How to Shop For Secondhand Furniture

Some of my favorite pieces in my home were purchased secondhand. I love a good deal, and even more than that, I love to take some worn and breathe new life into it. Today, I am sharing my best tips for scoring a good piece of secondhand furniture—so save your money for something else and give your home style simultaneously!

thrift store signage with big black lettering against cloudy sky
Photo Credit: berltez via Canva

Do Your Research First

Before you head out for your next big score, research is a crucial part of the process. You will want to research stores in your area or places that are known for having second-hand furniture available. Do some online searches to find second-hand furniture stores in your area. Look for other shoppers’ reviews and recommendations to help narrow your options.

Set Your Budget

You will also want to set a budget. Deciding on a budget before you start shopping is a wise way to make sure you don’t overspend and also to ensure you aren’t paying too much for items that aren’t worth it. This can help you avoid overspending and ensure that you’re getting the best value for your money.

Measure, Measure, Measure

Before you head out on your shopping adventure, measure the spaces in your home where you want your “new” to you furniture. Measure the space where you plan to put the furniture before shopping. This will help you avoid buying something that won’t fit in your home.

Check For Quality

Inspect the furniture carefully for any damage or signs of wear and tear. Look for sturdy construction and well-made pieces that are built to last. Avoid picking up cheap pieces that are pre-fab or made from press board. These items never last and are often over-priced.

Consider Your Style

Look for furniture that matches your personal style and complements your existing decor. Remember that you can always repaint or refinish a piece to give it a new look. So don’t focus too much on color but rather the style and design of the furniture.

Negotiate The Price

Remember — you’re not shopping big box! Don’t be afraid to negotiate the price with the seller. Many second-hand stores are willing to lower their prices to make a sale and it’s for this reason that I like to shop in small local second-hand stores as most times the owners are there working and more willing to negotiate.


Check for delivery options. Some second-hand furniture stores offer delivery services for an additional fee. Consider this option if you don’t have a way to transport the furniture yourself.

wooden tables and lamps displayed in second hand furniture store
Photo Credit: JackF via Canva

Clean and Sanitize

Before bringing any second-hand furniture into your home, be sure to clean and sanitize it thoroughly. This will help ensure it’s free from dirt, dust, or germs.

My Favorite Finds

As I mentioned earlier, some of my favorite finds are second-hand, and to show you just how great second-hand can be, let me show you a handful of my most prized second-hand possessions!

Sitting Chairs

I scored a set of these massive vintage chairs off Facebook Marketplace and while it’s technically not a secondhand “store,” these were still a great deal! I did paint the fabric and frame of the chairs to match my home but this is just an example of how not to let color stop you.

white vintage wood fabric chair positioned at window next to vintage stool table and lamp
Photo Credit: Holly Grace

You can change anything to suit your home with a little bit of paint and elbow grease.

Bench Makeover

This bench was tired and most people passed it by as it seemed fit for the landfill but a new coat of paint and some DIY embellishments gave this piece new life and it looks so good in my entryway! People comment on it all the time.

scraped wooden chest bench on wood floor
Photo Credit: Holly Grace
wooden chest bench covered in green suede with white cushioning
Photo Credit: Holly Grace

Porch Bench

I love buying second-hand pieces for outdoor furniture. Obviously, outdoor furniture weathers and wears much faster than indoor furniture, so I love getting a good deal! I picked up this bench for $40. I gave it a fresh coat of paint and no one would guess it’s secondhand.

wooden black bench on fall front porch setting with pumpkins and white & orange flowers
Photo Credit: Holly Grace

On the Hunt for a Hutch

When shopping for a hutch for my dining room, I was shocked at the prices in furniture stores. I knew if I waited long enough, I could find something secondhand that would cost less, and I could put my own creative spin on it.

vintage wooden hutch with candle sticks and decorative accents
Photo Credit: Holly Grace


When we discussed negotiating earlier, these vintage lockers I scooped up are the perfect example! The shop owner was selling them individually at $75 each. I told him I would take all four if he would knock the price down to $50 each. This is just one example of negotiating that you can try.

vintage cream colored standing lockers wit bins and pumpkins stored on top
Photo Credit: Holly Grace

[FYI: He accepted my negotiation.]

Arm Chair

This arm chair I scooped up at Habitat for Humanity ReStore. Check your area for these secondhand stores run by charitable organizations like Goodwill, The Salvation Army, or Habitat for Humanity. They get really great items and are often willing to negotiate.

white fabric arm chair with black stud accents and white throwblanket
Photo Credit: Holly Grace

I hope that you find these tips helpful and that you can benefit from my shopping experiences!