How To: Bargain When Buying Used Furniture

How To: Bargain When Buying Used Furniture

Lily Gahagan
Oct 6, 2008

The grim outlook of the economy calls for pinching and saving where ever possible. But while in many parts of the world you can talk the price down on almost anything, around here there's a time and a place for haggling.

Like when buying used furniture, for instance. We were at the Alameda Antiques Fair this weekend, which is a great place to bargain. Here are some things we learned:

Notice any flaws in the piece. If you want a discount, pointing out any problems will usually help your case.
Be reasonable. Some say it helps to start off with a low figure, but don't go out of control. Ask too little and the dealer won't take you seriously.
Walk away. If your heart isn't 100% set on the item, check back later, like at the end of the selling day. Oftentimes people are willing to unload their goods at a cheaper price, simply because they'd rather not have to haul it back with them.
Be willing to compromise. The whole point of haggling is finding a price that both parties can agree upon. If you love the piece, sometimes you got to just let that extra $20 go.

Of course we welcome any other tips, if you've got 'em. This weekend we walked away from a $225 Danish MCM dining table in great condition, only to come to our senses later and find it was gone... so we know we could still learn a thing or two!

Image: Umpqua

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