Why You Should Purchase “New” Furniture!
When it comes to buying furniture, sometimes the price tags can give you a gut feeling of “buyer’s remorse” in the future. Especially from big box retailers, the price tag you see and the quality of furniture sometimes aren’t exactly 1:1. As a result, some people can be swayed into looking second-hand for their furniture. However, as this blog article will discuss, sometimes second-hand might need a second opinion.
Don’t Write Second-hand Off Immediately
This seems counterproductive: writing a blog post about why not to buy second-hand furniture then immediately saying to still consider it. But if you’re tight on a budget, looking for something vintage or a particular purpose (e.g. retro record cabinets and CRT TV stands) then second-hand for sure is your best bet. Our blog post on how to buy quality furniture definitely still applies to second-hand furniture and if you know what to look for, you can definitely score a bargain browsing the depths of Facebook Marketplace. But if you can afford it, we’d recommend buying new ones for the following reasons.
Second-hand Can Be a Gamble
We’ve all been there, whether it’s a retro video game or vintage piece of clothing, we’ve all been excited about the prospect of getting an absolute bargain only to feel ripped off once it arrives for the item to be broken, damaged or in particularly bad situations, counterfeit! The same can happen with second-hand furniture, whether it’s a damaged corner the seller simply “forgot” to mention or that “all-oak” TV unit ended up just being an MDF unit with an oak-look sticker plastered on. Second-hand furniture can sadly be a game of buyer's remorse and catfishing until you find the “right” piece. But when you purchase straight from the supplier, rest assured that those professional photos and accurate product descriptions should bring you a product that matches the picture!
The other gamble of second-hand furniture can be the seller themselves, whether it’s the guy selling a broken TV cabinet for $300 cause “he knows what he’s got” or the person who asks for the money first and the furniture “later”, getting scammed online is a sad truth that comes with the territory of online marketplaces. There are plenty of buying guides online on how to safely purchase items from strangers, however, the safest way to purchase anything online is to purchase directly from the business itself.
Warranties, returns and refunds are all things you should be familiar with if you’ve spent any time in a retail space. Every business should have policies put in place to protect you as the buyer from unjustly being ripped off if your product is damaged or defective. But when you purchase something second-hand, you’re at the hands of whoever you purchased it off. They can’t swap the product for a new one, and it’s up to them whether they honour your offer of a refund or just ghost your request.
This is also just for immediate issues, if you run into issues weeks, months and even years down the line, a business is happy to try to remedy the situation in any way they can. Whereas who knows where this person on the internet might be at that same time, they could’ve skipped cities or even the entire country. Unless it’s a pop-up-style store, a business should stay around for long enough to take care of any issues that may occur in the initial purchasing period.
No one would try to sell something that they wanted, so when you’re purchasing furniture second-hand get ready to see out-of-style looks and gentrified types of furniture left and right. Only occasionally will you see something that’s in style being sold at a great price on the second-hand market, but even then the quality might be poor or the unit is damaged hence the fire sale. When you buy something new, you can rest assured that something should be new, in style and made to a high quality.
Style can be subjective however, some people love buying vintage style furniture, whether it’s 50’s retro or early-era style furniture. Styling like this can help, but you have to commit to the “vibe”, a 70’s colour scheme only works if the whole room looks like it was taken directly out of the era. So buying second-hand can be a great and cost-effective way to style an entire space with a vintage look.
No One and Done!
Let’s say you’ve found your dream bedside on Facebook Marketplace, the colour is perfect, the build quality is excellent and the price isn’t an arm and a leg. You purchase the unit, take it home and are over the moon until you realise one thing: you really want a matching unit for the other side of the bed. When you purchase something second-hand in this manner, you’re essentially asking to roll your dice in the hopes of finding another unit that matches and is in good condition, and if it was lucky to find the first time, it’s gonna be a luckier find the second time.
But when you purchase from a store, you can rest easy that they should have multiple units in the same style, you can even purchase the whole bedroom suite! It’s very rare that a store will only have one of something left. But in the odd instance that they do, it doesn’t hurt to ask if they’re getting any more in, most stores are more than happy to take down a name and phone number to let you know when a fresh shipment arrives!
Signed, Sealed and Delivered!
In most instances, purchasing furniture second-hand means taking your car to pick up the item and using your petrol to make the journey to get the furniture. This isn’t mentioning items that may not fit in your car (and the recent push for more economical vehicles makes this more of an issue than ever), which means either renting a trailer or asking a friend to give a hand for the weekend just to get the piece home. The cost and hassle can just not be worth it for the item in question.
This isn’t even mentioning purchasing furniture online and having it delivered! If finding the furniture only was a gamble, making sure the item is delivered safely is a whole new level of risk needed to be taken. Some damage can be easily mended by yourself, but other damage can essentially write off a unit, either from being too expensive to repair or just straight up being irreparable. This then goes back to your after-sale safety on whether you can get a refund or repair covered, as it is entirely up to the seller on how to handle the situation.
When you purchase something online through a business, picking the item is up to you and is more of a cost-saving method rather than a necessity. It’s now easier than ever to have an item delivered from one end of the country to another, and the benefit of going with a business is they can get exclusive delivery rates and charges, this then often means either discounted or even free delivery! New items should also already be packaged for transport, so rest assured that your item should arrive in one piece without any damage in sight.
Better for Filling Out a Room!
If you’re buying a singular piece of furniture, sometimes you can get away going second-hand if it’s a particular bargain. However, if you’re moving into a new house or just want a complete room makeover, then you have to go with new furniture. As mentioned earlier, your odds of finding a matching piece of furniture are already slim, so finding a whole room suite of furniture in good condition would really be finding the needle in a haystack. But a store will always have a range of furniture that will all match a particular look, and in some cases, works better when paired together.
This isn’t also mentioning the potential deal you may get when purchasing a suite. Whether it’s a deep discount or some other form of saving, businesses prefer it when you purchase suites as they can easily ship a mass amount of product in one go. Purchasing a suite also means you can rest assured you should receive all the products available, if you purchase just a bed and bedsides but decide later down the line to purchase a tallboy you may be at risk of waiting a long time as that particular item had sold out in between when you purchased the items.
So whether it’s a new TV unit or a whole bedroom suite, by now you should be considering going “New” rather than used. The warranties, selection and buyer safety all mean that the mark-up in price becomes redundant compared to the peace of mind you’ll receive. It may sound like a broken record by now, but buying used can be a losing gamble, so if you want to avoid any potential run-around and disappointment, then the decision should be easy.
Where can I purchase high-quality new furniture?
If you’re looking to purchase high-quality wood furniture, then our range at Mainland Furniture should definitely fit the bill!
However, if you’re browsing from outside of New Zealand or perhaps not interested in wood furniture, then we would recommend our business as a baseline for what you should be looking for: excellent build quality at affordable prices. Purchasing something from a big box retailer is where the horror stories of buying new come from, but purchasing from a business dedicated to great furniture at great prices means you won’t go wrong.
What If My Budget Only Allows for Second-Hand Furniture?
If you find yourself in a situation where you have to buy second-hand furniture (or anything second-hand really) our biggest piece of advice is to get information. Whether that’s more photos, videos or an in-person inspection, make sure that you know everything about the item you’re purchasing. It is now easier than ever to take a high-quality photo or video of something, so if someone flat out denies doing that then we would steer clear.
We would also definitely recommend trying to meet at a safe location when you do go to purchase. If it’s something small like a bedside, see if the person is happy to meet you somewhere in between like a mall or a parking lot, just somewhere public so you have peace of mind that you have public safety. If it’s something larger that may require special forms of movement, then we would recommend going to the seller's location versus yours so that you maintain your side of anonymity. Once again, if the seller refuses to cooperate to ensure you make a safe trade, then it’s not worth it.
Is It Worth Going to Second-Hand Furniture Stores?
When it comes to second-hand furniture stores, these can be a bit hit-or-miss. Ideally, you want to find somewhere that sells good quality furniture at low prices, as that’s the point of buying second-hand in the first place. However, you may find yourself at either end of this stick, with the store either selling good quality furniture at high prices since they claim it’s “antique”, or at a store selling furniture for dirt cheap because it’s either low quality or too ugly for anyone to want.
However, if you can find a place that does offer second-hand furniture with great looks at a low cost, then definitely check it out! You could find yourself a bargain piece of furniture that’s of higher quality than what you’d get at a big box retailer!