and capable of holding weight. Ask yourself questions such as: “Are the knobs secure?” “Are there any tears or rips in the upholstery” “Do the drawer slides work properly?” and so forth.

Really inspect the item. If it is a piece of furniture, check behind it or flip it over to look at the bottom. If it is a pull-out couch or recliner, check to see if the furniture’s “special functions” actually function. Also, as funny as it may sound, smell the furniture too. You may not be able to get rid of certain smells, no matter how well you clean the item.

Prepare To Do Some Work

To find a good buy, sometimes you have to plan to get your hands a little dirty. A couch may need re-upholstering, a set of cushions may need a lot of cleaning, or you might want to repaint a table so it matches the color palette of your room.

Budget Appropriately

As noted above, you always want to have a budget when you go into a store. If need be, make up a secondary budget for items that might pop-up at you. Of course, budgeting money is only half of the game. You should also budget your time too. It may take you several visits to consignment shops in your area to find the right piece, and you may even earmark a particular shop to come back to if you want to window shop a little more before making a final decision.

Have Fun Consignment Shopping for Furniture

Finally, at the end of the day, consignment shopping for furniture is about two things: home design and having fun. Don’t get so caught up in finding the perfect piece for the perfect price that you do not enjoy the thrill of the hunt.