Firsthand furniture shortages lead people to secondhand market

ONALASKA, Wis. (WKBT) — People are on the hunt for furniture from secondhand sources as firsthand furniture prices increase.

A June article for MoneyWatch reported that more Americans are moving, consequently driving up the demand for furniture across the country. Raw materials such as foam and lumber continue to increase, adding to sticker prices.

Steve Baker, store manager for Habitat for Humanity ReStore in Onalaska, sees these trends in his own establishment.

“We’ve seen an increase in customers looking for used items, particularly furniture and large fixture items,” Baker said. “We’ve seen people come in, buying five, six items at a time.”

In the past, he said, people typically bought only one or two large items. This increase in demand comes as firsthand furniture retailers are facing backlogs, delays and rising prices.

The price increase is not affecting thrift stores, as prices remain low and donations continue to roll in.

“Donations have been strong over the past year and a half ever since we reopened back in June,” Baker said.

Katie Van Gompel, vice president of retail and marketing at Goodwill North Central Wisconsin, views those low prices as a selling point.

“Thrift is usually a great way to find a deal, and that’s true now more than ever,” Van Gompel said.

“This is a reasonable alternative to help people find what they’re looking for,” Baker said.

While you’re out there finding those deals… you can feel good knowing where the money is headed.

Goodwill and Habitat for Humanity ReStore sales go right back into the community.