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Whether you rent your home or own it, one thing is probably true: you won't want to spend too much money on your furniture. Of course, you'll want things that are beautiful, practical and built to last, but you won't want to empty your bank account to do it. And, if you are renting, you won't want to drop a load of cash on furniture that you might not be taking with you to your next place, right?
Sound like you? Well, if you want cheap furniture that looks nice, isn't falling apart, and could be easily made to look even better than it currently does, there are some things you should try...
To find cheap furniture... ask friends & family
When you're looking for cheap furniture, your first port of call is your friends and family. It's likely they have a garage or attic full of stuff they don't want anymore, and you might even find that they're updating sofas, bed frames and high-price items in the near future. It's up to you whether or not you offer cash for their old furniture, but whatever the case, you'll pick up stuff that's in considerably cheaper than buying it brand new - and often in good condition too.
To find cheap furniture...use IFTT notifications
If This Then That is a handy little app that automatically notifies you of things you’re interested in. All you have to do is set up a ‘recipe’ (i.e an instruction), and you’ll get alerts when there’s something you should take a look at. You could set up an IFTTT recipe for eBay for instance, rather than wasting your time scouring the site every day for a bargain.
To find cheap furniture... consider seasonality
Some pieces of furniture are going to be cheaper depending on the time of year it is. So, if you’re after a garden table and a BBQ, snap them up in winter when things are in the sale. Electronics will be cheap on Black Friday (November), and technology is often reduced in spring. Don't forget that bedding and towels and other household linens regularly make their way into the January sales too.
To find cheap furniture... scour secondhand and charity shops
Google where your local second hand shops are, but be smart about it. An affluent town is going to sell second hand goods at an inflated rate, whereas if you head to a shop in a less wealthy area, you’ll bag a bargain. You might even find there's room to negotiate in these shops: sometimes, the price tag is more of a guide than anything. There are also some second hand shops that stock products online, so be sure to check them out too. If you spot a piece of cheap furniture that you like, call them and reserve it: if it’s online, it goes quicker!
To find cheap furniture... join Facebook groups
There's likely to be a Facebook group for people who are selling things in your area. People are flogging everything from wardrobes to fridges, rugs and mirrors - you'll just need to turn notifications on and be prepared to pick up whatever you buy. Again, the great thing about this method of finding cheap furniture is that there's room to haggle - you won't end up paying over the odds if you're smart about it.
To find cheap furniture...try an auction
Another good idea is to head to an auction. They tend to happen at least once a month in towns and cities, but just make sure you know what you’re bidding on before you start - and decide (and stick to) your upper limit, too! Consider paying a visit to a local car boot sale too: again, there's plenty of room for haggling, and you'll get the best deals if you make an offer towards the end of the day when the sellers are getting nervous about having to head home with too much stock. Don't be wary of making an offer earlier in the day, however: you risk missing out on the best pieces of cheap furniture if you don't get in early enough.
To find cheap furniture... visit IKEA
If your entire house is furnished in IKEA it might feel a little soulless, but if you’re just ‘topping up’ or ‘getting the basics’, certainly consider shopping here! Furniture is cheap, and in our experience, lasts for an awful lot longer than you might think for the price. You should check out the IKEA Hackers website for ideas if you fancy making mass-produced things feel more personal/useful to you.
To find cheap furniture...try SnaffleUp
Finally, you can get furniture for absolutely nothing if you’re lucky. Aside from checking neighbours’ front lawns for things that have been left outside, try a site like SnaffleUp – they don’t believe in chucking things in landfill, and want people to get their hands on furniture regardless of income. So, so long as you can collect the item, you can have it for free. Do you have any cheap furniture hunting tips to share? It would great to hear them in the comments below.