You might think furnishing your new NYC apartment would be a simple task.
But you would be wrong.
Not only do you have to find furniture that you can afford, you have to somehow get it to your building and then inside your apartment.
Matters become even more complicated if you live in a walk-up apartment (NYC apt. building types). Have you ever tried maneuvering a heavy foldout sofa bed up a narrow flight of stairs—to the 5th floor?
Never the less, with a little preparation and a little guidance, you will be able to pull it off.
Check out these three popular options for affordable furniture in NYC.
Check out these three affordable options for furniture in NYC
When looking for inexpensive furniture, Ikea is never a bad place to start. Ikea literally has everything that you need to deck out your apartment- in a large variety of styles. For people living in Manhattan, the most convenient option is the Ikea in Red Hook.
For those living in Manhattan, the best way to access the Ikea in Red Hook is via the water taxi, which runs daily between Pier 11 and the Red Hook Ikea store. The water taxi costs $5 and runs from 2PM to 8PM on weekdays and 10AM to 9PM on weekends. Brooklynites will want to look into the Ikea shuttle.
People that purchase unwieldy items (pretty much any kind of furniture) will need to arrange for transportation to their apartment which will add to the cost of buying furniture this way—read below for a few transportation options.
Weekday customers that spend more than $10 will receive a $5 credit upon presenting their water taxi ticket.
For more information about the water taxi service – click here
For information on the Ikea Brooklyn super store – click here
Why we like it
- You can see what you are getting in person
- Consistent quality
- The latest in cutting edge Swedish design, and they serve meat balls
Why we hate it
- You have to figure out how to get it home / pay for delivery (expensive)
- Visiting the store is time consuming
How to get it home?
There are basically three options available for people who require delivery to their apartment.
1) Illegal Gypsy Cabs – Outside of Ikea, there is a collection of ‘van guys’ that will transport you, and your freshly acquired Swedish goodies, back to your apartment for a cash fee. The price depends on how many gypsy cabs are out there that day, and you can bet that getting them to carry anything up stairs will cost extra. Also- be aware that using these services carries financial risk! If anyone you hire is injured while on the job- you can be held financially liable! (among other risks- use at your own discretion)
2) Bring your own ride – Nobody in NYC owns a car, so you are definitely going to have to rent one. There are a number of good options for rental / moving vans in NYC. One great option is Zipcar (sign up here if you are not already a member)– but it only really makes financial sense in this scenario if you are already a member (if you are not, you should be apply- do it now and thank me later)
3) Ikea Delivery Service – Ikea’s delivery service has a flat-rate of $99 to Brooklyn, and $149 to Manhattan. You can pick same day or next day delivery and there is an extra charge if items needs to be carried up stairs or other tricks need to be performed.
Yes, Amazon sells furniture. Yes they have a great selection of affordable options. And—yes, many of these options include free shipping. After you consider that shipping is free for many items, Amazon is almost certainly the cheapest way to purchase new furniture in NYC.
By using Amazon, you can avoid the hassle, wasted time, and expense of transporting the goods yourself– or the hassle, expense and risk of hiring someone else to do it.
Amazon has a huge selection of furniture including bed frames, mattresses, sheets, couches, chairs, cookware, anything you need- Amazon has.
Check out furniture listings on Amazon using this link
- Huge selection of items
- Makes shopping very quick – no need to even leave your apartment
- Among the cheapest options available for new items
- Free delivery
- Not possible to inspect items in person
- Hard to judge quality of items
- Can be difficult to arrange delivery for people that are not available to receive packages during the day
Using Craigslist, and a lot of patient searching, it is possible to furnish your NYC apartment for next to nothing. Craigslist is a great option for large and expensive items that it might not make sense to purchase new- such as desks, dressers, couches or bed frames
If you are looking to furnish an entire apartment on the cheap, one strategy is to look for a person who is selling an entire set of furniture and cookware and offer to purchase everything. They will be happy to be rid of it, and you will be able to score a great deal.
If you choose to buy used furniture on Craiglist you will have to find some way to transport the items to your apartment. However, the need to coordinate picking up the item from a seller, and arrange for transportation makes it a real logistical headache. Your options are basically –
1) Zipcar – most convenient / cheapest option, but not good for very large or heavy items (sign up here)
2) Hire a ‘man-with-a-van’ – risky, but can work out well for larger items or if you need help bringing heavy items up stairs
3) Carry it on your back- Sherpa style
And that just about covers the most popular options for affordable apartment furniture in NYC– check out this post for helpful tips on how to score cheap furniture in NYC