Author Topic: Mustachian Furniture Shopping  (Read 5143 times)

jasminegeekface

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Mustachian Furniture Shopping
« on: February 06, 2016, 08:32:31 AM »
Hello, fellow mustachians!

I just got a new job and I'm moving to an unfurnished apartment for the first time since I moved out of my mom's house a couple years ago. I'm going to need to buy some basic furniture (bed, mattress, dresser, possibly a couch and coffee table), and I'm not sure how to go about doing this without breaking the bank more than necessary.

Do you guys have any advice on where to look, what to look for, what constitutes a reasonable price for these things, etc? Any other factors I need to consider?

MsPeacock

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Re: Mustachian Furniture Shopping
« Reply #1 on: February 06, 2016, 08:42:32 AM »
Craigslist and re-store/consignment/thrift/garage sales. Look stuff over carefully and be cautious about the possibility of bedbugs. Otherwise, Ikea is good for new starter furniture. The Habitat For Humanity Restore in my area has consistently nice furniture for very low prices.

Most of the furniture in my house is used from garage sales and craigslist.

tobitonic

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Re: Mustachian Furniture Shopping
« Reply #2 on: February 06, 2016, 08:51:38 AM »
There was a time (just a few years ago in grad school) when I'd have been willing to buy used mattresses from stores, and I did. I got a queen and used it for around 2 years on the floor without a bedspring. It worked very well and was a big step up from the airbeds I'd been using (which almost always started leaking within a few weeks or months).

However, those days are gone with my knowledge of bedbugs. Today, if I were searching for a mattress, I'd go new, 100%, and probably use Ikea for much of it / everything.

ender

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Re: Mustachian Furniture Shopping
« Reply #3 on: February 06, 2016, 09:04:22 AM »
Craigslist furniture.

Discount mattresses (like tuft/needle).

Patience on Craigslist and garage sales can result in a really affordable furniture collection.

La Bibliotecaria Feroz

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Re: Mustachian Furniture Shopping
« Reply #4 on: February 06, 2016, 09:40:57 AM »
If you don't a Costco membership, you can get cheap mattresses at Big Lots, too. Actually I DO have a Costco membership, but wound up going with Big Lots anyway. It was much cheaper than Tuft and Needle, but I was buying for a toddler, so... I mean, it's not that I don't want him to be comfortable, just that his standards are not fully developed yet!

DebtFreeBy25

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Re: Mustachian Furniture Shopping
« Reply #5 on: February 06, 2016, 09:58:17 AM »
Congratulations on the new place! Here are some ideas to get you started on your furniture hunt:````

  • Friends and family- Tell all of your nearest and dearest that you're moving and have no furniture. You'll likely be offered some gifted items or they may have leads on pieces that are being sold for cheap.
  • Thrift stores- Browses the selection at your local thrift shops that carry furniture.
  • Facebook yard sale groups- These groups are active year round. While many people are trying to get top dollar, there are some folks just trying to get rid of unneeded items.
  • Estate sales- Your luck will definitely vary with the neighborhood, individual home and number of attendees but lots of good stuff can be had for cheap at these auctions.
  • Craigslist- You can find all sorts of things for sale in every price range.
  • DFW, Big Lots, Value City or another discount furniture store- I'd consider this a last resort. If you something something specific and can't find it used, research your options at these stores.

In terms of ideal prices, it should be possible for you to get a bed for free. If you can't acquire a free bed, you should be able to buy the frame for ~$50 used. For the mattress, it's going to depend on whether or not you're okay with a used one. This is something you'll have for a long time so don't beat yourself up if you want to buy new. Your mattress is important to your sleep quality, so get something that fits your needs. After sleeping on used freebies for years beyond college,  I finally broke down and bought a $800 new memory foam set in 2013. I am definitely not sorry.

When buying furniture look for solid wood not particle board (wood composite with a plastic veneer). If you buy sturdier items that are in better condition they'll last longer. If you have funds I'd suggest buying things that will last rather going with the cheapest option knowing that it will need replaced in a couple of years.

I've only purchased a few items new. My couch was $250 and my loveseat was $200. My tv stand was $99. (Needed to buy it new because I need a specific type and size to hold my TV at the right height. Yup, I have a facepunch worthy 55" flat screen that I got for $400.) My bookcases were $15 for two at an estate sale. (I actually bought three bookcases for that price, but one was in unusable condition.) My washer and dryer were $250 for the set used. Most of my furniture was gifted (all used, obviously) or scavenged.

Goldielocks

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Re: Mustachian Furniture Shopping
« Reply #6 on: February 06, 2016, 10:29:08 AM »
Ha,

Buy your own bed, or other essential, then just ask people  -- say you are new to town and need a kitchen table and sofa, etc.  Ask at church, at work, while helping a friend on a weekend, etc.

You could even post an ad in CL "Wanted - free, kitchen table and sofa for newcomer to town".

You may only get half of what you need, but you can live on half until other items appear in your life.

Living Within Reason

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Re: Mustachian Furniture Shopping
« Reply #7 on: February 06, 2016, 10:59:37 AM »
All the suggestions are great but also check out your local Buy Nothing group and also Amazon for mattresses (check out this Frugalwoods matress post: http://www.frugalwoods.com/2014/06/23/how-i-saved-2120-by-buying-a-mattress-online/ )

Kwill

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Re: Mustachian Furniture Shopping
« Reply #8 on: February 06, 2016, 11:34:38 AM »
I'd suggest going with new things for mattresses and anything upholstered if you can. Those are the things that could have bugs. Non-porous materials like wood, metal, plastic, etc. are fine to get used. Also anything that can be washed in hot water and dried in a dryer--that's how you kill bedbugs. On the other hand, if you trust the source and know the person hasn't ever had to deal with bedbugs, it's your call.

I had a mattress I liked from Walmart (the Spa Sensations memory foam http://www.walmart.com/ip/Spa-Sensations-8-Memory-Foam-Mattress-Multiple-Sizes/12542630). I don't remember whether I had the 6 inch or the 8 inch thick one. I think that is about as cheap as you can get for something new and comfortable. They have a couple cheaper mattresses that are more basic. When I got it, it was bundled with a frame like this, which is now sold separately: http://www.walmart.com/ip/Spa-Sensations-Steel-Smart-Base-Bed-Frame-Black-Multiple-Sizes/15739163 (edited to fix link).

horsepoor

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Re: Mustachian Furniture Shopping
« Reply #9 on: February 06, 2016, 11:38:09 AM »
Most of our furniture is from Craigslist.  Don't forget that you can paint lots of things if you care about how they look.  I got an awesome commercial grade file cabinet from a yard sale for like $10 and turned it into really nice looking storage by just painting it and cleaning it up a bit (among other upgrades I've made to not-so-beautiful used furniture).  Even if you are OK spending the new price for cheaper furniture, you can get a better quality item used for the same price or less.

For couches or other upholstered stuff, I'd look for things being sold off by a staging company.  I did buy an antique sofa and armchair from Craigslist, but I was able to leave them wrapped in plastic in my horse trailer for a month in the depth of winter to ensure that any bugs lurking in the upholstery would die.

icemodeled

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Re: Mustachian Furniture Shopping
« Reply #10 on: February 06, 2016, 07:58:32 PM »
We would never buy used mattress or couch/living room furniture off Craigslist ect. With us owning rental properties,  we are all to familiar about the existence and severity of bedbugs. We are very cautious as it can cost thousands to treat plus throwing away items. Its very common at least in this area. We have purchased new items at very good prices for watching for sales and checking the right stores. We do not go to the high end or expensive stores but more discount locations, even Big Lots has affordable options (if theres one nearby). I would look for tables, bookshelves and such in consignment or thrift stores. Even Craigslist, though id really inspect well. Maybe ask friends, coworkers and family if they have any items you need that they dont.

we do plan to buy from Craigslist when we move, just not a mattress or couch. Otherwise, CL is great for deals!

sstants

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Re: Mustachian Furniture Shopping
« Reply #11 on: February 08, 2016, 10:44:52 AM »
another vote for Craigslist! It's the only place you can get real hardwood furniture in the $100-200 range, and it will last forever and hold resale value. I've bought and used and sold pieces of hardwood furniture for a profit on Craigslist.

Check out unfinished furniture stores too. That's a great way to save money and personalize an item. You can stain the wood however you'd like or paint it.

I agree that mattresses should be purchased new.

JoJo

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Re: Mustachian Furniture Shopping
« Reply #12 on: February 08, 2016, 11:20:49 AM »
I just bought a queen size $155 6 inch memory foam mattress from Amazon.  It's delivered to your house (only 2x2x4 ft box) and easy to handle & set up as a single person and is super comfortable.

jackiechiles2

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Re: Mustachian Furniture Shopping
« Reply #13 on: February 08, 2016, 11:56:52 AM »
Ours is a combination craigslist, rugsusa.com, home goods, and world market.

jasminegeekface

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Re: Mustachian Furniture Shopping
« Reply #14 on: February 09, 2016, 02:32:02 PM »
Thank you all for replying! Lots of good ideas here, and I think I'll definitely use Craigslist for items where bed bugs wouldn't be an issue.

I'm still looking around, so if anyone has any other suggestions, I'd still love to hear them :)

Jschange

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Re: Mustachian Furniture Shopping
« Reply #15 on: February 09, 2016, 10:06:55 PM »
If you go with ikea for the mattress, I suggest the cheapest mattress plus the memory foam topper. I bought the topper a few weeks ago and it has drastically improved my life.

I also was squishing the memory foam toppers in Wal-Mart today. They are in the same price range but feel very different. Lighter and highly collapsible.

I'd also suggest furnishing slowly. A bed, and either a coach or table and chairs to start. Buy the rest when you see a good idea, when you see a need, and when the price is right. You might not need as much as you think, and you'll hear about more people offering great stuff if they know you don't have an x yet.

Shop around for a well priced thrift store. Some charge more than new, some charge less than craigslist.

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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Re: Mustachian Furniture Shopping
« Reply #16 on: February 10, 2016, 05:31:37 AM »
Some thrift stores sanitize upholstered items.

JustGettingStarted1980

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Re: Mustachian Furniture Shopping
« Reply #17 on: February 10, 2016, 11:02:22 AM »
Estate sales in nice neighborhoods are the best. Good value products for minimal cash! Some of our best furniture were obtained this way.

sstants

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Re: Mustachian Furniture Shopping
« Reply #18 on: March 14, 2016, 10:23:15 AM »
I recently bought a few wooden pieces of furniture on Craigslist from someone who is running a small retirement business refinishing furniture. They buy nice but tired wooden pieces at estate sales/garage sales and really clean them up. Stain/paint/new hardware. Now I have their business cards/facebook pages and I know where I'm going back to for new pieces! It's always an unbelievable deal and I get unique pieces that I get a ton of compliments on.