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Furniture Buying Guide

Whether you need a recliner for your living room, a desk for your home office, a children’s dresser, or something special for your own personal space, your furniture can help you express yourself and serve a purpose. You'll find a large selection of furniture in a variety of styles on eBay Canada, including the latest IKEA furniture, Crate & Barrel furniture, and Restoration Hardware furniture designs.

Set Your Furniture Priorities

Set Your Furniture Priorities

Before redecorating an entire room or buying a single piece of furniture, determine what type of furniture your room can support and set a budget. Start by taking measurements and sketching a detailed layout of the room you’re furnishing. With the layout, you can narrow your furniture search to items of a certain size and depth. Establishing a budget will help narrow down your furniture search and keep you focused. Set realistic price expectations, based on how long you want the furniture to last and your style preferences.

If you plan to redecorate frequently, look for mass-produced furniture. Looking for something special? Set more money aside for handcrafted furniture. An expensive, well-constructed piece of furniture can really be worth it in the long run, especially if you use it in a high-traffic area. For example, a well-made, $500 armchair upholstered with high-quality fabric can last five years or more, costing you only 29 cents a day. Expect to pay more for a love seat with high-end French fabric than one with a washable denim slipcover; more for a mahogany coffee table than wicker furniture; and more for a dining room table than a children’s play table.

Find furniture to fit your lifestyle

Furniture durability depends on construction, the people who will use the furniture, and how it's used. Got kids? You'll need stain-resistant furniture that wears well. Do you like to entertain? Splurge on that beautiful damask sofa. Popular furniture trends often revolve around practical furniture designed for rooms that get a lot of use.

Always consider how much care a furniture piece needs and how much you’re willing to put into its upkeep before making a purchase. Factor shipping costs and potential post-purchase repair or redesign costs, such as reupholstering, steam cleaning, painting, and re-staining, into your eBay furniture budget. No matter how much use furniture gets, you can extend its life with a little tender loving care and attention.

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Discover Your Favourite Furniture Style

Discover Your Favourite Furniture Style

With such a wide range of brands and styles of furniture on eBay, it helps to have a clear idea of what styles you prefer. Whether you like the clean lines of IKEA, the classic look of Thomasville, or the imported look of Pier 1, get a handle on your decorating personality before shopping.

  • Traditional furniture: Traditional furniture has a homey, understated look. It favours balance and symmetry with straight lines, curved details, and furniture and accessories sold in pairs. Fabrics can come in solid midrange tones or multicolour florals that are neither shiny nor too textured. Upholstered furniture looks unfussy and restful with soft, smooth edges. Ethan Allen offers many furniture pieces in this style.    

  • Contemporary furniture: Contemporary furniture features clean lines, bold colours, and a minimalist, artistic approach. If you’ve had your eye on a bright red armchair, then you’re likely a lover of the contemporary genre. Wood, glass, metal, and stone materials characterize contemporary furniture, as do animal prints, geometric patterns, and natural fabrics, such as wool, cotton, linen, silk, and jute. This style avoids fussy florals, fringes, and tassles. Think IKEA.    

  • Casual furniture: For a more relaxed lifestyle, homey, warm, restful, and inviting casual furniture fits the bill. Soft and comfortable casual upholstered furniture is usually oversized, overstuffed, and slipcovered. Large-scale and chunky wooden pieces are often made with softer woods such as pine. The casual style favours denim; neutral colours such as tan, gray, beige, or off-white; and darker, earthier tones such as rust, olive, wine, and navy.     

  • Formal furniture: Period or antique formal furniture pieces from brands such as Baker have ornate details, tall, vertical lines, strict symmetry, and high elegance. Dark, high-gloss tables, shelves, armoires, and hutches made from woods such as cherry and mahogany accent formal settings. Formal upholstered furniture pieces have smooth lines and tightly woven fabrics in opulent fibres such as silk, satin, brocade, velvet, or damask. Most also include dressmaker touches such as fringe, tassels, buttons, pleats, and gathers.   

  • Arts & crafts style furniture: Arts & crafts furniture, also called Mission-style furniture, has a distinctive, no-nonsense style. The durable and simple wood furniture often has wood slats, straight legs, and no decoration. Though relatively plain, it is considered beautifully crafted, highlighting the wood grain in a unique way. For example, Stickley furniture emphasizes high-quality craftsmanship, balanced proportions, deep colours, and highlighted wood grains.    

  • Cottage-style furniture: Cottage-style furniture, characterized by a mixture of styles, has a charming, romantic, and comfortable feel. Think distressed woods, iron elements, and a mixture of floral and striped fabrics. Nothing really needs to match in the cottage style. Paint or re-cover your finds to make them fit into your particular “cottage” scheme.

Asian furniture

From low-to-the-ground coffee tables to bamboo armoires and celadon green ottomans, Asian furniture pieces are going mainstream. Furniture looks are as different as the cultures they represent.

  • Japanese furniture: Solid and utilitarian Japanese furniture made of solid elm, kiri, or gingko woods has minimal ornamentation and an asymmetrical design.    

  • Korean furniture: Korean furniture has graceful proportions based on a simple box. Offering both highly decorative and minimalist pieces made of solid, durable woods, Korean furniture often uses symbolism with figures such as turtles, cranes, and butterflies.    

  • Chinese furniture: Large and heavy Chinese furniture pieces generally have minimal hardware and feature lacquer coatings, hand-painting, and precise carving.

Today's hottest furniture style trends

Get the “look of the moment.”

  • Subdued contemporary furniture: Subdued contemporary furniture sports a straight-lined appearance reminiscent of the Art Deco era and has an old Hollywood glamour vibe.    

  • Retro furniture: In both colour and design, the ‘50s, ‘60s, and ‘70s are having a major impact. Some hot furniture colours to look for include burnt orange (persimmon), deep yellows, greens, chocolate brown, and robin’s egg blue.     

  • Updated French country furniture: Updated French country features distressed furniture and toile fabrics updated with fresh stripes and checked patterns.    

  • Leather furniture: Leather is stepping out of the library and office and heading straight for the family room. Leather pieces of every kind and in every colour, from couches and ottomans to recliners and love seats, are becoming a popular seating option suitable and fashionable enough for everyday use. Australian furniture is also making its mark with popular faux-crocodile-embossed leather on sofas and chairs.

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Choose Furniture Piece by Piece

Choose Furniture Piece by Piece

Every piece of furniture has a functional or decorative purpose. Know which features to consider when you shop for common home furnishings.

Shop for a sofa

Choose a sofa based on the styles you like. You can choose a one-piece sofa or a sectional sofa that includes two or more pieces.

  • Sofa backs: A sofa can have a tight back, camel back, attached pillow back, or loose pillow back. Reversible loose pillow backs offer more versatility.    

  • Couch arms: Consider the style and height of the couch’s arms. They can be armless, rolled, or curved. Go with a lower, padded, and rolled arm if you want to lounge on your sofa.

  • Sofa fabrics: Decide if you want upholstered, skirted, or bare legs and whether you want your couch to be upholstered or slipcovered.

Decide on a dining set

Dining sets come in shapes and sizes to fit your entertaining needs. Traditional rectangular dining tables and round dining tables have a classic look and can include leaves to expand seating. Round dining tables offer better conversational flow. Remember to get dining chairs that fit underneath your table. Select classic-looking all-wood chairs, elegant upholstered chairs, or comfortable cushioned chairs. Reserve larger armchairs for the ends of your table.

Choose chairs

From deep and soft chairs meant for lounging to more formal chairs perfect for socializing, you'll find a large selection of chairs on eBay.

  • Upholstered chairs: Upholstered chairs with firm or upright seats provide good support for reading or socializing.   

  • Occasional chairs: Decorative occasional chairs have a smaller scale than upholstered pieces. Look for clean, smooth joints with a minimum of nails and screws. The majority of occasional chairs are European in origin or inspiration (French or Italian) or 18th Century in design.    

  • Recliners: Purchase recliners for their comfort and practicality. Remember that some recliners require more space behind them to be fully extended. Newer models, known as wall loungers or wall savers, allow the back to operate independently from the ottoman so the chair can be placed in closer proximity to the wall.

Select furniture for storage

Get more storage space for your clothes, files, media, knickknacks, and more.

  • Armoires: Stylish and versatile armoires can hide a TV, house a CD collection, enclose your home office, or give you some extra closet space. If the armoire doesn’t work in your family room, add a hanging bar and try it in your bedroom.     

  • Dressers: Dressers, also called chests of drawers, work in the bedroom for storing everything from socks to sweaters. You can also use it in your entryway to keep keys, loose change, and other items. If you fall in love with a particular dresser, but aren’t fond of the hinges, just change the hardware to fit your taste.    

  • Desks: Desks can meet a decorative need, serve a functional purpose, or do both. For example, rolltop desks have an aesthetically pleasing look and conceal your papers and files. Buy a modular desk in a nonreflective colour for serious work. It should have at least one grommet hole to keep computer and telephone wires out of the way. Consider how much storage space you want your desk to provide when looking at desk drawer dimensions.

Pick out bedroom furniture

When looking for bedroom furniture, consider the size of your room, especially if you need a bed. Futons, day beds, bunk beds, and trundle beds save space, but full-sized beds, queen-sized beds, and king-sized beds have more room to spread out. Purchase a complete bedroom set if you want a bed and matching dressers. Think about adding a unique piece, such as a vanity or a chaise lounge, to larger bedrooms.

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Evaluate Wood Furniture Features

Evaluate Wood Furniture Features

Wood furnishings, also called "case goods" in the furniture industry, will likely stay in your home for a long while, and may even be passed down from generation to generation. When buying wood furniture such as armoires, buffets, dressers, tables, desks, and bookcases, look for quality construction, materials, and finish.

Look for quality wood

Wood comes in two varieties: hardwood and softwood.

Some furniture may use a combination of different hardwoods and softwoods.

Assess wood furniture construction

Manufacturers construct furniture using several different techniques.

  • Solid wood: Solid wood furniture has a lot of wood detail. The grain of the lumber carries through the core.    

  • Wood veneers: Veneers are thin layers of high-quality decorative woods bonded to inferior solid wood, plywood, or particle board. You'll see them used on furniture at all price levels, including fine-quality furniture such as Chippendale.    

  • Wood laminates: Laminates are imitation hardwood surfaces applied to a composite wood product such as particle board. Low-cost laminates do not allow for any carving or detailing and have a simple appearance.

Also look at furniture joint construction. Joint assembly techniques such as dovetailing and doweling usually have superior construction.

Find a good wood finish

Finishes can provide uniform colour and give your furniture some protection from heat, dryness, and moisture. A good finish makes a piece of wood furniture even more appealing and determines how much care it will require long term. The better the finish, the longer the piece will maintain its appearance. Choose distressed finish furniture for high-activity rooms. The rough-hewn and rustic finish easily hides finger marks and scratches.

To repair scratches and nicks on solid-wood furniture, sand down the blemishes and refinish the surface with a touch-up kit. Simply refinish veneered or laminated furniture.

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Understand Upholstered Furniture Features

Understand Upholstered Furniture Features

Upholstered furniture has four key components—frames, springs, padding, and fabric—that determine comfort and durability. Look at each component to make a smart purchase.

Upholstered furniture frames

Kiln-dried hardwood frames made from oak, maple, or ash and joined with dowels have solid construction. They offer durability and a longer life for your piece of upholstered furniture. You’ll also find quality frames constructed of steel, plastic, or laminated boards on eBay.

Upholstered furniture springs

Springs give sofas, armchairs, and love seats their bounce. There are two types of spring systems: eight-way, hand-tied springs and sinuous springs.

  • Hand-tied springs: Hand-tied springs used in quality pieces never “bottom out.”    

  • Sinuous springs: Sinuous springs cost less to produce than hand-tied springs and provide a softer seat. Overall comfort and durability depends on the quantity and quality of the springs.

Upholstered furniture padding

Padding around a furniture frame prevents wear and tear on fabric and ensures comfort. Manufacturers commonly use cotton or polydacron. The materials used in seat cushions also play a big part in the comfort and look of a piece of furniture. Quality pieces sometimes use blendown, a combination of down and feathers wrapped around a foam core, to provide support while allowing users to comfortably settle down into a sofa, love seat, or chair.

Choose furniture fabric

Choose furniture fabric based on how much you plan to use a piece of furniture, how long you plan to keep it, and style. Tightly woven fabrics made of durable fibres tend to wear best. Durable synthetic fabrics such as nylon, polypropylene, and natural fibres such as cotton twill, velvet, denim, and chenille are good choices for active households. More delicate and elaborate fabrics such as satins, damasks, and brocades make a good choice for decorative furniture pieces.

When looking at item listings, examine pictures carefully, making sure fabric patterns and stripes match at the seams. Also look for a tag from the Upholstered Furniture Action Council (UFAC) to determine fire safety. UFAC members include a hang tag on their products to let consumers know how their upholstery fabrics score in flammability tests.

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Find Furniture on eBay

Find Furniture on eBay

Once you know what type of furniture you want, go to the Home & Garden portal, click Furniture, and start searching for item listings on eBay.

  • Categories: The Categories list on the left side of each page will help you narrow down your listings by item type. First, you'll find links for Bedroom, Children’s Furniture, Dining Room, Kitchen, Living Room, and Office. As you dig deeper into the site you'll also be able to narrow down your choices even further.    

  • Keyword search: Search eBay title listings for specific words. For example, if you want to find a mahogany dining table, type "mahogany dining table" (without quotation marks) into the Search box. Click "Search title and description" to expand your results. Visit eBay's Search Tips page for more tips on searching with keywords.   

  • Let sellers help: If you want to know about information not included in a listing, email the seller your question by clicking the Ask seller a question link under the seller's profile.

If you can't find exactly what you want, try shopping eBay Stores, tell the eBay Community what you want by creating a post on Want It Now, or save a search on My eBay and eBay will email you when a match becomes available.

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Buy Furniture with Confidence

Buy Furniture with Confidence

Before making your purchase, make sure you know exactly what you're buying, research your seller, and understand how eBay and PayPal protect you.

Know your purchase

Carefully read the details in item listings.

  • Figure delivery costs into your final price. If you spend a lot of money, make sure the seller will insure the item when it ships.

  • If you want more information, ask by clicking the "Ask seller a question" link under the seller's profile.

  • Always make sure to complete your transaction on eBay (with a bid, Buy It Now, or Best Offer). Transactions conducted outside of eBay are not covered by eBay protection programs.

  • Never pay for your eBay item using instant cash wire transfer services through Western Union or MoneyGram. These payment methods are unsafe when paying someone you do not know.

Know your seller

Research your seller so you feel positive and secure about every transaction.

  • What is the seller's Feedback rating? How many transactions have they completed? What percentage of positive responses do they have?

  • What do buyers say in their Feedback? Did the seller receive praise?

  • Most top eBay sellers operate like retail stores and have return policies. Do they offer a money-back guarantee? What are the terms and conditions?

Buyer protection

In the unlikely event that a problem arises during your transaction, eBay and PayPal are there for you.

  • Pay safely with PayPal: PayPal enables you to pay without the seller ever seeing your bank account or credit card numbers. In fact, PayPal protects buyers 100% against unauthorized payments from their accounts. Plus, with PayPal Buyer Protection, your purchase can be covered up to C$1,250.

  • eBay Security & Resolution Centre: Visit the Security & Resolution Centre to learn how to protect your account and use eBay's quick and efficient resolution tools.

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