Gumtree Australia Support Knowledgebase - Basics - 2nd Hand Furniture Buying Guide
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2nd Hand Furniture Buying Guide



The past few years have seen a surge in popularity of vintage and pre-loved furnishings with everyone from students and office owners to designers, keen to get in on the action.


Many purchase second hand furniture to furnish a home or office on a budget and at the other end of the market, buyers interested in antique furniture have long recognised the prestige of a well-made period piece.


Benefits of Buying Second Hand Furniture

There are many benefits to buying second hand. If you are considering buying second hand furniture in Sydney, it is important to research your various options carefully.


Second hand furniture can be found in a number of locations across Sydney:




High-Street Second Hand Stores and Antique Specialists
  • Wide selection
  • Ability to personally see, touch, and assess each piece
Online Classified Ads, Retail, and Auction Sites
  • Wide selection
  • Able to search for items in your area
Garage Sales and Car Boot Sales
  • Can often uncover hidden gems if you know what you are looking for
  • Seller is often looking for a quick sale (due to moving homes, making room for new furniture, etc.)

Types of Second Hand Furniture


Types of second hand furniture include:


  • Antiques
  • Designer vintage items that have been restored or have remained in excellent condition
  • Used vintage furniture or period items with potential but in need of restoration
  • Modern or older household furnishings in various levels of condition, no longer needed by their current owners
  • General office furnishings for resale



Bedroom Furniture


Second hand is a popular option when buying bedroom furniture. Beds are big business and quality examples come with a price tag to match. While it is always advisable to buy a new mattress, a second-hand bed base or headboard can add some real design flair to your home.


Other popular choices include second hand wardrobes, bedside tables, chests of drawers, and other storage units.


Living-Room Furniture


Second hand living-room furniture can range from budget items for furnishing student accommodations or rental properties to unique antiques and vintage pieces that make a strong design statement to ensure your home stands out from the crowd.


If you are considering buying second hand furniture for your living room, you may want to take a look at sofas, easy chairs, occasional tables, television cabinets and book cases.


Dining-Room Furniture


Dining room furniture is often chosen specifically to match the room in which it will sit. When we redecorate or move, these requirements can change, so dining tables and chairs are popular items for sale on the second hand market, along with coordinating sideboards and other storage units. You can transform a dining suite by painting the wood or reupholstering the chairs to give it a brand-new lease of life.


Office Furniture


If you are kitting out a home office or moving into new office premises, the chances are you will not want your furnishings to make a big dent in your all-important cash flow. With businesses opening, closing, expanding, and moving daily in Sydney, there is a wide choice of second hand office furniture available on the market, including desks, chairs, bookcases, filing cabinets, and other file storage systems.


What to Consider when Buying Second Hand Furniture

There are a number of questions to ask when buying second hand furniture:


Is it legitimate?


If you are looking for an antique or high quality piece, do your research and trust your instincts when it comes to making your purchase. Check for the quality of the joints – are they dovetailed? Is the wood solid or has it been veneered? Has it been loved and used, or has it been artificially ‘weathered’ to give the impression of ageing? If the item is being sold as an antique from a famous maker, is it a legitimate piece or a reproduction?


Will it restore or transform?


If you are looking to transform or restore a piece of furniture, examine it to see whether the item is suitable to stand up to your plans. If you are buying a sofa that needs reupholstering, take a good look at the size and shape and assess whether it is achievable. Bear in mind that upholstering can be pricey, so think about whether the final cost of the item is worth it.


For wood furnishings, check that the finish is suitable. For example, a highly-polished table may not lend itself to a lime wash, while rustic pine is unlikely to achieve a high-end finish.


If you are looking to remove parts of an item or add elements (such as wheels), take a good look to ensure your proposed changes are practical.


Is it comfortable?


Buying a second hand bed, sofa, or set of dining chairs can be a great way of creating a unique design statement at low cost. Remember, however, that you will need to live with the items you choose, so you want to be sure everyday use items such as these are comfortable. Try it for size by sitting or lying on it for a few minutes or longer.


Is it safe?


New furniture is required to adhere to strict safety standards, but the same cannot always be said for older or second hand items. Check the labels, especially on upholstered items, to find out whether they comply with fire and safety regulations.


Children’s furniture brings additional considerations when it comes to safety features. If you are buying a baby crib, ensure it meets minimum requirements regarding the spacing of bars and the gap between mattress and base. Check too that the item has not previously been subject to a manufacturer’s recall.


Are there any bugs?


Second hand beds can make for fantastic bargains, but it is always recommended to buy a new mattress to match, as old mattresses can be breeding grounds for germs and bugs. These are invisible to the naked eye, so the rule of thumb is ‘if you can afford it, change it… and if you can’t afford it, change it anyway.’


How does it smell?


An item that smells strongly may not be a no-no, but you should carefully consider if you can get rid it of its odour. A general musty aroma from extended storage may well air out, but pet smells and smoke are notoriously persistent.


Will it fit?


While this may sound obvious, many buyers have secured the items of their dreams only to find that it doesn’t fit in the space they have – of just as common, can’t fit through the doors to get to that space. Measure the space in which it will sit as well as any obstructions to access. Remember to take these dimensions with you on your search for your second hand furniture.


How to Buy Second Hand Furniture in Sydney on Gumtree

To view the full range of used furniture, from antiques to dining suites, simply enter ‘second hand furniture’ in the search box. Alternatively click on this quick link to help you on your way:


To view second hand furniture only within the Sydney area, search for ‘second hand furniture Sydney’, which will provide you with the following results:


Of course, these searches are very broad, so for best results you may want to hone your criteria by searching for ‘used sofa Sydney’ ( Alternatively, you also can search by region and by furniture type (


Gumtree has ads for second hand furniture in Sydney offered both by private sellers and second hand retailers. While delivery may be offered by some retailers, this is unlikely to be the case for individuals, so do remember to factor in the time, organisation, and cost of transporting larger furniture items to your home or office.