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Jaltcoh's avatar

Best practices for buying some furniture from the outgoing tenant of the apartment I'm going to move into?

Asked by Jaltcoh (239 points ) February 12th, 2013

I’m moving into an apartment next month, and the landlord gave me the current tenant’s email address and phone number so I can contact her about possibly buying a few pieces of furniture from her. I don’t have much experience buying or selling things informally like this, so I was wondering if anyone has suggestions for best practices.

I have photographs of the place with her furniture to jog my memory about what’s there, so I know what I want to buy. What I’m unsure about is how to set the prices, what form of payment to use, how to arrange this so we’re both confident we’re actually going to get what we bargained for, etc.

The landlord has said it’s fine for us to do this as long as we let them know which stuff I’ve bought so they know to leave it there. This is in Manhattan.

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6 Answers

muhammajelly's avatar

Best practice would be to ask the landlord if you can use the storage unit included with your unit (if any) NOW and move the furniture into it. This way nothing can “happen”. As far as what to offer I would look on craigslist and see the prices of similar used furniture. You might try offering a little less in case they counter-offer. I would try not to overpay because it is very easy to purchase used furniture for pennies on the dollar. I don’t know where in Manhattan you are moving but if your apartment is $1000.oo/ft I want you to consider that the space the furniture occupies is worth a lot more than the furniture itself.

Jaltcoh's avatar

Thanks for the answer. There’s no storage unit included with the apartment. I agree that the space is much more valuable than the furniture, and I actually plan on mostly refurnishing the apartment. She just has a few small items that I’d be happy to be able to leave off my list of stuff I’ll need to buy at a store or move from my current apartment.

gailcalled's avatar

Offer a really low price. She is probably eager to unload the stuff and get a little cash. 15% of retail?

jaytkay's avatar

Do they have pets? Don’t buy a sofa upholstered with dog or cat fur.

muhammajelly's avatar

@jaytkay I would pay extra for one upholstered with cat fur but that right is restricted in the USA. https://help.cbp.gov/app/answers/detail/a_id/389/~/importing-products-containing-dog-or-cat-fur-into-the-u.s.

cmomoCPA's avatar

I would go lower than 15% below retail. It’s Manhattan, what’s it going to cost her to move those items or keep them in storage, low ball the heck out of her. If she doesn’t like the price you can get it off the curb when she throws it out. Then complain that since it used and your brother in law owns an Ikea in PA wink your doing her a favor by taking it off here hands, that’ll get you another 10% off. Haha

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