The Dallas Morning News
Tips for scoring great home furnishing deals online
If you’re a fan of finding deals or saving money, you’re far from alone. Shopping in resale shops and online marketplaces is one of the best ways to thrift shop, and if you’ve never given them a try, now may be an excellent time to start.
The desire to save money, recycle and find unique merchandise has driven the resale market forward in the past couple of decades, and 2020 was no exception. Forty-eight percent of Americans shopped resale during the pandemic, reports local resale marketplace Offerup, with many motivated to “feather their nests” as they increasingly spent time at home. Resale marketplaces were the fastest-growing retail channel for home products like desks, exercise equipment and electronics, and other topselling items included beds, mattresses, sofas, rugs, lamps and pillows.
Overall, 58% redecorated during the pandemic to make their surroundings more beautiful, comfortable and functional, contributing to an overall $27 billion increase in home decor spending last year, according to Offerup.
Are you interested in finding attractive, useful and fun furniture and home goods at lower prices? Consider these suggestions for mastering the resale shopping trend and scoring great purchases to enjoy as you work, play, learn and exercise at home.
Browse from the comfort of your couch: Shopping online has never been easier now that established venues like Offerup handle all the busywork. Happily, you can now peruse, compare, buy and arrange to receive most anything with a few clicks of a button. That explains why 56 million Americans bought or sold using Offerup last year, and one in five spent time shopping the convenient and easy-to-navigate marketplace.
Shop local when possible: Not only do you keep money in your community when you buy from people in your area, but you save money on postage or transport when you opt to pick up items yourself. Further, online payments can make local pick-ups easier and more convenient than ever.
Read the fine print: Before committing to a purchase, take time to scrutinize item descriptions and enlarge provided photos so you have a clear idea of the item’s condition and appearance. Still have questions? Contact the seller and (politely) ask for more details or images. Taking that extra step could save time and frustration for both you and the seller.
Don’t hesitate to make offers: It’s OK (and even somewhat expected) to negotiate on prices when you’re buying from other individuals. But do that respectfully; instead of complaining about merchandise shortcomings or announcing that the asking price is way too high, politely ask the seller whether he or she may be willing to accept a lesser amount.
Follow buying etiquette: Simply put, you should treat sellers as you would like to be treated. Ask and answer questions politely, show up on time for meetups and have your payments ready as promised. Thank them for their time, effort and merchandise. Let them know (with plenty of notice) if you’ve changed your mind on a purchase and/or will be unable to meet.
Be mindful about safety: Conduct business through online marketplaces that keep profiles of both buyers and sellers to discourage fraud. When possible, meet up to exchange merchandise at local businesses or law enforcement centers that are busy, brightly lit and monitored by video cameras. You may also wish to make payments through online payment venues that allow for stopped payments in the event of disputes.