Your Guide to Buying Used Patio Furniture

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Used patio furniture provides you with a lower cost option for setting up your outdoor space. Luckily, there is a lot of patio furniture on the marketplace, especially used furniture. Homeowners and apartment dwellers with their own patios can choose from any number of pieces of furniture. Chairs, tables, umbrellas, grills, and more are all created for the outdoor space. In deciding what type of furniture to add, you will want to consider its purpose and expense. You will also need to look at the material that this furniture is made from before buying.

Plastic furniture is among the cheapest for sale. However, lower quality pieces tend to bend and warp. Hardwood furniture is long lasting, beautiful, and more expensive. You can find a happy medium with composite and metal materials like aluminum furniture. However, poor quality aluminum doesn’t last long. Keep the level of quality in mind when looking around, as it will affect how long you can use that furniture. Used patio furniture can be found at flea markets, yard sales, consignment shops, some hardware stores, and online auction sites like eBay.

Types of Patio Furniture

When shopping for patio furniture, it’s important to remember that there are many different kinds of furniture made for outdoor use. You will want to consider the many options available in creating a practical, useable outdoor space.

Chairs

Patio chairs are an essential item for relaxing or dining outside. One simply cannot enjoy the patio without them. Most patio chairs vary a lot in price and style. The cheapest chairs are usually metal frames with simple woven or fabric seats and backs. These metal frames will also last the longest, if they are made from good quality metal. Luckily, a poor quality metal chair won’t last long enough to be sold later as used furniture. Higher end chairs can cost several hundred dollars and resemble loveseats and sofas. They will often be made from a mix of wood and metal or wicker or composite materials. More expensive chairs also have better foam cushions for support.

Tables

Another essential piece of patio furniture is the table. There are many different types of tables to choose from for the patio depending on the need. Most patios have a round table with chairs for dining outside. Others will have loungers and use low tables for drinks and other items. Tables can be any shape, but are most often round or square. The outdoor table is often made of aluminum or plastic. Picnic tables are made from wood or a composite material. Occasionally, you will find metal picnic tables, but these aren’t as popular due to their tendency to rust. Plastic tables are the cheapest, and metal or wood tables are more expensive. Again, cost often determines on the level of quality.

Loungers

People can lean back and relax in a lounger on the patio or around the pool. The lounger is a modified type of chair that allows people to recline on their back with legs fully extended. These chairs take up a lot of room and are best for larger outdoor spaces. Most are made from wood, composite, or metal and canvas. Higher end loungers are very solid looking and heavy. The better quality loungers are usually made from wood or composite material. Some loungers have an adjustable back that allows you to raise or lower the back to different angles.

Umbrellas

Most patio tables have umbrellas to provide people with protection from the sun. These large umbrellas span between four and six feet in diameter with a long metal pole attached to the center. The pole is secured to the table by passing it through a pre-made hole in the center of the table and setting it into a stand at the base of the table. However, there are plenty of free-standing umbrellas designed to provide shade over loungers and other pieces of furniture on the patio. The umbrella fabric is usually a colorful, patterned canvas. Better quality umbrellas come with their own stands, winches to open and close the umbrella, and air vents at the top to allow hot air to escape.

Firepits

The firepit or grill serves as both another piece of furniture for the outdoor area and a practical tool. Firepits can be portable or permanent fixtures. They provide light and warmth at night and also a place to cook food. These pits are actually circular and stand up off the ground on three or more legs. Lower quality, portable firepits are made from steel or iron. More permanent fixtures are created from brick and usually have to be built by you or a handyman. Portable pits are most likely to be sold used.

Other Types of Furniture

Other pieces of patio furniture that are commonly used outdoors include hammocks, benches, swings, and awnings or tents. Patios can literally become another outdoor room for homeowners. More involved patio spaces can include tents, firepits, tables, chairs, loveseats and even special outdoor heaters. Homeowners can create a patio space that is very high end and luxurious; or, homeowners can keep their outdoor space simple with just a table and some sturdy chairs.

Materials Used in Patio Furniture

Outdoor furniture is created using a wide range of materials, each of which offers its own benefits and drawbacks for homeowners. Perhaps the oldest commonly used material for patio furniture is wood, but more modern materials offer better resistance to the elements and affordability.

Wood

A wide range of wood materials are used in patio furniture, especially in chairs. Softer woods, like pine and poplar are used in lower end chairs. Hardwoods, like cedar and oak are used for higher end and more expensive furniture. When looking for a piece of used patio furniture made from wood, look at the type of wood. This can affect the overall look of the room as well. Different woods have different grains, colors, and take stains in different ways. Of course, the easiest way to decorate a piece of wood furniture is to just paint over it with any color of paint you prefer.

Wicker furniture is another popular choice for the outdoors. This furniture is usually woven from strips of hardwood that is steamed until it’s easy to shape and mold. Wicker furniture is also wrapped around a steel or aluminum frame to provide it with the extra strength needed to support a person.

Aluminum

Most affordable patio furniture is made from metals like aluminum and steel. Aluminum patio furniture is both lightweight and strong, making it an excellent option for the patio. This metal is often used in chairs, tables, and the poles on umbrellas. Aluminum furniture may be coated with a layer of chrome or painted over with metal paints in different colors. It’s important to look for good quality aluminum furniture, as poorer quality chairs will often break or bend with long term usage. This is easy to see when you look at used furniture in the store or at a yard sale. However, it may be more difficult to see in furniture that is sold online.

Wrought Iron

When looking for furniture that absolutely will not blow away in high winds, wrought iron furniture is the best option. Old and new wrought iron is often formed into highly decorative curls, fleurs, and scrolls in a chair or table. The furniture is very heavy and long lasting, making it more expensive than other types of used patio furniture. Wrought iron is often painted black; however, you may find some pieces that have been painted white available on the market. Wrought iron does rust, but keeping it maintained with a fresh coat of paint every few years will prevent this kind of damage.

Plastic

Those that are seeking the most affordable patio furniture should look to plastic chairs and tables. Plastics are easy to make and form into furniture. It is resistant to the elements and will last for years. Plus, it’s possible to find plastic furniture that is produced in several different colors for the perfect look. However, plastic can bend under long term stress, especially chair legs.

Composite

Composite outdoor furniture is made from a mix of different materials, usually a mix of wood and recycled plastics, or a mix of resin and plastic fibers. Composite patio furniture is low-cost and long lasting. It also helps out the environment by using recycled materials and reducing our reliance on natural resources. The great thing about composite furniture is that it is often guaranteed to last decades, maybe even a lifetime. On the downside, composite furniture comes in a limited range of colors, looks very much like plastic, and tends to be bulky.

Buying Used Patio Furniture on eBay

You can buy used patio furniture on eBay by clicking on the Home, Outdoors & Decor portal, then clicking on the Home & Garden category, and then clicking on the Yard, Garden & Outdoor Living category. From here, you can select the Patio & Garden Furniture subcategory. You can filter down these listings even more using the options in the navigation menu, such as filtering by types of patio furniture, condition of the furniture, and location.

Shop for Locally Available Patio Furniture

You can save a lot of money on the costs of shipping by shopping for locally available patio furniture. To look for only furniture that is in your local area, you can use the "Distance" filter in the navigation menu on your listings page. Just enter your zip code and the number of miles from your area you are willing to travel. Make sure that the seller is willing to meet with you to drop off the furniture at your house or some place locally in town before buying the furniture online.

Conclusion

Used patio furniture is available in a number of different types of furniture and kinds of materials. This creates a lot of variety for the homeowner to choose from in creating a patio look. However, the most important pieces to consider for any patio include chairs and a table. If your backyard lacks shade, you may also want to invest in a good umbrella too. Those with larger patios or other spaces that need furniture, such as a pool or grill area will want to look at loungers and picnic tables. The kinds of materials these pieces are made from will depend a lot on your budget and needs.

If you are looking for cheap furniture, plastic and aluminum are good options. If you want something heavy that won’t blow away in the wind, look to wrought iron or heavy wood furniture. Wood and composite materials are both strong and long lasting for the price. Of course, there are other kinds of patio furniture to consider as well. Homeowners may want to add accessory items like firepits and hammocks to their patios. Lots of used patio furniture can be found on the auction site, eBay.

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