Published 25 February 2020 ● Last Updated on 15 July 2020
Does this ring a bell?
- You inquired about the price of an orange bench, and upon hearing the answer, had trouble keeping your jaw closed.
- You are an expat and don’t want to spend a fortune furnishing a house you may stay in for just a couple of years.
- You want to replace an aging sofa, but every time you see the price tag of a new one, you think it is better to just stick with the saggy old thing.
We’ve all been there – wanting something gorgeous but completely unable to accept the economics of it – especially in Singapore, where price tags of furniture are much higher than in any country around it. Even Hong Kong, our constant competitor in the list of highest-priced cities of the world, supplies tables and chairs and the whole house-works at lower cost!
Is there a way to acquire something tasteful and set up your home in Singapore without resorting to Ikea?
Well, we have an answer… actually five! Here is our line-up of where to buy second-hand furniture in Singapore without breaking the bank. No – this is not a guide to buying cheap duplicates and knock-offs. We’ve rounded up places where you can buy good quality, used furniture at prices that range from (depending on your luck!) from “it’s a steal!” to “it’s worth every penny”!
We at Secondsguru love the pre-loved movement and how it stops things from prematurely reaching landfills. Isn’t it awesome when you can buy something at a lower cost to your purse and the environment?
Hock Siong & Co
Address: 153 Kampong Ampat, #01-03 Junjie Industrial Building, Singapore 368326
Tel: 6281 8338
This is a true blue second-hand store. Located at the back of a building in the MacPherson Road neighbourhood, its big hall houses furniture collected from residences and even hotels. But unlike a lot of second-hand stores we’ve seen, (thankfully!) Hock Siong is not a haphazard maze where you have to diligently separate trash from treasure. In fact, it has even featured among our EcoBrands series – read about the store’s karang guni roots and preservation ethos here.
Last time we visited, we found paintings and silverware in addition to lots and lots of tall cabinets. Almost all items were in good condition and needed very little sprucing up (if at all) – the owners have a separate warehouse and display only those pieces that are in usable condition and can be salvaged. That translates into a much easier and faster shopping experience for buyers (translation: you can drag your hubby here and he won’t have to dig his heels too long!).
Keep in mind that stock varies widely in style and condition and changes over time; so do have look at their FB store and website to get a sense of what’s currently there.
HotLotz Auction House
Address: 120 Lower Delta Road, Cendex Centre #01-15, Singapore 169208
Tel: +65 6254 7616
If you are looking for high quality furniture, antique jewelry, statement art pieces, or even collectibles, this is perhaps your best bet on this list. Hotlotz Auction House offers preloved furniture and more that it acquires from people who are downsizing their apartments or leaving the country. Their website has a calendar with auction dates – in house as well as online. They hold an ‘Interiors and Antiques’ auction every Thursday at 8pm, where interested buyers can bid in the saleroom, online or on the app. While Hotlotz keeps an online catalogue, you also have the option to inspect the items at their saleroom on these days. They welcome both live and absentee bids (for registered users on app or online) to make life simpler for all involved. To keep tabs on what they have to offer every month, follow their FB page or register with them.
Address: 2 Turf Club Road, Singapore 287988
Tel: 9791 2607
You can judge this shop by its name! The massive warehouse, close to turf city is home to a forest-full of wood. You’ll know you’ve reached it when you find rotting rickshaws and an assortment of mossy garden sculptures lined outside an old building. Inside, furniture is piled and stuffed with no thought of orderliness, and if sunlight could stream through, you would probably see a galaxy of suspended dust in it. But I suppose that’s the charm.
As you squeeze through the narrow aisles, you will find non-functional jukeboxes nestling next to art-deco side-tables, vinyls half-a-century old, and if you look carefully and long enough, perhaps you will also find the piece you are looking for. Must-visit for vintage hunters and people who don’t mind putting their carpentry skills to test!
We first visited Junkie’s Corner a few years ago, looking for a wooden garden bench that we expected to paint. As we had never painted furniture before, and didn’t know how well or badly it would turn out, we wanted to spend as little as possible. So when we found a $150 piece at Junkie’s corner, all inclusive, we jumped at the deal. As things turned out, it needed nothing more than a good cleaning to look great in the balcony! (Three years on, it still looks like this!).
If you know basic carpentry, you’ll love Junkie’s Corner. Even if you know nothing of carpentry, we’d still recommend it if you are looking for something unique, or cheap or a piece to practice your craftsmanship on!
Address: 21 Kallang Ave #05-165, Singapore 339412
Tel: 6294 2919
As the name suggests, Second Charm gives old furniture a new lease of life by adding their design expertise, thereby giving things a second chance to find a home. Founded in 2002, their spread out showroom is like a treasure trove for any furniture and antique lover – and you will need a keen eye to pick out the ones that fit your needs. They also offer customisation services for furniture pieces that you own and want to refresh. Apart from preloved furniture, Second Charm has a vintage-inspired furniture range.
While their website is up, it may take a few days before its running – but do subscribe to avail their 10% off offer once they launch! Till then, one can check out their instagram account to get an idea of the kind of furniture they have to offer or their online catalogue here.
One of Singapore’s favourite start-ups, Carousell is a classifieds portal to buy and sell, well, anything. It is not restricted to used goods – but given its popularity, it is a great place to find functional second hand furniture. From garden benches to rosewood dining sets, bunk beds to salvaged side tables, the range is wide and new listings keep appearing.
We love that Carousell has a rating system, so you can assess the sellers you deal with. You can also communicate easily with the seller for further information before confirming your interest (or scroll through the public comments). And best of all – prices are often negotiable and you can use the system to make counter offers.
Happy preloved furniture shopping!
P.S. Before you head out to shop, however, do have a look again at what you already have. Can you renew it – like we restored this teak day bed? Or can you give it a new look, as we did with a simple metal table? Sometimes all it takes to refresh your home space is a day of DIY!