Small Spaces

Where to buy stylish secondhand furniture for your NYC apartment

By Austin Havens-Bowen | August 1, 2022 - 2:30PM 

Need affordable furniture for your apartment? Shop secondhand furniture online and at flea markets.  

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Moving in New York City is even more expensive these days as a result of rents hitting new records, and if you’re living by yourself for the first time or upgrading to a larger apartment, you’ll find that buying new furniture might be beyond your budget. 

You could shop at budget-friendly Wayfair or IKEA, and sure, the Swedish furniture giant is great for many things, but having the same HEMNES bed frame as everyone else isn’t very original. And it’s not always the most sustainable option if you want pieces that last and won’t end up in a landfill in a couple of years.

The good news is that you live in NYC, where there are lots of thrift stores that sell quality secondhand furniture, and high-end furniture galleries that sell floor models at a discount. 

If you prefer to shop online, there are also lots of local sellers offering gently-used, stylish furnishings on sites like AptDeco and Facebook Marketplace. (Shopping second hand means you can bypass supply chain issues, which can mean extensive waits for delivery times for new furniture.) You can also browse websites for custom-made furniture like Craigslist. (Who knew?)


[Editor’s note: An earlier version of this article was published in March 2021. We are presenting it again with updated information for July 2022.]


Keep reading for Brick’s suggestions on the best places to buy quality secondhand furniture.

 CB2 dark gray couch, $648, retails for $1,688

CB2 dark gray couch, $648, retails for $1,688

AptDeco

If you’re looking for gently-used designer furniture, AptDeco is a good place to start. You can find secondhand furniture, floor models from stores like CB2 and West Elm, plus decor, rugs, and lighting. You can filter your search by brand, category, color, and condition, and price. The site coordinates delivery to your place or you can save a little more money and pick it up from the seller yourself. There’s also a style quiz if you need help picking out your furniture and they have a seller’s guide if you need assistance offloading your own pieces.

 West Elm sectional sofa, $900

West Elm sectional sofa, $900

Craigslist

Yes, Craigslist is still a thing and it’s for more than just missed connections and rentals from mom-and-pop landlords. In their furniture section, you can find secondhand furniture, sort of like a virtual yard sale. There are also people who sell their own designs, like custom-made desks, which are made to order and can cost less than custom furniture from a retailer. There are also independent retailers who sell their inventory on the site. You can filter your search by condition, price, and location. But since it’s Craiglist, you have to work out the payment and delivery/pick-up schedule with the seller.

 Mid-Century dresser, $450

Mid-Century dresser, $450

Facebook Marketplace

If you have Facebook, the Marketplace is where locals sell second-hand everything including furniture. You can search by item and use filters like location, item condition, price, brand, and material. If you’re lucky, you can come across free pieces. Some sellers will accept your best offer, so there’s room to haggle. It’s up to the seller if they want to offer pick up or delivery.

 Crate & Barrel console table, $394, retails for $499

Crate & Barrel console table, $394, retails for $499

Kaiyo

Kaiyo sells used quality furniture from places like Crate & Barrel plus antiques and vintage pieces. They handle the pickup, storage, inspection so you know what you’re getting and they offer same-week delivery ($19-$39) plus setup service. You can search by brand, item, and category and filter items by condition, dimensions, and brand. Another perk: They’re committed to sustainability and plant a tree for every completed order. They also have a store in Flatiron.

 Round glass coffee table, $80

Round glass coffee table, $80

OfferUp

OfferUp is a place to buy and sell all kinds of new and used things including furniture and home goods. There’s a site and an app that connects you to sellers in your neighborhood. You can sort items by new, open box, used, and reconditioned. You can also chat with the seller to negotiate the price and schedule a pick-up or delivery time. Users also have a profile with ratings and verified information like their email so you know who you’re dealing with.

Thrift stores and flea markets

Thrifting is its own art form, but if you know where to go and what to look for, you can probably furnish your entire living space. New York City has many thrift and vintage stores and places like Housing Works, which has multiple locations, is a non-profit that fights homelessness. Some other popular thrift stores where you can snag furniture also include Vintage Thrift Shop. (Pro tip: If you shop at thrift stores in more tony neighborhoods, you can find a greater selection of high-end pieces.) There are also seasonal flea markets across the city like Brooklyn Flea and Chelsea Flea where you can find antiques, art, decor, and some furniture.

Designer sample sales, floor models, and outlet stores

Many high-end furniture stores and designers host sample sales throughout the year. Usually its products that they have too much of. Some showrooms will also sell their floor models for a reduced price. And at Industry City in Brooklyn, there are outlet furniture stores like ABC Carpet & Home and Design Within Reach. (Of course, these places aren’t cheap, but you’re getting a discount off retail prices.) 

Discount furniture stores

If you live in the outer boroughs, then you’re likely familiar with large, discount furniture stores. Some chains like Bob’s Discount Furniture also have payment plans. There are also independently-owned stores that sell new furniture for a discounted price—and sometimes you even find top brands. And for smaller pieces and home decor, check out HomeGoods, Marshall’s, World Market, and At Home, all of which have locations across NYC.

 

Austin Havens-Bowen

Staff Writer

Staff writer Austin Havens-Bowen covers the rental market and answers renters' questions in a column called Realty Bites. He previously reported on local news for the Queens Ledger and The Hunts Point Express in the Bronx. He graduated from Hunter College with a BA in media studies. 

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