Arnold Kling  

Used Furniture

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Tyler Cowen finds advice on what to buy used.

We just helped my daughter move to an apartment in Boston. She asked, "How did people sell their used furniture before Craigslist?"

My wife and I decided that part of the answer is that people moved more stuff back in the old days. The transactions cost in buying and selling used furniture have fallen relative to the cost of renting a truck to make an interstate move.

I am a huge fan of buying used household furniture, especially compared with new stuff you have to assemble. My daughter got a used book case for $20, and it was already put together. Because of that, I was thinking that the condition of the book case was "better than new."


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CATEGORIES: Business Economics



COMMENTS (4 to date)
dearieme writes:

We're still using bookcases that we picked off the kerbside before the bin-men reached them; that was more than 30 years ago.

Xellos writes:

There are some things I wouldn't buy used, a matress for instance, but I do the majority of my furniture shopping at used and consignment stores. Not only are the prices good, you can often find higher quality pieces than are readily available in the new stores. Case in point is one of my biggies, bookcases. A year or so ago I got a nice set of three used bookcases for about $350. These are real, hardwood bookcases with cabinets and drawers. Even the shelves are solid wood, not particle board.

Priced out a same sized one new (note the one: this was the same as a single bookcase, not the whole set) unfinshed and without the drawers/cabinets, and with laminate shelves, and it cost about the same as the whole set...

Adam H writes:

Not only is buying used furniture easier on the wallet it is enviromentally friendly, somthing most do not consider these days.

Tiffany writes:

I worked for the customer inquiry at a furniture company over the summer. The prices for the furniture were ridiculously high and personally i dont believe the product was worth the money. We had many phone calls complaining about faults and honestly the company couldnt do anything. It had to worked out with the retail store they purchased it from. Therefore, I would def. go for the used.

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