Thrift shop in NYC with lots of furniture
February 7, 2020 3:05 PM   Subscribe

I need a dresser for my apartment. I really don't want to spend over $50 on it. I don't care what it looks like or how old it is or what color it is. Basically what I want is something that does not host a colony of bedbugs and will get my clothes off the floor.

Basically what I want is something that does not host a colony of bedbugs and will get my clothes off the floor. Where am I mostly likely to find this for purchase? Brooklyn (Northern to Central) is ideal because I don't have a car. Craigslist and letgo results have been surprisingly unfruitful. Another consideration is that live on an upper level of a walk-up, but this is less of an issue than finding the thing quickly. Thanks!
posted by ldjflut to Home & Garden (13 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Here's one on Amazon for $51.00. There seem to be a lot for around $60.

Advantages: shipped to you and no bedbugs.
posted by H21 at 3:39 PM on February 7

I'd look on AptDeco in case anything there might work. I got most of the new-to-me furniture in my apartment on that site.
posted by limeonaire at 3:43 PM on February 7

I should specify that I want a traditional wooden (or solid) item. The item H21 linked to would be great, but I've found those kinds of fabric-y drawers difficult to clean and easy to ruin.
posted by ldjflut at 3:58 PM on February 7

I’ve found that Facebook marketplace appears to be more fruitful than Craigslist as far as furniture these days.
posted by mosst at 4:00 PM on February 7 [5 favorites]

Maybe Nextdoor is an option in your location - near me, the section with furniture listings is really active.
posted by Iris Gambol at 4:05 PM on February 7 [1 favorite]

This is Craiglist, but here's a free wooden dresser in Bushwick and you could probably move it with Lugg for less than $50. You might also check Freecycle.
posted by pinochiette at 4:30 PM on February 7

This might not work for you, but I use an 8-cube Ikea Kallax for my folded clothes instead of a dresser. Used furniture with too many nooks and crannies scares me too much for bedbug reasons, and cheap dressers seem to have cheap/flimsy drawer-slide mechanisms. Plus with this I can more easily see the array of Tshirts or sweaters I have. I hang my bras on hooks on my closet door and put underwear and socks in a small plastic/rubbermaid set of drawers that I have (but if I didn't, I'd get some cubes inserts to put inside the kallax for each of those.)

This size of Kallax costs more than $50 new but there are similar "8-cube organizers" from Target and other places that are less expensive (though likely a bit less sturdy.)
posted by needs more cowbell at 5:13 PM on February 7 [4 favorites]

My experience of checking out furniture at thrift shops is that dressers in NYC will run you considerably more than $50. Many folks in the city have the same need for inexpensive items combined with the desire for solid sturdy items.

You might get lucky at Housing Works if there is something that has been there a while. Ditto Out of the Closet.

Another option might be IKEA’s As Is section. Stuff there is generally already built, but you might find a great deal. I bought an IKEA dresser a few years ago and have been very happy with it. Got mine new in boxes and built it myself.
posted by bilabial at 5:49 PM on February 7 [1 favorite]

Is there an auction house near you? As in, a physical auction room, not an eBay site. When I first moved out on my own, I furnished my entire house from the local auction house incredibly cheaply - things like bedroom dressers cost me about £5-10 because there weren't that many bidders for most of them. I've still got most of the stuff.
posted by winterhill at 3:26 AM on February 8

Agree with bilabial about furniture prices. You might find something at Big Reuse in Gowanus (so not your ideal location) - it’s a giant warehouse full of old furniture, housing materials, books, kitchen things, etc. The website lists some things, but not everything. Perhaps you can call ahead?
posted by umwhat at 3:53 AM on February 8

Try Reuse America. If it's the place I'm thinking of (which I only half-remember the name of), it's a huge warehouse crammed full of all kinds of things - with an emphasis on furniture. Plus housewares, clothes, vintage store display cases and the occasional Chewbacca mask. They're in north Bushwick, near the border with Ridgewood, Queens.

There's a place in Williamsburg called Mother of Junk (it may also be called just "Junk", I've never been clear as to the distinction). They're in Williamsburg, and have a smaller collection that is less organized, but they seem to have a lot of furniture; I've never been furniture shopping there, but I once scored a BEAUTIFUL perfect-condition Japanese donabe cooking pot for only about 20 bucks that I still use to this day.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:44 AM on February 8

There's a Habitat ReStore in Queens but I've had better luck outside the city, specifically the Care n' Shares of New Jersey and the ReStore near Ambler, PA. Mother of Junk in Wburg is delightful!

You can also try Freecycle NYC, it's very active and there are lots of dressers.
posted by blnkfrnk at 7:59 AM on February 8

Oh, freecycle is a good idea - but also try joining the "Buy Nothing" facebook group in your area as well. That's only available on Facebook, that I'm aware - but this is EXACTLY in their wheelhouse. You are confined to just the neighborhood you live in, but once you join that group, you can peruse what other people have to offer that they want to get rid of, or make your own post that you are seeking something.

I've joined my own group and have gotten rid of a couple things - but also have scored some very nice items this way. For free!
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:17 PM on February 8

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