Best Places to Get Good Furniture for Cheap

Since 2014 I’ve been on the constant hunt for good quality furniture for cheap. These are the first places that you should start looking at to score the best cheap furniture, AND where you should stop wasting your time. Not all places or pieces are worth it! Here are the best places to get good furniture for cheap!

We are constantly asked where we find all of our furniture to paint. But it’s not so much the where. It’s also the how. Get more furniture makeover ideas here!

photo of an old wood desk with with text the best places to find cheap furniture

Since I started painting furniture and selling furniture back in 2014, we’ve found our fair share of old cheap furniture to paint for resell.

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We started back in Tucson Arizona, where painting and selling furniture was a huge thing. Everyone and their dog was making a quick buck by painting all of this cheap furniture.

A lot of people started catching on, and the prices of used furniture went up. But, some were still clueless to the worth of their old good quality furniture!

With so many other painters scouring the city for furniture, we had to get creative to find cheap furniture.

And then in 2017 we moved to Duluth MN for my husband’s job. The market for painted furniture is about the same there. It’s saturated. 

With no contacts and no furniture stash to start with, we had to put our finding skills to the test.

How to Find Cheap Furniture

I’m not going to lie. It took us a bit to figure out the best places in this city. But eventually, we started to learn where the best places were to find old used furniture that was good quality.

And we certainly learned where we needed to stop wasting our time on certain places.

The biggest thing we do, across all of these places, is that we are constantly on the search. We have notifications turned on, and we are always on the lookout.

Sometimes there will be a huge influx of pieces available (spring cleaning and getting ready for the winter are some good times), and other times there will literally be only a few pieces available in the area.

In times when there isn’t much, you may have to look a little bit out of the area, or just wait until more people are selling their furniture again.

The Best Places to Get Good Furniture for Cheap

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*Please note* Use caution when meeting anyone to buy or sell furniture. If you have a weird feeling about it, it’s not worth it.

Always meet in a public place where there are people around, and let someone know where you’re going, who you’re meeting with, and any other information that would be important. 

Facebook Marketplace

Facebook Marketplace is still pretty new to the game, but it’s a great place to find used things. Instead of the old “yard sale” groups on Facebook, I just do a quick search in Facebook Marketplace.

But in 2014, we were constantly on yard sale groups on Facebook, trying to beat others to the latest piece of furniture that someone just posted.

Those same yard sale groups have clothes, toys, cars, and so many other household items listed. So we would try to search the group for the specific item we were looking for. Like a dresser.

It takes a lot of time to scour through all those groups and posts. And I really don’t recommend doing that anymore, unless you’re hard up for some furniture.

Like bad. Or if you have a lot of time on your hands.

Facebook has gotten a bit smarter, and if someone posts in a group that you’re in, they can opt to list it on marketplace too. Making it easier for everyone to see.

Facebook Marketplace will also show you some of the listings from your Facebook groups. So it’s a great idea to be in those yard sale groups, even if you aren’t actively looking in them.

If you’re looking for some yard sale groups in your area, search Facebook for things like “(your area name) yard sale”,  “(your area name) rummage sale”, “buy and sale in (your area name)”,  “(your area name) garage sale”, “(your area name) buy sell trade” or a combination of those. 

It also sorts things and shows you things based on an algorithm.

So if you’re looking for something one day, or if you click on something, Facebook Marketplace will try to show you more items that are like that.

(So don’t go clicking around on baby clothes if you don’t want to see baby clothes all the time.)

searching for dresser on Facebook Marketplace

You can also turn notifications on to let you know when something is posted for sale. Just look for the notifications icon under the search bar after you make your search.

Craigslist

Next up is the tried and true Craigslist. Craigslist has always been a go-to for me. I actually bought some of our very first pieces on Craigslist from a company that bought and sold hotel furniture.

So we ended up buying about 7 of the same exact coffee tables from this person, and we sold all of them pretty quickly!

Craigslist is pretty straightforward. Just type the name of the item you’re looking for, and it will pull up anything that has been listed with that name. 

Some people will list multiple things together, so sometimes it’s best to click on the ads to look through what they are selling.

Because sometimes the really good quality furniture won’t be pictured or mentioned in the first picture.

Also, search all of the names that people call that type of furniture. A dresser can also be found under chest of drawers, chest, bedroom furniture, highboy, nightstand etc.

You can even search for misspellings because people type fast and accidentally spell things wrong. (Yes, I just spelled accidentally wrong and had to have spell checker fix it for me. haha)

Chester Drawers is a popular misspelling for a dresser.

You can also turn on notifications through Craigslist. They will send out emails throughout the day as things are posted under the exact search that you save.

To get notifications, just click on “save search” next to the search bar. And then click the box under alert to turn it on.

save search on craigslist
How to turn notifications on Craigslist

Friends and Family

It’s always great to enlist the help of family and friends too! Let them know that you are looking for furniture, and they will probably come to you when they are trying to get rid of it.

Just be careful to not hurt feelings or burn bridges with this. Not everyone wants to just get rid of it. Make sure to offer to pay them what you usually would for it. 

If you plan on painting it, let them know. Some people are very very protective of their old used furniture and don’t want it to get painted.

Estate Sales

And then there are estate sales. These are a little bit more complicated, but totally worth it if you find the right sales!

If you’ve never been to an estate sale, here’s a little run down. Estate sales usually take place in a person’s home, when that person or family members are trying to sell all of their stuff.

Before they open the doors to the home, they usually start handing out numbers on a first come first serve basis (they start doing this at a specific time before the sale starts, read the ad information to know what that company does).

And then once the doors open, they let people into the home in the order of what number they have.

In my experience, most estate sales are on the more expensive side, but a lot of times they have a certain time that most of the leftover items are half off.

So those are the best times to go if you’re looking for a deal. If you know that an estate sale company has good prices, then it’s best to go early and get the first pick!

Old vintage vanity at an estate sale
See how we turned this vintage vanity into DIY black farmhouse nightstands!

Estate sales usually have the best quality furniture around, so for those looking for good quality furniture on a budget, estate sales are where to go.

Find your local estate sales each week at estatesales.net.

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Thrift Stores

And of course, thrift stores can be amazing too! I have found a lot of really amazing pieces at Goodwill, Habitat for Humanity Restore and Salvation Army. As well as locally-owned thrift shops.

If I have a second when I’m driving past one, I usually stop in to see what they have. But their selection is always changing, and it’s kind of a game of chance.

Some stores will have days where everything is half off! And some stores will discount as they sit for a while. Others will have days where certain tags are half off. 

the back of a pickup filled with furniture
This full load of cheap good quality furniture was partially from a thrift store, and the rest from Facebook marketplace finds!

I really like the ones where I can buy it and pick it up within 24 hours because I’m not always in a vehicle big enough to pick furniture up. Hello 2 kids in car seats and a small car.

Online Auctions

And then there is my favorite. The one that a lot of people don’t know about.

When we lived in Tucson, there was an amazing online auction! It was run by the same company that would do estate sales, so they had a ton of stuff every week.

Usually, they would sell one household of items per week, but sometimes they would have a “warehouse sale” where random things would be listed that week.

They would post pictures of everything, with a little tiny bit of detail, and then the bidding would start at $1.00.

cheap furniture on an online auction
This is what Caring Transitions looks like

The auction would go for at least a week, and the highest bidder when the auction was over, was the winner. Because it was a hidden gem, this was the best place to buy cheap furniture!

The one downside to it though is that we couldn’t see the pieces in person first.

(Actually, I think they would allow you to set up a time to see things during the week, but we lived clear across town so that never worked for us.)

So we would look really hard at the pictures and hope that they weren’t in bad condition where we couldn’t see. That company was called Caring Transitions.

Where to Stop Wasting your Time

Again, not all places or pieces are worth it!

Yard Sale Apps

Now, depending on your area, the best places may vary. I know there are also apps like Varage Sale and Letgo. But in the areas where I’ve lived, I’ve never had luck.

Yard Sales

And then of course there are actual yard sales. These can be fun, but they certainly don’t have the best quality furniture, and furniture is usually hard to find.

We used to go to yard sales all the time, but once I really stepped up my game to only offer quality furniture, we stopped going. Though the thrill of the hunt is something that I absolutely loved.

free desk at a yard sale

On the Side of the Road

I have never actually found anything decent on the side of the road. I guess I’m not that lucky, or I don’t drive around enough.

But I wouldn’t waste your time looking on the side of the road for a good piece of furniture. For the most part. Usually, they are broken, bad quality, in terrible shape, or all of the above. 

If you do happen to be in the right place at the right time, and you spot an amazing quality piece, I would snatch it up. But I wouldn’t be counting on this method.

Now you know all of the best places to get good furniture for cheap. If you have heard of online auctions, let me know! I’m super curious to see if you have!

Can you Paint Cheap Furniture?

Yep! You sure can! Wood furniture is the best to paint, but you can also paint laminate furniture (the plastic feeling furniture) too! Learn how to paint laminate furniture here!

Where to Get Paint for Cheap

You don’t have to buy fancy name-brand furniture paint to be able to paint furniture! You can actually use latex if you want! (Check out the best paint to use on furniture here!)

But, you have to prep furniture for painting by cleaning it, scuff sanding, and priming with a good primer that will stick well.

Latex paint on its own can’t stick to furniture very well, and it will just be a mess if you try to. My favorite, cheapest paint for furniture is to turn latex paint into chalk paint!

Get my chalk paint recipe here! This Rustoleum chalk paint is a cheaper option as well! It usually has better adhesion than homemade chalk paint, making it frustration-free!

How to Paint Cheap Furniture

This post on how to paint furniture is a great tutorial that shows you exactly how I paint all of my cheap furniture!

If you’re interested, I can write about how to make money painting furniture as well! And if your cheap furniture has some damage, learn how to repair damaged furniture here!

Happy hunting!!

Get the Secrets!
Grab this super convenient How to Repair Furniture Ebook with all of our secrets on how to repair furniture for only $14. You can print it out and have instant access whenever you come across damaged furniture, and know exactly how to fix it!
Click on the picture of the book to purchase!

ebook on how to repair furniture

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pickup truck filled with furniture and best places to find cheap furniture text

One Comment

  1. Patty Varnum says:

    Thank you for your video on glazing. It was excellent I’m ready to take a chance thanks.
    Patty

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