Treasure-hunting: Cut your furniture expenses by going to garage sales
Working under a limited budget to buy furniture doesn’t exactly mean that you’ll end up with cheap, low-quality stuff. You do have a lot options and one of them is to buy used furniture.
Garage sales offer some surprisingly great stuff that you might not even be able to find else where. When we say garage sales, we often think of used shirts, teapots, toys, and all sorts of house decors but what we don’t realize is that garage sales are also home to amazing furniture treasures. We’re just unable to spot it instantly because most of them that are already covered with dust and minor dents, scratches, and are placed amongst a huge pile of junk. So here are some tips to guide you through taking advantage of what garage sales have to offer, saving you a lot of dollars on your furniture expense.
Look beyond minor flaws. Ignore the dust for it can be wiped off; small dents and scratches for there are simple remedies for them; and a few stains for they can be covered up. Imagine the furniture you are looking at minus all the minor flaws then assess if it actually has the potential to be a beautiful piece – they do most the time.
Focus on the built. Examine its sturdiness especially when you’re looking at tables, chairs, or anything with legs. Press, lean, and knock on it just to see if was built well and just so you wouldn’t end up buying furniture that could disintegrate right before your eyes. Check the all joints, legs, as well as movable and removable parts and see if the furniture was really built to last.
Check for damages. Think of whether the damages in the furniture could be repaired or not. For wooden furniture, you may want to think twice before buying one that has damages on the wood itself. On the other hand, hinges, uneven surfaces, loose screws, missing handles, etc can all be fixed with or without professional help. But remember that you’re buying off a garage sale to cut your furniture expenses. If the total cost of furniture plus the repair exceeds what you would have spent for a new one then it’s obviously not worth it.
Learn to haggle. This is both an art and a skill and this where you could make a lot of savings. Take advantage of the fact that most sellers just want to make little money out things that they would have already thrown out anyway. Many, but not all, wouldn’t mind selling their furniture for a price lower than what is on the tag. Work your charm and negotiate calmly and ever so politely.