Tips and Guides

5 Ways to Score Quality Furniture from Thrift Stores

Find a couple of hidden treasures with these handy hints

Photography: Miguel Nacianceno

If you’re looking for a budget-friendly way to decorate your home, you may want to go thrift shopping. As you go from one store to another, we're sure that you'll be surprised with the prized pieces that you can find. Before you schedule your shopping trip, here's a list of do's and don'ts that you should take note of so you can make the most of your thrift shopping.

Read the original article  in the July 2007 issue of Real Living Magazine. Download your digital copy of Real Living on the Real Living App now! Log on to for more details.

DO: Take a photo of the furniture.

Once you get home, see if the piece matches the style of your space. You don’t want to buy a piece that’s not functional! "When I buy furniture, I first make sure that it suits my interior. As long as it fits my concept and design, it’s usually a deal," shares interior designer Hannah Acab-Faustino.

DO: Inspect the pieces carefully.

Check the furniture. Look at the sides and see if there are dents or cracks. You may also turn it upside down to double check if it's sturdy enough.

DO: Negotiate.

When thrift shopping, you must be a savvy shopper. Ask for the final price but try to negotiate for at least 20% or 30% discount. Your bargaining tricks will surely come in handy!

DON'T: Buy a secondhand item that costs more than a similar brand new piece.

Pieces such as collectibles and antiques deserve a higher price. A secondhand item must cost less that its brand new counterpart.

DON'T: Pick a damaged piece that's beyond repair.

If a table or chair has a few scratches, consider using a mouse sander to smoothen its edges. However, if you think that its legs are not sturdy enough, then maybe it’s not worth buying. 

Loved the photos in this article? Click here to see more photos and view the complete home tour.

More on

10 Things to Bring when Furniture and Appliance Shopping

4 Ways to Shop for Furniture Like a Pro

5 Thrift Shopping Tips


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