The Pros and Cons of 4 Ways to Buy Furniture


Modern furniture

Furniture has been part of human culture ever since non-nomadic communities came to exist, and sometimes it feels like figuring out where to buy furniture is a problem just as old. Here are some pros and cons of the most popular places to buy furnishings:

Retail Stores:

The advantages of buying new furniture in retail furniture stores are many. First of all, you get the chance to actually sit or lie down on the pieces to feel if they’re comfortable. You can also find specialized stores for the type of furniture you need. If you want a leather couch, there are leather furniture stores. (You can alleviate any concerns by knowing that leather furniture is generally created from cowhide that would otherwise be wasted by the beef industry.)

The downside is that you’ll pay extra costs the shops have to charge in order to cover their overhead. Keep an eye on sales though, as sometimes stores need to move inventory and will mark pieces down significantly.


Furniture shopping online can take off the pressure of being in a store with salespeople. It also makes it extremely easy to comparison shop, keeping lists of what you like and want to come back to.

The downside of online shopping is that products may not be as high-quality as their pictures led you to believe. Make sure to read descriptions carefully and read reviews when they’re available to avoid being disappointed.

Warehouse Stores:

If you’re been wondering where to buy furniture, it’s almost certain someone has expressed an opinion on a powerhouse chain that starts with I. Warehouse stores (Like the big Swedish one everyone knows so well) can offer amazingly low prices for chic, modern furniture.

However, there are some downsides. First of all, the quality is likely lower than what you’d get buying from a traditional furniture store. Second, since the same products are available across the country, you may end up with exactly the same living room furniture as somebody else. And lastly, you’ll need to have your own truck and some willing friends if you don’t want to cough up hefty delivery fees.

Used Shops/Craigslist:

Let’s start with the upsides of used furniture. First of all, buying used means upcycling what might have otherwise gone in a landfill. You can also furnish an entire apartment on only a few hundred bucks. And since you’re piecing together furniture sold throughout the years, it’s possible to put together an eclectic look that expresses your personality.

One of the major downsides, however, of used furniture is that you don’t really know what’s happened on it or what’s living in it. Bed bugs are making a big comeback in the U.S., particularly in densely populated areas, so buying a used mattress in New York is simply a bad idea. You may be thinking that the risk isn’t too bad—after all, beds used to be made of piles of straw—but anyone who has dealt with a bed bug infestation can tell you that it’s an exhausting, expensive and sometimes even traumatizing experience. If you’re buying used, it’s better to stick to non-upholstered furniture that you can inspect and clean.

What are your tips on where to buy furniture?

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