Students are already looking for off-campus housing for the next academic year, and furniture purchases can get expensive. Fortunately, there are different options that students can use to make their apartments cute on a budget.
Hannah Moore, a molecular biology major, said the first place to look is in the basements of their parents or other family members. She said her family had rescued their sofas over the years – despite being in disrepair – for the sole purpose of filling her future college apartment.
“The sofas were both from my family,” Moore said. “We have been collecting furniture for years. Every time a friend gave it away or we bought new furniture because ours was really run down I would tell my parents to keep it for me because I don’t care if it gets ripped if I’m in college .
Many students may get lucky and find free furniture already in their apartments or outside on the street, according to Moore. She said she found some rooms when she moved into her apartment in Pittsburgh.
“Our table, we have just inherited in our apartment. It was here when we moved in, and we just kept it because he’s tall and good looking, ”Moore said. “The coffee table, we just found it on the street when we moved in as well. So these are also used by other students.
Friends and classmates may have furniture options if their family basements are empty. Caroline Weiss’ friends gave her a desk and chair for free. Weiss, a double major in environmental studies and political science, also used the Pitt Class of 2023 Facebook page to find his decently priced bed in Pittsburgh.
“I would recommend Facebook market, and I even just use our class’s Facebook page, ”Weiss said. “I saw somebody put their bed down there and thought, ‘Oh, that’s a great deal and I won’t have to haul it across state. So I left with that and I would definitely advise other students to do the same.
Other online platforms such as OfferUp and Craigslist also sell budget furniture. These virtual programs allow people to buy and sell items to other users, such as digital furniture savings. Buyers can set price ranges, location preferences, and category options to find exactly what they’re looking for.
June Sommer, a major junior in computer engineering, has used these platforms on several occasions to find furniture. For example, Sommer bought a large modular sofa from Facebook Marketplace for $ 200. He said he recommends using online exchanges if students can’t find free furniture.
“Look for free things first, like friends or family who donate furniture,” Sommer said. “And then cheaper places like Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, or OfferUp – a lot of people are doing it online trying to get rid of old furniture.”
Students can also try second-hand furniture stores. Pittsburgh Furniture Company offers a plethora of used furniture options for students. Located in Lawrenceville, this store sells durable and reasonably priced mid-century modern furniture, according to Danni Lee, director of the company.
The company buys furniture through online auctions, local thrift stores, real estate sales and local vendors. These purchased parts are repaired if damaged by one of the three store employees.
Lee said they value fairness when it comes to their pricing, which is possible due to the constant flow of furniture from the store. She said their prices are generally half of the top market value with an additional 20% discount. Customers can purchase a coffee table for $ 45 or $ 900.
“We also try to be reasonable because we move furniture so quickly. Almost every two weeks the whole store is brand new, ”Lee said. “We always try to keep our prices reasonable too because we’re not trying to get rich – we’re just trying to help people honestly.”
Lee said their delivery service is also inexpensive and can help students easily move furniture to their apartments.
“It’s usually around $ 20 to $ 40. It depends on the distance from the people. $ 40 is usually South Hills, but if you’re really close like Oakland, it’s only $ 20, ”Lee said. “And then they put it in the room you want it in too. Lots of other delivery services, they leave it right by the curb.”
According to Lee, around 45% of their customers are students, so they offer resale services. Students can buy a part and sell it back to the company after graduation. Lee said their furniture is durable, which allows for a good resale price.
“Sometimes you can even sell it online, like on Facebook Marketplace, people are selling the exact same piece of furniture that we have here for more. It’s crazy. It’s absolutely crazy, ”Lee said. “Mid-century furniture holds its value very well. It’s just really good quality.