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How great would it be to find free furniture to outfit your home?

Furnishing your home can cost tens of thousands of dollars. If you’re on a tight budget, coming up with the money to buy these expensive pieces can be tough, if not impossible. It might not make sense to go into debt when you can upcycle.

Fortunately, there are plenty of resources available to help you find free furniture in Canada. 

Where Can You Get Free Furniture In Canada?

There are plenty of places to look for free furniture, both online and in person.

1. Nextdoor

Nextdoor is a local social media site for neighbourhoods where you can keep up with what’s happening in your community. You can also use the online neighbourhood network to buy and sell goods and find items that your neighbours are giving away for free, including furniture. You’ll be able to browse through posts to find free items, or make a post specifically detailing the type of furniture you’re looking for.

2. Facebook Marketplace

Facebook Marketplace is an online platform where people can post items for sale or look for items to buy. There are also often products available for free. Just type in “free” along with your location in the search bar to find all sorts of items people are giving away at no cost, including furniture.  

3. Freecycle

As the name suggests, Freecycle is an online platform that helps people recycle their goods as an alternative to throwing them out. There are groups on Freecycle for many locations where people give away and obtain goods at no cost. You’ll need to keep checking the forum on a regular basis to see what types of free furniture is available at any given time.

4. Listia

Listia is an auction-based system, similar to eBay. When you find something you like, you have the option to either Buy It Now, or place a bid in hopes of coming out the winner. 

Listia is a unique marketplace where you can earn points for products you sell. You’ll earn 50 points just for signing up, and another 50 points when you list your first item for sale. 

Once you’ve accumulated enough points, you can spend them to get free items. Most often, items are shipped for free. 

5. Olio

Olio is an app that people can use to give away items they no longer use to others in their local community. Most listings are free, including furniture and other household items. There’s even a section for borrowing items if you’re only looking to fill a temporary need.

6.  Craigslist

Craigslist is one of the original online classified ad platforms where people can find and post jobs, real estate, community services, and products for purchase and sale. Most items come with a price tag, but some people use the platform to give away products for free. Simply use the search bar to type in “free” along with the item you’re looking for and your location to see what’s currently available. 

7. Kijiji

Kijiji is another long-standing online classified site that Canadians use to buy and sell goods, rent and sell real estate, and seek employment, among other things. Most items are posted for sale, but sometimes you’ll find things available as giveaways. 

In fact, there’s a Free Stuff section where all items are available at no cost, including furniture, moving materials, and other items you need for the home.  

8. College/University Campuses

If you’re within close proximity to a college or university, you may luck out by visiting on the last day of school when students are moving out of campus. While most items students are looking to get rid of may come with a price, there are also plenty of opportunities to get your hands on free items from kids who are just looking for a no-hassle way to get rid of stuff they no longer need. 

9. Garage Sales

Homeowners typically attach a price tag to all the items at a garage sale, but you can often score items for very little. If homeowners are taking the time and effort to hold a garage sale, that means they’re eager to get rid of everything sprawled out on their lawn. In this case, you may have some strong negotiating power to snag a piece of furniture for next to nothing, and you’ll be doing them a favour by taking these items off their hands. 

10. Garbage Day Curbside

Odds are, you’ll find a sofa, chair, table, or other piece of furniture curbside on garbage day somewhere in your neighbourhood. Many homeowners prefer to leave items they no longer need at the end of their driveway as an easy way to declutter, and oftentimes you’ll find a piece that’s still in decent condition. If you get there before the trash collectors come around, you might just find something valuable for free.

Tips On Using Free Furniture 

Before you accept free furniture, there are a few considerations to make first:

Watch for bed bugs. Getting rid of bed bugs is a long, drawn-out process that might not make a freebie worth it. It usually takes anywhere from two to four treatments over the course of a few weeks to eliminate them. The cost of this process might cancel out any savings you may realize by getting the furniture for free.

Be wary of bad smells. Ridding furniture of bad odours is another involved, potentially expensive process. Depending on what is causing the smell — such as cigarette smoke or pet urine — getting rid of the odour can be tough. You might want to pass on a smelly item and wait for something without any offensive scents to come your way. 

Check if the model has been recalled. If possible, find out the model number of the product and check to see if there have ever been any recalls. If so, the item may not be safe to use, especially when it comes to pieces like baby cribs and infant car seats. 

Test out the product. Depending on what the piece is, you’ll want to conduct a variety of tests to make sure it’s structurally sound and functional. For instance, if it’s a chair or couch, sit on it to see how it withstands some weight. If it’s a drawer chest, open and close the drawers.

Measure it. To make sure the item will fit properly in your home, make sure to get the product’s dimensions. If you’re buying online, request the dimensions from the owner. If you’re buying in person, bring a measuring tape with you. 

How Much Does Furniture Cost?

The cost of furniture ranges quite a bit, depending on size and quality. The following chart outlines price ranges for various furniture pieces to give you an idea of how much you could potentially spend to furnish your home:

Furniture PiecePrice Range
Sofa$1,000 – $3,000+
Accent Chair$400 – $1,500+
Coffee Table$200 – $2,000+
Nightstands$100 – $1,000+
Dresser $300 – $2,000+
Dining Room Table$150 – $4,000+
Dining Room Chairs$100 – $2,000+ each

Where Can You Buy Furniture For Cheap? 

Finding free furniture requires a lot more time and effort, and you’re much less likely to find exactly what you’re looking for. Alternatively, you can see what type of new furniture you can get at a price you can afford. 

The following retailers are known for their low prices on furniture, making them great resources to help you outfit your home on the cheap: 

Ikea 

A popular place for Canadians to shop for furniture is Ikea. The Swedish-based home furnishing brand has locations all across the globe and has become the go-to place for household furnishings thanks to its low prices and modern styles. 

Ikea can offer low prices on furniture thanks to its bulk production process, which helps to keep the cost of production low. Further, Ikea has adopted a flat packaging strategy, which requires consumers to assemble the pieces at home. This strategy both saves warehouse space and keeps costs low for the company and consumers.

Costco

Costco is a great place to buy high-quality furniture at very competitive prices. The popular membership warehouse club typically has a much lower markup on its items compared to typical furniture retailers, who aim for higher profit margins. 

Plus, Costco makes much of its profits from membership fees, so it has a lot more wiggle room to charge lower prices on its products. These savings are then passed on to Costco members. 

Wayfair 

Wayfair is an online seller that offers so many household products, often at lower prices compared to its competitors. As an online retailer, Wayfair’s overhead costs are minimal, so it can afford to charge lower prices on furniture while still earning a profit. 

How To Finance Furniture In Canada

If the ticket price of a furniture piece you want to buy is more than what your bank account can handle, you may have the option to finance your purchase. Rather than pay in full upfront, you can choose to pay for your item in installments over a certain period of time.  

Here are a few ways to finance furniture in Canada:

Personal Loan 

Personal loans offer a flexible way to help you fund a variety of expensive purchases, including furniture. Loan amounts usually range from $500 to $35,000, and sometimes more depending on the lender. You can choose loan terms between six months to five years, during which time you’ll make principal and interest payments until the loan is fully repaid by the end of the term.

Banks and credit unions typically offer higher loan amounts and lower interest rates, though you’ll need very good credit to qualify for these loans. Conversely, you can apply for a personal loan from an alternative lender, especially if you have bad credit and are unable to get approved by a conventional lender. But while it may be easier to secure a bad credit personal loan, you’ll be paying a much higher interest rate.

In-Store Financing

Furniture stores typically offer in-store financing. In this arrangement, retailers partner with lenders to offer financing for in-store purchases. Many furniture stores that offer in-store financing incentivize consumers by offering low rates or no interest at all for a certain number of months. 

In-store financing is a convenient option since you can have everything taken care of at the time of purchase without having to apply for a personal loan from a separate lender. However, keep in mind that once the low or no-interest promotional period ends, the rate could skyrocket. If you don’t pay the loan off within the promotional period, you’ll be paying a lot more in interest.

Credit Card

If you have a credit card, you can use it to buy your furniture outright, as long as you stay within your credit limit. If you pay off your credit card balance before the next billing cycle payment due date, you can avoid paying interest. 

This way, you’re using your credit card to finance your furniture purchase at zero interest, while having a few weeks to come up with the money to cover the cost. And if you have a rewards card, you can earn points with your credit card purchase, which can be substantial on a more expensive purchase. 

Just make sure that you’re financially capable of paying off your credit card bill in full by the next payment due date, or you’ll be stuck paying very high interest on your balance. If you need to carry a balance, consider applying for a low-interest credit card to keep your costs low. Further, be aware that spending more than 30% of your credit limit could hurt your credit score

If you want to get your free credit score, visit Compare Hub from Loans Canada

Helpful Financial Resources

Even cheap furniture may be too much for some Canadians to afford. Those who are living paycheque to paycheque may not have enough left over after paying their bills to buy furniture. And sometimes, they may not have enough to pay for the necessities of life.

Fortunately, there are some programs available to help those less fortunate: 

Food Banks 

Before thinking about buying furniture, you need to make sure you’re able to feed yourself and your family. Unfortunately, the cost of food continues to increase. While the federal government may be offering a grocery rebate as part of its 2023 federal budget, it’s still nowhere near enough to cover the cost of food over the long run. 

Local food banks are available all across Canada to help Canadians struggling to come up with enough to cover their grocery bills. Organizations like Food Banks Canada, Community Food Centres Canada, and Daily Bread Food Bank are just some of the dozens of entities that feed thousands of Canadians in need. There’s no cost to access these programs, though some services might request ID and proof of address. 

Furniture Banks

Some organizations in Canada help make affordable or free furniture available to financially-struggling Canadians. Furniture Bank in the Greater Toronto Area, for instance, is a furniture removal solution for those looking to get rid of old furniture, which is then made available to families in need. 

To be eligible for free furniture from Furniture Bank, you’ll need a referral from one of the organization’s agency partners, such as Covenant House or the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH). 

There are many other furniture banks in other parts of Canada. To find one near you, visit the Furniture Bank website and type in your location of choice. 

Rent Banks

A rent bank is a service that provides no-interest loans to low-income individuals and families who are behind on their rent payments and are facing eviction. Rent banks are designed to prevent homelessness by helping households in financial distress. 

Toronto Rent Bank is one such organization that is partnered with the City of Toronto and provides grants to Toronto residents who need help covering their rent. Many other cities across Canada also offer rent banks for residents located in other parts of the country. 

Final Thoughts

Finding free furniture can help you save tens of thousands of dollars when outfitting your home. Even if you earn a decent income, it can be difficult to come up with the funds to cover the cost of furniture. Luckily, there are plenty of freebies to be found if you look in the right places.

Get Free Furniture in Canada - FAQs

Is it worth using second-hand furniture? 

The biggest benefit of buying second-hand furniture is the cost savings. You can save hundreds of dollars by purchasing used furniture.  In addition, better-quality pieces are more accessible at lower price points compared to buying new. Plus, buying second-hand furniture reduces your environmental footprint by keeping items out of landfills. 

Does Ikea offer in-house financing?

Should I finance my furniture?

The answer to this question depends on your exact situation. By financing your furniture purchase, you can get the pieces you need right away without waiting to save up enough money to buy them outright. Plus, you can spread the cost of the furniture over time instead of all at once.  On the flip side, however, you’ll pay more for your furniture over the long haul if you finance it, since interest is added to the overall cost of your purchase.
Lisa Rennie avatar on Loans Canada
Lisa Rennie

Lisa has been working as a personal finance writer for more than a decade, creating unique content that helps to educate Canadian consumers in the realms of real estate, mortgages, investing and financial health. For years, she held her real estate license in Toronto, Ontario before giving it up to pursue writing within this realm and related niches. Lisa is very serious about smart money management and helping others do the same.

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