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Shopping Guide

Save Money: Buy From These Online Furniture Groups

One man’s trash is another man’s treasure, and it's all on Facebook. Here are the groups to follow.

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Photography: Kurt Alvarez

If you’ve been going to actual thrift stores looking to save a buck or two buying secondhand furniture, then you’re in for a surprise—some sellers have moved online to social media. So instead of sorting through shelves filled with dusty items, you can now go on Facebook in the comfort of your own home and scroll through these secondhand gems.

"There is a certain rush in buying things, more so, besting others on a purchase," says architect Allen Obleña, who regularly buys and sells items on Facebook furniture groups. There are pros as well as cons to this type of selling platform. For one, you cannot test the softness of a sofa, or the firmness of a bed. Sizes and dimensions are given, but you could only see undisclosed defects and disproportionate shapes of the item in person.

The pace is also super-fast, and if you blink, the next person online can click “SOLD” in a split-second. "Timing is everything, and that levels the playing field—a person with good timing will often beat buyers with deep pockets," says Allen. Often, you have to pick up the item yourself (or pay for delivery). Plus, you can get booted out of the group for any rule-breaking misdemeanor, never to be welcomed again.

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But if you follow the admins’ rules closely and have a good eye for a bargain (not to mention a fast clicking finger), you can get excellent furniture deals, and possibly make some new friends in the process. "Buyers are generally nicer here, but not everyone is, [so you have to] learn to adapt," adds Allen. That said, here are the popular seller groups on Facebook:


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1. Manila Furniture Buy and Sell

This is one of the most popular furniture selling groups, and also one of the strictest. It’s not a surprise, as you can find some really quality buys here if you’re lucky, from authentic Budji Layug furniture (still expensive, but at a reduced price as it is secondhand), to slightly used sofas selling for below P10,000, and quality home appliances as well. However, they have recently excluded dinnerware and tableware pitches from the group. The use of English is strictly implemented, as some members of the group are expats. Click on their Facebook page here.

2. Decors & Furniture Expat Manila

This group started out catering to expats, as most have to sell their household goods quickly if they had to move out of the country. Thus, this site has a lot of stylish, good-quality furniture items, and they allow the sale of used toys, travel memorabilia, and souvenirs as well (they also have “Fashion Friday” where members are allowed to sell clothes). Buying from other secondhand shops and reselling the pieces in the group is strictly discouraged. Visit their Facebook page here.

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3. Pinoy Antiques, Junkshop Pickers Tiangge Buy and Sell

If you’re a true “picker” or vintage lover, and don’t mind snapping up a grungy, rusty, not-in-tiptop-shape item, then this is your group. It’s a fun group to scroll through, as rules are relaxed at best, Taglish or Tagalog is allowed (though profanity is forbidden), and you get to shop from the most bizarre items (like cast-iron monkey faces) to true collectibles (like authentic WWII memorabilia, coins and stamps, and vintage cameras). Check them out here.

4. Declutter Manila

Declutter Manila is like KonMari via Facebook—they encourage you to divest of your unused items, and even allow you to direct-message the admin to ask for professional decluttering services. Almost everything is sold here, from clothes to furniture. But doesn’t buying another dress, side table, or designer shoe contradictory with the group’s mission for decluttering? Well, just buy the item that “sparks joy.” Join them here.

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PHOTOS Kurt Alvarez (main photos of Japan Surplus & Resurrection)

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