I learned my own share of lessons over the years when it comes to what you can not do when shopping for second-hand decor as someone who has filled an entire apartment with pieces in the second-hand decor stores and websites—Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist are my BFFs.
Below are six habits, which can stop you from getting the second-hand decor of your dreams.
Limiting Your Search Radius For Second-Hand Decor
The broader your search radius, the more likely it is that you can find just what you are searching for—not to mention, extending your mileage beyond your local area will also expose you to a wider range of price points. If you live in a metropolitan city, the pieces are likely to be much higher than they would be in a smaller town, for example, so you may need to drive a little to snag the best offers.
On the other hand, those who live in heavily populated areas may want their quest to include the nearest major city. Living in Washington, D.C., I see lots of young professionals listing things when they move in and out of apartments or merge belongings with roommates or big others. When I started using Facebook Marketplace, I kept my range a mere 10 miles away and still found loads of gems, but that was because I live in such a populous city. Since I’ve grown beyond my local area, I’ve discovered some pretty cool stuff that ended up being worth a trip.
As someone without a driver’s license, I usually rely on ride-share services or friends to pick up things that aren’t in the immediate vicinity, but I’ve also had good luck using the Bungii and TaskRabbit movers.
Not Thinking Beyond the Posted Pictures
I was guilty of looking at a badly shot photo of an object or seeing a piece in a junky room and thinking, uh, it’s probably not for me. Yet when I come across a list of well-designed images, I’m very likely to click through, even if the item for sale isn’t something I need.
My advice is not always to take images posted to your heart and instead to picture a piece in your own room. In a world of filtered Instagram images, it’s easy to forget that not everyone’s phone photography is social media worth it.
I’ve seen friends buy pieces with a glossy list of photographs just to make those things look catalog-worthy in their own homes. Of course, if you see any stains or defects, you’ll want to listen to your gut, but always know that the right styling and positioning will take a piece to the next level once it’s in your room.
Not Typing in Search Terms
Finding the right item on Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace can make you feel like looking for a needle in a haystack, and that’s where keywords come in. Some of my latest favorites to score on-trend pieces are burlwood, rattan, wicker, mid-century modern, and Chinese, all of which reflect my design style. Typing these words and phrases in the search bar helps to save time when faced with what might seem like endless listings.
One caveat I always find is that sellers who know exactly what they have can price their products a little higher. Since rattan, for example, is currently a big trend, sellers who use this keyword in their title or explanation are trying to get as many eyes as possible on their piece—and may not be willing to budge in price.
Not Spending Enough Time on a Site
Second-hand decor shopping is hit or missed, and every time you try, you won’t find the perfect piece. However, simply typing in a few keywords and calling it a day is not a foolproof technique. Often the ideal piece can only be referred to as “desk chair” or “dining table” with no clear search words attached.
If you’ve got some time, it’s worth a spin through the entire “furniture” tab on the Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace. I once found a terrific burlwood console table that had been listed with very few descriptors only because I happened to be scrolling around.
Negotiating Too Soon
When shopping for second-hand decor online or on a flea market, customers will almost always try to push the price further down. However, it is better to have a brief exchange with the seller first to show your interest in the item, rather than to make an offer—especially if it is on the lower end. Emailing anyone $65? “If a piece is $150, it’s not going to start a conversation on the right foot.
In fact, if I fall in love with a piece on Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace, I sometimes won’t bargain at all for fear that the seller will go with another buyer ready to pay the full price.
If I feel that way-so about something, I might want to bargain second-hand decor a little. After verifying that the piece is actually available, I will politely ask the seller if they will take $10 or $20 below what is specified, and sometimes the response will be positive. This is obviously variable depending on the seller, the object, the condition, and the venue, but holding back a bit and then coming in with the offer is something that I always advise.
Being Too Picky
You have every right to be precise about the things coming into your house, but sometimes it’s worth looking beyond a few minor faults on a piece and thinking about a larger image. Can you quickly touch a few blemishes with a fresh coat of paint?
Second-hand decor sites and shops are an excellent resource for gathering the items you want to create. Will that mirror, which isn’t exactly a living room, fit well in the nursery? Shopping with a particular purpose in mind is always wise, particularly when you stick to a tight budget, but you might be shocked at the other things that you may end up checking out of your list when you look at the range with a wider perspective.
When shopping for second-hand decor, it’s common to make some mistakes. Hopefully, this guide helps you to avoid some unnecessary mistakes whenever you shop second-hand decor. In addition to used furniture, you can choose new and cheap home decor. It’s not a bad idea. If you have any suggestions or second-hand decor ideas, don’t hesitate to share them with us.
Hiya! There are many embroidery artists in our beautiful country. Their skillful hands created unique works of floral and landscape embroidery. Many of them began to learn embroidery from the elderly artisans in the craft village when they were 6 or 7 years old. While they work independently, they have no official community. We built Hand Embroidery World to link embroidery artists, introduce our traditional embroidery items and embroidery techniques to the world.