Houston, TX

Resale Round-up - Where to Look For Used Furniture in Houston

Betsy Denson

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Showroom floor at The Blue Bird CircleThe Blue Bird Circle

It is not a surprise that secondhand furniture is expected to become a $16.6 billion market by 2025. The price of new furniture is sky high, and resale offers plenty of options in almost mint condition for a lot less. Some shoppers, like me, also like the imperfections and history that come with a second-hand piece.

When I was on the hunt for a replacement bureau for my oldest child, I asked around for places to go in person to look for deals. I got a lot of great intel which I'm passing along. Here are some places to keep in mind for your next resale trip.

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Exterior of Alabama FurnitureAlabama Furniture Facebook

Alabama Furniture (4900 N Shepherd Dr, Houston, TX 77018); alabamafurniture.com

I've known about Alabama Furniture for a long time because it is in my neighborhood. I've also sold a few pieces here and bought some yard art too.

Owner Sherri Enroth said that her grandparents owned The Red Barn Furniture Co. in Denver where she worked growing up. As a young adult, she opened Alabama Furniture in a 1,200 square foot space off W. Alabama back in 1991. Today, the store will celebrate its 30th anniversary in a much larger space at 4900 N. Shepherd Drive.

While other resale stores in the area do automatic markdowns over a period of months, Enroth said she finds that customers always want their chosen piece for the last markdown price but don't want to wait.

"We have fun with our customers 'wheeling and dealing' to make sure that everyone is happy including our consignors," Enroth said. "Some consignors are more flexible on the prices than others. We are very aggressive in making sure that the original price listed is a great bargain to begin with and don't want our customers to feel that they need to beat us down to get a lower price."

Enroth notes that the prices are always less than half of what the retail prices are and customers don't have to worry about an item being back-ordered because what you see is what you get. The merchandise at Alabama Furniture is also available online for purchase.

What I liked about it: The sheer volume and variety of pieces is something to see, both inside and out.

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Exterior of Blue Bird CircleFacebook Blue Bird Circle

The Blue Bird Circle Resale Shop (615 W Alabama St, Houston, TX 77006); thebluebirdcircle.com

I was not familiar with Blue Bird Circle when I first asked around. But I'm sure glad I found out about it because I hit the jackpot for a bureau that matched my kid's bed within five minutes of entering the door.

The fact that the money raised from the resale shop goes to Texas Children's Hospital to treat and prevent neurological disorders is a bonus.

The store is spacious with one side dedicated to furniture and housewares and the other, smaller side, set aside for clothing and accessories. The pricing is based on date, with automatic markdowns the longer a piece is in the store. I was there close to closing the day I bought my piece, but I plan to be a frequent visitor.

What I liked about it: The volunteers and staff pay attention to aesthetics. Even though it's a big space, nothing is too crowded. Also, the groupings give you an idea of how different items might work in your home.

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Painting of the Guild ShopFacebook The Guild Shop

The Guild Shop (2009 Dunlavy St., Houston, TX 77006); theguildshop.org

I would say that I am The Guild Shop's best customer but that's probably not true. People swarm this place. I stop by once a month to peruse the clothing aisles. But the furniture section is just as large, and just as alluring. I got a set of four Ethan Allen dining room chairs here and didn't pay Ethan Allen prices.

Like Blue Bird, the Guild Shop supports a variety of good causes, most recently The Gathering, Amazing Place, Holly Hall, the Turning Point, Vita Living, David Weekley YMCA, and Camp Allen. They follow an automatic markdown system too.

The store on Dunlavy isn't particularly spacious and on weekends it's tough to find parking but I kind of like the hidey-hole feel to the store. It adds to the experience of bargin hunting.

What I liked about it: Their Facebook page and blogs. They do a great job of highlighting what's available.

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The exterior of The Houston Junior ForumThe Houston Junior Forum web site

Houston Junior Forum Resale Shop (1815 Rutland St, Houston, TX 77008); houstonjuniorforum.com

I've passed by this place a hundred times and never stopped in. My mistake. On my first visit, I saw a man buying a table full of matching china which made me unaccountably happy - both that they had a full set of china and that someone still wants to buy it.

Since 1969, the HJF Resale Shop has been operated by the Houston Junior Forum, who uses the proceeds to fund grants and scholarships. Its members also do hundreds of service hours in the area.

The current shop doesn't have as much merchandise as some of the other resale shops because the space itself is smaller but what is there is lovely. In addition to furniture, they sell collectibles, home decor and men's and women's clothing. The store follows an automatic markdown system.

What I liked about it: The size - I could quickly find out if what I needed was in the store, but the displays encouraged me to linger anyway.

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Interior of the Habitat for Humanity ReStore, West 34thFacebook Habitat for Humanity ReStore

Houston Habitat for Humanity ReStore (5280 W 34th St, Houston, TX 77092, other locations around Houston); houstonhabitatrestore.com

The Habitat for Humanity ReStore sells both new and gently used furniture along with accessories, building materials, appliances, art, flooring, cabinetry - and lots of other odds and ends. Sometimes people will donate items from the demolition of their own house. Other new items I imagine are overstocks that stores have donated to Habitat for Humanity.

There wasn't a huge of amount of furniture when I went but what was there was priced to sell. A hardwood bureau that would have worked for my kid's room had just been sold for $50.

It's also a feel good place to shop as profits go towards Habitat’s mission to build homes for Houstonians. Recently, they've added an online store too.

What I liked about it: The prices. There's a lot of turnover here because stuff doesn't stick around for long.

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The exterior of StillGoode ConsignmentsFacebook StillGoode Consignments

StillGoode Home Consignments (5200 Louetta Rd Ste 138, Spring, TX 77379); stillgoode.com

This was a store that was worth the trip for me. Although I didn't find what I was looking for, there was a lot that I wished I'd needed.

StillGoode is a huge physical space with a big online presence too. Everything in their store is on the website.

"We have several professional photographers on staff who photo all items as they come in, so the website is always up to date with current inventory," said co-owner Janna Sewell. "The only items not in store are items that appear in our weekly online estate auctions. Those items are located at our auction processing center, just a few miles down the road. Our estate auctions are very popular. They change weekly and usually include furniture, home goods, electronics, appliances, tools, toys and even cars and motorcycles."

StillGoode's price tags do show reduced prices based on how long an item has been in the store.

"Most items sell before discount but customers can wait and take a chance that the item will still be available on a markdown date," Sewell said. "We reduce 10 percent each month, up to 30 percent."

What I liked about it: The knowledgeable staff. I told the person at the main desk what I wanted and he led me right to the three different pieces he thought might work.

So what are you waiting for? Get your resale on! And if you have a suggestion, please share it in the comments.

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