On (Not) Finding the Perfect Secondhand Sofa

The perfect secondhand sofa does exist, in some dimension of this universe.

That dimension is not the dimension I live in.

This is unfortunate, because we are in the market for a sofa for our second living room and we want to be mindful of our spending. And apparently, in the dimension I live in, that means limiting ourselves to jewels beyond our wildest imagination. Jewels out of The Twilight Zone. Or someone’s basement.

Take this Craigslisted jewel, for instance. Hello, DIY reupholstery job. (I hope?)


This next one “could use a light cleaning.” Or burning. A light burning. Yes. (EWlookatthosepillows.)


“Picture may show otherwise, but they are gently used.” Gently used by…dogs?


No words.



My guess? This one IS the perfect used sofa. But I’ll never know, what with the high-quality picture we have going on here.


Really, though, just when I thought my searches were in vain, I found this. Buy one floral sectional, get 15 matching accent pillows free.



I was not paid or perked by Craigslist to promote the sale of these sofas. Obviously.


  1. The dog one is too funny along with the one with a million accent pillows. I agree it's pretty much impossible to find a sofa on CL. I think it's just people selling couches so they don't have to haul it anywhere themselves.

  2. Haha! This is so funny. Have you let friends and family know you're after a second hand sofa? For some reason they are often passed around in our extended family!

  3. Have you thought about getting one of these beauties and using a slipcover from uglysofa.com? They are super cheap but they are Pottery Barn and Ballard Designs overstocks. The ones with the dogs could work. :-)

  4. This post made me laugh. Repeatedly. What people think as they make a Craigslist furniture ad and actually reality are so rarely one and the same, right?

    Have you checked out thrift stores? There's one thrift here that always has really nice sofas.

  5. ValenzMom11/02/2012

    Boy, I've seen sofa's on the free section of Craigslist that look better than those do! I've never had much success with used sofa's either. I agree with Annabel, put the word out that you're looking for a sofa with your friends, co-workers and extended family. That usually yields better results. When my former law firm decided to get rid of the sofa they had in the lobby, our receptionist asked for it and they gave it to her. It was in near perfect condition even though it was over 15 yrs old. You never know...

  6. Anonymous11/02/2012

    oh, oh good lawd! LOL The last 2 are killing me - in part because my grandmother still HAS them! (in pristine condition under their plastic protectors of course! HA HA!) I PROMISE you will find your dream couch. It took us 6 months of dealing with a crappy futon before we found ours, but it was so worth it. (Also, don't give in to Ikea craigslist temptation! Though they look good, and for things like book cases and coffee tables it would be fine, but their couches don't START all that squishy and comfy, so a used one.... is even less so.)

    If there is a reasonable-distance college town, or bigger city you can look into, you may have better luck because more people are moving in and out of town.

  7. Oh Craig and his list of treasures... Those couches are crazy!

  8. check out Big Lots, they have reasonably priced NEW furniture. I would NEVER buy a used sofa. dog pee + unmentionable human bodily fluids + the idea of accidentally bringing bed bugs into my house are all factors I can't get past.

  9. duuuude, I think my mom actually had a sofa in the last fabric back in the 80's.

    I'm sketched out by most upholstered craigslist items. I think I just sort of assume they all have bugs.

    Hopefully, you'll find a fabulous bug free one though!

  10. you just have to keep looking every day! or even take a look in person with the ones that have bad photos. we scored a large sectional for $150 and it was in perfect condition. It was light brown vs. the dark brown i wanted, but it will make due until we can afford to buy a couch we really want.

  11. Oh wow - I think I'm now blind from some of those images. Very funny post !

  12. Oh my hell- Thank you for the laugh!!! HAHA!!

  13. Oh wow....oh wow!!! Too funny. I tried for months to find the perfect used sofa...the only decent ones weren't much less than just buying a NEW one, so that's what we did. Good luck!

  14. What kills me is that people want $500 for their crap sofa....at least around here they do. I can get me a new one from Slumberland for that amount of cash.

  15. Hahaha! Those are terrible!!

  16. Holy SHITZU! Thanks for the laugh...hope you find your gem!!! :)

  17. And people wonder why they can't sell anything on Craigslist. Hang in there, you'll find the perfect one sooner or later.

  18. Ohhh Craigslist! How you keep us hooked in hopes of one day finding "the One...."

  19. Check out Big Lots, they have some decent ones (that you could always cover if you hate the colors - they tend to be brown/tan) and they're definitely the cheapest I've seen that aren't used... getting a used couch=risk of all sorts of bugs/critters invading your house! :)

  20. This is how all my craigslist searches go, too. However, I am married to D who will find the one gold nugget listed. I should start hiring out his services.....

  21. I spent the morning looking for dining room chairs on craigs. I must say not only has my search gone better than your sofa search, but really my old couch is worth more than I think!


  22. Oh my gosh, really?! Were those actual ads? Do you think the dogs come with the plaid one?
    I saw a nice sofa at a local thrift store for $50 the other day. All you have to do is pick it up from Chicago!

  23. I love craigslist ads. They are the best and people are truly crazy trying to sell a sofa with dogs on it. I love me some dogs but not on the furniture I want to buy!! Don't hate me but I just found a perfect sofa and don't even need one. I'm going back tomorrow to get it but it definitely needs to be recovered so I guess it's not perfect (or reasonably priced when you factor that cost in).

  24. No one trumps your commentary. Ever.

    Craigslist = Weirdos

    Except when I've sold stuff. I'm not weird at all.

    (Okay, at least not insane...and disgusting.)

  25. Depending on where you live I have seen some really nice furniture at our local Salvation Army. Plus the furniture has been certified that it has been cleaned. Also where I live there are several Christian Thrift stores that have had some really good furniture. I just havent been in the market for new to me furniture.

  26. Bahahahaha!!! I can't believe people would think other people would want any of those!


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