Maybe you spent all the pandemic making your backyard an oasis, with lush landscaping and even a victory garden. What’s missing: some comfortable patio furniture to truly enjoy it.
“Spring and summer always brings people outside, which sparks their interest in looking for outdoor furniture,” says Serena Appiah, owner of “Thrift Diving,” a blog about designing your home on a DIY budget. “But the cost to buy brand-new is always expensive, even if you buy furniture from discount stores.”
Appiah says she recently saw some heavy-duty plastic Adirondack chairs from a discount bulk store, priced at $130 each.
“Imagine being a family of five and having to spend about $700 on new chairs. That’s not easy and feasible for most people!” she says.
So if your budget is tight—or you just like snagging a good deal—you may want to think about getting used outdoor furniture. Secondhand shopping can be a great way to find less expensive patio furniture and keep those items out of landfills.
You may even stumble upon a diamond in the rough—used designer or quality vintage furniture. If it’s high time to outfit your patio with some new furniture, consider treasure hunting online and in person at the following places.
There are a number of online marketplaces for local buyers and sellers where you can search for and buy used outdoor furniture. One of those marketplaces is OfferUp.
Users can search for used furniture in their region by price range, message sellers to negotiate price, and set a time to meet. Unsure if the person you’re dealing with is shady? You can see ratings, badges, and transaction history on the seller’s profile page.
To give you a taste of the pricing, in the San Diego area, a seller on OfferUp recently listed a teak bench with outdoor pillows for $50 and a five-piece patio set for $150.
If you’re looking for used patio furniture that’s at the upper end of the scale, you can browse Chairish, another online marketplace for used vintage furniture and antiques. Anna Brockway, its co-founder and president, says the company has an assortment of vintage outdoor furniture, and that much of it is available for local pickup.
“We have everything from one-of-a-kind wicker and iron pieces to sought-after designers like Brown Jordan and Salterini,” says Brockway. “Our selection includes seating, dining tables, side tables, stools, planters, and even outdoor rugs and pillows that are durable enough for the elements.”
Brockway says the best reason to go with vintage and pre-loved items is sustainability.
“When you choose vintage over new, you’re powering the circular economy and giving the items another life. Outdoor furniture is made to last and withstand the elements, so it is likely to be in great condition,” she says.
Craigslist, eBay, Facebook Marketplace
As for other options, some of the original sites for finding used items—like Craigslist, eBay, and Facebook Marketplace—may come in handy.
“You’re more likely to find whole patio sets in good condition on Facebook Marketplace, but be prepared to spend a bit more, as Facebook Marketplace can be pricier than a thrift store,” says Appiah.
She also recommends posting an announcement on Facebook to friends and family to see if someone’s got an old set they’re looking to part with.
“Offer them a reasonable price—don’t undercut them,” she says.
Stores like Salvation Army Thrift Store, Goodwill, and Habitat for Humanity ReStore may have some good finds too.
“While you may be less likely to find five matching Adirondack chairs, you might find different styles that can be spray-painted the same color for a unified look,” says Appiah. You might also be successful in finding one-offs, like an outdoor sofa or rug.
Yard sales, flea markets, and estate sales
Never underestimate a good yard sale, flea market, or estate sale. If you’re patient, there are many treasures to be found.
Be on the lookout for yard sales, when people who are moving may want to quickly get rid of items on the cheap. But get ready to haggle. Make sure to check local classifieds or community calendars for dates and times. Craigslist is also a good resource for garage sales in your area.
If you’re an estate sale enthusiast, check out estatesales.net online or on its app. You can sort sales by date, and take a look at photos of items that will be offered. There’s also a description of each sale that mentions if it’s cash-only or accepts credit cards. Remember to arrive early, and keep in mind that on the last day of an estate sale, prices can often drop 50% in the final hours.
If you do end up finding used patio furniture that’s a little worse for wear, Appiah says there’s always potential for a makeover.
“Spray paint is your best friend! Painting your patio furniture the same color can help to unify mismatched pieces,” she says.