Whether you’re on a budget or simply looking for some new additions to your home, it’s well known that finding deals on new furniture is a needle in a haystack game. For some serious investments like sofas, beds, and tables, you want an item that is going to last as long as it can. While the great British high street has a lot to offer, it can be worth thinking outside the box to make serious savings when furniture shopping. Here’s a quick guide to get you started.
Many people nowadays are intimidated by auctions, thanks in no small part to daytime television shows like Bargain Hunt, in which it all seems a terrible game of gambling and bluffing. However, there are plenty of furniture auctions in which people are just trying to get rid of their clutter – and these are great places to look for vintage pieces to add a classical touch to your home. A quick web search can find auctions local to you, while Ebay continues to rule the online auction websites, although you may have to collect the items yourself (or rope in a friend to help).
Online exchanges are easy to find and work similarly to Ebay, where you can pick up second hand (sometimes barely used) items including furniture for a reduced price. In some cases such as people moving house, they will offer items for free! Gumtree and Freecycle are good websites to start looking, and both have location filters so you can ensure you won’t have too far to carry anything you collect. Additionally, search Facebook for exchange groups – these are usually filtered by town and subject, for example ‘Baby items for sale/swap Leeds’ or ‘Milton Keynes Buy & Sell,’ and you can negotiate directly with the owner.
Markets can be treasure troves if you arrive on a good day. If you don’t mind furniture being a little out of season, or are looking for some antiques, make an afternoon of visiting a local flea market to find some pieces, as many items will be significantly cheaper than their high street counterparts.
Be wary that it may take you a while anything if you have a specific item in mind, so do some research beforehand to find specific flea, furniture, or antique markets nearby. The advantage of this over an online purchase is that you can thoroughly inspect the item, measure it so you know it will fit in your home, and be fully aware of its condition. Traders will be able to give you any information and will usually reduce the price a little if there are any fixable faults.