What to look for when Buying Furniture at Garage and Yard Sales
Anyone who has ever seen an episode of “Flea Market Flip” or “Antiques Roadshow” knows that garage and yard sales can often be amazing places to pick up affordable and unique items for your home. Now that the fickle Central Ohio weather is thinking about warming up, garage sale signs are dotting yards and neighborhoods everywhere.
With a little creativity and patience, furniture and home décor items can be purchased at garage sales for a fraction of the retail price, but it’s good to keep a few tips in mind before haggling to get those items home (and definitely before trying to fit them in your car!):
When shopping for second-hand furniture, look for clean lines and solid construction. If drawers and doors are hard to open and close, more than likely the quality isn’t there and that won’t change even with a new finish and hardware. For pieces with drawers, check to see if the drawer is made with dovetail (or notched) construction to connect the front of the drawer to the sides, rather than staples or nails. Notched construction is always an indicator of a well-built piece of furniture.
Thoroughly check to see if the piece is sturdy; give it a shake, or even sit on it to see how it will stand up to the bumps and bruises of daily life.
Furniture may appear to be solid wood, but don’t be deceived by pieces that are actually a pressed board or veneer. While a solid wood table might easily be stripped and re-stained to remove abuse or watermarks, a table made of manufactured wood products is likely beyond repair.
Stay away from any furniture with upholstery—bed bugs are nasty critters and ridding your home and clothing of these mites is time consuming and expensive.
Do a smell test. Even non-upholstered furniture can have a smoke or pet odor that lingers long after you bring it home from a garage sale. Depending on how much of the “smell” has been absorbed by the furniture, it can be hard to remove and can infiltrate your entire house.
Be creative and keep an open mind! A yard sale treasure can be found and repurposed into something completely different from its original use. Garage sale finds are also a perfect way to experiment with bold splashes of color or a trendy finish that you might not want to risk on a brand new piece of furniture.
We know there are lots of garage sales happening this weekend in Westerville; leave a comment or let us know if you have one coming up soon!
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