8 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Buying a Used Barstool

In today’s economy, lots of people are trying new ways to save money.  One great way to cut down on expenses is to purchase “gently used” items instead of buying everything new.  Even redecorating and furnishing your home on a budget can be a rewarding experience if you exercise a little caution.  The following tips will help you decide whether a used barstool will be a good fit for your home and your budget.

  • Is it in “used” condition or could it pass for new?  Don’t let a rock-bottom asking price sucker you into buying a barstool that has seen better days.  Rust is always a bad sign, and it’s usually a good idea to pass on barstools that wobble or squeak. 
  • It’s broken!  Can I fix it myself?  Don’t assume you can make repairs yourself if the problem is structural or mechanical.   Paying someone to fix your broken stools will probably cost you more than a spanking new set, and you definitely don’t want your barstools collapsing under your guests…or yourself!
  • What if the damage is superficial?  Do consider making cosmetic repairs yourself.  Chipped paint is an easy fix, and patching or re-upholstering ripped fabrics can give heavily used furnishings a whole new appearance.  Be wary of worn leather, though.  It can be difficult and expensive to repair.
  • Is it retro, antique, or just plain out of style?  Think about why the barstool is on sale in the first place.  If you’re at an estate sale or someone is moving, then you might be able to get high-quality, stylish furniture for a great price.  But watch out if it looks like someone is making room in their bar or kitchen for newer, less dated furnishings.
  • Is it me?  One of the hazards of making yard-sale and consignment store purchases is the limited selection.  If you know without a doubt what you want your barstools to look like, then second-hand furniture shopping is not for you.  It’s not likely that you will find something that matches your standards exactly, and searching through one crowded thrift store after another could very well drive you crazy.
  • Will it still be here when I get back?  Let’s face it: you might visit every second-hand store in town without finding a decent barstool .  There’s always a chance that it will sell while you are checking out your other options.  While there’s no guarantee that a piece of furniture will still be waiting for you when you return, one thing is for sure: if you don’t like it, you won’t use it.  It will end up in your own yard sale next spring, so if you’re not dead sure that a piece of furniture is for you, don’t buy it until you have made your rounds.
  • In what conditions has it been stored?  Avoid indoor furniture that looks like it has been stored outside or relegated to “patio” status.  Very few materials can weather the elements with no visible damage.  
  • How much would I pay for this as a new piece of furniture?   The idea of buying used furniture is to save money, so make sure you are getting a deal.  If a barstool wasn’t high quality to begin with, it certainly won’t appreciate with age.  Make sure it is a well-constructed piece of furniture made by a reputable company, then go for it!

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