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You could shop at budget-friendly IKEA or Wayfair, and sure, IKEA is great for many things, but having the same bed frame as half of your friend group 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 New York City, where there are lots of thrift stores where you can buy quality secondhand furniture, plus there's lots of local sellers offering their gently-used, stylish furnishings online on sites like AptDeco. There are other ways you can find discount furniture that will set your apartment apart from your friends' places, such as made-to-order furniture on sites like Craigslist (who knew?) and high-end sample sales and outlet stores.
Need more help furnishing your place affordably? Keep reading for Brick’s suggestions.
If you’re looking for gently-used designer furniture, AptDeco is a good place to start. You can find new furniture, floor models from stores like CB2—plus decor, rugs, and lighting. 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 a little help picking out your furniture.
If you have Facebook, the Marketplace feature is where locals sell second-hand everything including furniture. You can search by item and use filters like location and item condition. 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.
OfferUp is a place to buy and sell all kinds of things and has a site and an app that connects you to sellers in your neighborhood. LetGo is now a part of Offerup, so it’s one big marketplace for nearby secondhand furniture. You can chat with the seller to negotiate the price and schedule a pick-up or delivery time. Users also have a profile with ratings so you know who you’re dealing with.
Yes, Craigslist is still a thing and it’s for more than just missed connections. In their furniture section, you can find secondhand furniture, sort of like a virtual yard sale. There are also people who sell their own crafts, like custom-made desks, which are made to order and can cost less than custom furniture from a retailer.
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 high-end pieces for less). There are also seasonal flea markets in Chelsea, Brooklyn, and across the city like Brooklyn Flea where you can find furniture and decor.
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 of home decor, check out HomeGoods, Marshall’s, Cost Plus World Market, and At Home too.
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