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This post is the second in a series about used furniture and how I’m planning to furnish our new home. You can read the first post here.

The project is not going as well as I’d hoped. First, the good: I found this adorable nightstand at one of our local Goodwill stores. It fits in the guest room perfectly, and I didn’t have to do a thing to it. Not even spray paint!

The lamp was a Goodwill find as well, as was the shade. Since we already have a bed for the guest room and some decorative bits, this room is mostly done. I will need curtains at some point, but since we rarely have overnight guests, I’m not in a big hurry for those.

Now, the not so good. The used market in my area is horrible. Local thrift stores are overpriced and filled with actual garbage. I realize that most people don’t donate things that are in the best condition. I’m not opposed to refinishing a table or washing a blanket either. However. The blankets I found at the local Arc were literally falling apart and full of holes, and still priced at $14.99.

I know this store is a non-profit and the proceeds are used for charities. I have no problems with that, and in fact, it’s one of the reasons I like shopping at thrift stores in general. But seriously, $14.99 for a throw blanket that needs to be cut up and used as dust rags?! I’m just not seeing it.

The nightstand I found above was also $14.99. It’s in really good condition, seems to be solid wood (it’s HEAVY. I know. I carried it upstairs myself), and didn’t have any marks or scratches on it. Brand new, it’s probably priced somewhere around $100. $15 seemed like a good deal to me. The tiny lamp was $5 and the shade was another $2. After going through 4 thrift stores, these were the best deals I could find.

There were a few other items I found at both the Arc and Goodwill that I would have brought home, but I couldn’t justify the prices. A couple of breakfast bar stools were priced at $25 each and needed sanding and staining or painting. Brand new at Wal-mart, these are $24.99. Old planters still filled with dirt and mold were priced at $10 and up. They are washable, so if they’d been marked at $3 or under, I would have taken them. I’m looking for a couple of coffee tables and end tables for our living and family rooms as well. I found 1 end table that might work, but it was priced at $50. I just can’t do it.

Then there’s Letgo and Craigslist. I figured these would be good places to get second-hand stuff, maybe not cheaply, but at a reasonable price. Boy, was I wrong. So wrong. It’s the same situation there. I’m looking for 6 counter/ bar height chairs for our dining table. I’m not picky about style, nor do all 6 need to match. I found 2 listings for ones that would work (one was for 2 chairs, the other for 4). Each was listed at $75 per chair. I just, I mean, NO. That’s what they cost BRAND NEW, and I could get 6 of exactly what I want in perfect condition.

Look, I understand that people sell their used things to make a bit of money back from the original investment. I also understand that they can price as they see fit. But honestly, who would buy these things used when you can get brand new for the same price or less? I am having a really hard time convincing SJ and myself that buying used is a good idea when we will have to pay the same as brand new but still fix or refinish the pieces.

I am not ready to give up yet. I am committed to furnishing my home as frugally as possible, and if that means we live without coffee and end tables, so be it. This is not the end of the world, and we are lucky that we have a home to furnish at all. I am just ranting because the used market here is out of control and if I can’t find what I want/need at reasonable prices then what do people who don’t have my resources do?

Rant over. I will contine the search and post updates as they happen!


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