Used furniture from Facebook.

Furnish Your New Home On A Budget

Need to furnish a new home but have limited funds? It can be tough, but as long as you are willing to give up the thought of new furniture, you can have a well furnished home on a budget. Here is what you need to do.

Choose The Best Source

The first thing that you need to do is choose where you are going to source your used furniture. There are a lot of options out there. You can purchase from Craigslist, hit the thrift stores or just concentrate on garage sales over the weekend. The best choice, especially if you are a bit picky, is Facebook.

Facebook marketplace is loaded with furniture and much of it is well priced. Additionally, because you need a Facebook account, there tend to be less scammers, although there are scammers everywhere, so be careful. Here are some tips for working with Facebook.

Set Your Location

When doing a search on Facebook Marketplace, the most important thing is to select a proper search location. Be honest with how far you are really willing to drive and realize that people may cancel on you, usually at the last minute. You do not want to be driving 100 miles to pick up a piece of furniture, only to end up wasting your time. With the current price of fuel, keep your distance reasonable. 10 to 20 miles is appropriate for most searches and should yield you a lot of options.

Have Transportation Arranged

Before you start shopping, know how you will pick up your used furniture. People will usually not hold items for sale, which means that you need to have your transportation lined up. If you own a truck or trailer, great. If not, arrange for a friend to help or be prepared to secure a quick rental. Home improvement stores like Home Depot allow you to quickly rent trucks and trailers are cheap at U-haul.

Set Up Alerts

If you do not find what you need right away, set up alerts. Good furniture that is priced well will sell quick, so you need to be either constantly searching listings or you need to set up alerts. Alerts are the best option since you will be notified right away if something pops up that matches your needs.

Choosing Your New Furniture

Buying used furniture off of an online classified website can be tricky. You do not have an infinite selection and nothing will be backed by a manufacturer warranty. Here are some things that you should do to make sure you are spending your money wisely.

Know Your Measurements

Have all of your room dimensions on hand and a general idea of the size of furniture that you need. Don’t assume that a piece of furniture will fit your space based solely on the picture you see on the ad. Ask the seller for actual measurements ahead of time to save yourself a wasted trip. Then, when you arrive and see the furniture, make sure that you have a tape measure and confirm the size.

Inspect Your Furniture

Do not be in a hurry to make the sale. Take a few minutes to inspect the furniture for damage. Make sure that drawers work and that legs are securely fastened. Used furniture will never be perfect, but some damage can ruin usability and other defects might help you negotiate a better price.

Besides damage to the furniture, be sure to check for signs of pests, especially if the piece is being stored in a garage. This is particularly important if you are purchasing upholstered furniture that has lots of places for bugs to hide. Of particular concern are bed bugs.

Look For Missing Pieces

Make sure that all pieces needed for the proper operation of your furniture are present and included in the purchase. Look for hardware and accessories that, if missing, would make the piece less valuable. Buying replacement parts could prove difficult for old furniture and the cost could ruin the value that used furniture is supposed to be providing.

Have Some Patience

You can not expect the perfect furniture to be waiting for you right this second, it might take time. Keep checking back often and avoid the urge to stretch your budget. Stick to your price point, be patient and you will eventually find the furniture you want. There is furniture for every budget on Facebook. So if you can’t find the perfect piece for your budget, you do not need more money, you need patience.

Negotiating A Price

There are two kinds of sellers on Facebook. You have the sellers who just want their old furniture out of the house and you have those who want to squeeze every dollar out of the sale. With both of these sellers, there still may be a way to negotiate a better price. Here is how to do it.

Just Ask

It never hurts to ask for a better price, and most people expect it. If a listing is for $100, it is pretty safe to assume that the seller expects to make $80 from the sale. Remember, the worst thing a seller can say to a low offer is no. That being said, if a seller lists a price as firm, don’t waste your time with offers.

Be Cautious Low-balling

One easy way to get ghosted on Facebook is to send out a low-ball offer. If a listing is for $200 cash and you offer $80 you will probably not get a response and the seller will probably block you. While it does not hurt to ask for a better price, if you really like a particular piece, low-balling could remove any chance of getting it, even at a higher price.

Save & Wait

Sometimes an item you want might be outside your price range or the seller might simply be unreasonable. In these cases, all hope is not lost. Instead of giving up on this perfect piece of furniture, save it to your favorites and check back on it regularly. If the furniture does not sell, the seller might eventually drop the price and it might get into your price range.