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Purchasing Used Reupholstered Furniture

Exactly what should New York City consumers be aware of when buying used, reupholstered furniture? How do you know what you are purchasing is worth the price? Questions like these always enter the minds of people buying used items. Some rely on insight to make a decision, others want something bad enough that they are willing to pay a higher price for it regardless of its true value. The problem with re-upholstered furniture, however, is that although it may look good, you can never be sure of what sort of mess is waiting for you underneath that attractive, new fabric.

Tips to Avoid Buying Inferior Used Furniture
Since it is a piece of used furniture you want to buy, no one can expect to purchase a $1000 couch for $100 and receive something that still appears to be worth that its original price. Alternatively, you don't want to buy something counterproductive to your intentions. Fortunately, you can take several actions that will at least provide fundamental information concerning the viability of a reupholstered chair or couch.

Never purchase a piece of used furniture before sitting on it. Furniture covered in the highest quality fabric won't make an uncomfortable chair comfortable.

Examine the framework of the reupholstered furniture. The heavier the wood, the better it will last and resist damage. Additionally, a quality frame should never be nailed together but should be constructed using glue or screws. Doweled corners (corners that screw into the other) are always desirable, as well as arms directly connected to the frame. This prevents the arms from losing its shape. Cheaper furniture makers place padded, curved arms on frames that usually results in the arm loosening in several months.

Don't forget to lift the cushions to check the condition of the springs. Cheaper furniture will have no springs but simply a thin piece of webbing affixed to the frame with staples. Customers inevitably notice that higher quality furniture provides evidence of more time being spent on its construction, such as filling springs with cotton to prevent squeaking.

Ask about the reupholstery process before purchasing used, recovered furniture. Did the upholsterer use flame retardant undermatting? Did the cushioning need replaced? If so, was it fire-retardant polyurethane? Further, ask if the furniture complies with the Upholstered Furniture Action Council's standards. The UFAC is a group working for the reupholstery industry that has established minimum national standards in regards to toxicity and flammability.

If the fabric is patterned, do all the patterns align with each other? Are all buttons securely attached? Will the fabric correspond and harmonize with the rest of your furniture and home? Be aware that certain fabrics may fade when consistently exposed to sunlight, such as silk. Further, cotton fabric tends to be thin and linen will definitely wrinkle. Know ahead of time whether this reupholstered furniture is going to be sat on, played on and, in general, treated roughly, or if it is something you plan on placing in a less used area of your home.

In summary, here are a few key points to remember when purchasing used, reupholstered furniture in the New York City area:
Make sure the frame is sturdy (no wobbling or creaking)
Fabric patterning is centered and aligned
Cushions are firm, fit tightly against the frame and are free of bumpiness or hard spots
Fabric is tightly woven, durable and applicable to your intentions
Any mechanisms included in the furniture operates without problems

Lastly, if you think the price is somewhat inflated, don't hesitate to point out any discrepancies between the price and structural issues you may have found when examining the furniture.
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