If you’re in the market for a new sofa, but your budget is just too tight for the high quality you want, here are four reasons you may want to check out your local estate sales.
1. You will be more likely to get a really good buy because the mark-up will be less than if you find a comparable piece of furniture in a second hand store.
2. You know the furniture wasn’t gotten rid of because it was unwanted or worn out, because estate sales are ordinarily held after the owner passes away, or has gone into assisted living.
3. Because you actually go to the home, you know before you go what area it is in, for instance if it is in a high end area where people are used to having higher quality goods, as compared to an area with a lot of rentals that may have goods that are not as well cared for.
4.You find out if the house is clean, odor free, no bugs, termites, etc. You will get information that you would never get in a second hand store.
When you find a sofa you like, be sure to examine it thoroughly:
- Do you like the way it looks, does the color and style fit your decorating scheme?
- How does it smell? Don’t be shy about doing the sniff test. Get right down and smell the cushions, armrests, and headrest to make sure your sofa will be odor free.
- Sit on it. Is it truly comfortable? How does it feel when you lie down on it? Would it be a great place to take a nap?
If your estate sale find passes all the above, make sure you determine (as much as possible) it is of good quality construction (this is especially important if you don’t know what company made the piece).
You can be pretty sure of high end furniture manufacturers; they make good quality furniture that will last for a lifetime. However, if you don’t have this information, get someone to help you lift the sofa so you can search underneath for the framework information label.
Look for kiln-dried hardwood, with thickness referred to as 6/4. Joints should be triple doweled and reinforced with blocks. Screws and and glue should be holding the frame together, so the legs won’t become wobbly over time.
One more very important question- do you feel good about the price? If you’ve done your homework before starting out, you’ll have a pretty good idea of good quality new furniture prices, so you at least can know that your are indeed getting a bargain.
Shopping at estate sales is not for everyone, but if you love finding bargains, you may enjoy tracking down a “new-to-you” sofa.