We’re all looking for ways to save money in our lives. One way that we do this is by searching for any deals or discounts that we can find. This is especially true in today’s economy when homeowners, apartment renters, and dorm dwellers are trying to save a buck whenever possible.
Furniture is one of the most popular items to buy used. After all, brand new furniture can be quite expensive. Picking up a used couch or bed can save you hundreds, maybe even thousands, freeing up your money to spend elsewhere or simply keep in the bank.
But when you’re searching for used furniture, remember these two words: Buyer Beware. Why?
Because used furniture could have bed bugs problems, and that could spell real trouble for you and your family.
The harsh reality of used furniture
Whenever you buy something used, no matter what it is, you take a certain amount of risk. Is the seller being forthcoming about any problems? Are they selling the item so cheap because they’re desperate to get rid of it and then disappear before you figure it out? The truth is, unfortunately, you don’t know for sure. Of course, many sales of furniture will be legitimate, but even those may hold unknown bed bugs problems.
That’s the real issue when purchasing used furniture, isn’t it? The last thing you want is to buy a new couch or chair or bed, only to realize days or weeks later that the piece of furniture had bed bugs and now the little parasites are spreading throughout your home.
Your choices when it comes to used furniture
So what should you do to solve this dilemma? One solution, obviously, is to simply refrain from buying any used furniture. Unfortunately, many of us can’t always afford something new. Not to mention the fact that there are a lot of great deals on beautiful pieces of furniture out there, just waiting to be picked up by some lucky buyer.
The best solution is to be forthcoming in your apprehension. Let the owner know that bed bugs problems are a concern and discuss whether or not they’ve had any bed bugs in their home. Some homeowners may be forthcoming, but it’s important to realize that some may not. They may even be downright embarrassed by any bed bugs problems they’ve had.
Since there’s no way to know for sure, inspect the furniture yourself. Start with a visual inspection beneath any cushions, under the furniture itself, and around the edges. If nothing is found, use a latex glove to feel between any spaces in the furniture. If you have black spots on the gloves, this is most likely bed bug feces.
Photo Credit: Wickerfurniture via Flickr