A recent article in the Washington Post talked about the millennials tendency to eschew their parent’s furniture and belongings. It is the time of the great de-cluttering that everyone knew would come as the Baby Boom generation ages.
However, the Boomer's children are even less interested in their second hand furniture than expected. This has created a large second hand furniture market all across the United States. This may due to a simply differences in taste which are magnified by the sheer size of the two demographics. But there is a thought that the Millennial generation is simply….into simple. Thus less stuff. And it's driving the cost of furniture down in the second hand market.
Regardless of the reasons, Birmingham, like most cities, is a bargain hunter’s dream. Especially if you like dark wood furniture. Or if you want good quality wood furniture to update with paint ala Joanna Gaines (from HGTV’s Fixer Upper) or for those who love the shabby chic look.
Craigslist’s Birmingham section is the most ubiquitous site for second hand furniture. But a number of local trading sites have become go to spots for bargain hunters.
Facebook sites like Mountain Brook Trading, Vestavia Trading, Gardendale Online Yardsale and Hoover Trading fill member’s Facebook feeds with pictures of antique chairs, armoires and dining room suites at a fraction of the original prices. These groups have big membership. Mountain Brook Trading has over 31,000 members, Vestavia Trading has almost 47,000. Even a Hoover Trading dedicated to kid's clothes only has almost 5,000 members.
Consignment stores are also filled with furniture, ranging from the antique to the almost new. Stores like Encore Resales and Classic Home Décor Consignment (both in Pelham) offer used furniture in a showroom setting and perks like delivery.
Some furniture can be had for...free. There are "free to whoever will pick up" sites like Freecycle that have active groups in Birmingham.
It’s just interesting how the Baby Boomer generation continues to sway the overall fortunes of so many industries in the US as a function of their size. The furniture industry is no different.