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score! where to get cool home stuff on the cheap
by Yee-Fan Sun | 1 2 3
continued from page 2

Of course, the problem with thrift stores, estate sales and moving sales is that they require a fair amount of legwork – often, you’ll schlep yourself out to take a look at the offerings, only to return home with nothing to show for your efforts. Good news for lazy secondhand shoppers: in this glorious internet age in which we now live, you can browse for great deals on used goods without setting foot out of the cozy comfort of your own home. Everyone’s favorite free online classifieds service, Craigslist (craigslist.org), is far and away one of the best places to do your online scouring. New listings appear by the minute, often with pictures attached, and you can find furnishings to suit all manner of decorating styles.

Best for finding | Just about anything, though since you’ll eventually need to make a special trek to check out your potential buy in person, I find Craigslist most useful for acquiring either big items or a huge lot of smaller items rather than, say, a dinky half-dozen wine glasses.

Walking around the city, I’m always amazed by how much stuff you see just lying around by the curb, waiting to be picked up by the garbage-men – unless they’re scooped up by some lucky thrifter first. Certain times are particularly good for scouting for curbside freebies. First, find out when the city does their bulky trash, as you’re most likely to see big items being sent to the curb just before pickup day. Second, keep your eyes peeled around December and April/May/June, or end-of-term time, as college and grad students are in the process of moving to greener pastures during these periods and often end up pitching perfectly good stuff simply because they can’t lug it off with them.

Best for finding | The usual budget living essentials, like chairs, tables, desks, lamps, mirrors, futon frames (I’d advise leaving the futon mattresses themselves though, as it’s hard to know what conditions they’ve been used under and how long they’ve been sitting around outside). Remember, a fresh coat of paint can do wonders. And hey, if you drag it home only to find it’s not quite right for your space, no money lost! Just send it back out to your own curb (or to a nearby thrift store, if bulky trash day isn’t for a long while yet).


check out these related articles:
the real deal | 10 tips for furniture foraging | waiter, i'll have the table shopping restaurant supply stores | how to craigslist | how to thrift shop | how to estate sale

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