Furniture consignment and resale shops are businesses that sell new, second hand and antique furniture. The majority of businesses that make up this industry are usually small, privately owned, with store fronts in areas like outlet malls, or in a complex with other small businesses. Furniture shops are often divided between items that the store has bought outright, and those that are still technically owned by an independent party. For instance, if you purchase that rustic looking oak dresser you have been admiring, and it is a consignment item, the store is selling it, but part of the profit goes to the previous owner of the piece, but only when it is sold.
If you are interested in buying, selling or putting your dining room table, chairs or living room couch on consignment, you will probably be dealing with the owner of the store. For many thrift store owners, they have some background in home design, furniture restoration or knowledge of antiques. Though none of these skills are particularly necessary, knowing how to identify the value in a stuffed leather chair, a pine bed frame, or an Amish style dresser, and then being able to describe to customers how these items can be can be laid out in a home, can all be very valuable business skills. When a customer comes in asking for kids furniture, the owner can describe the potential in a used bed set, how it can be restored, and make the sale!
Another place to find used furniture cheaply is online. The disadvantage of looking up contemporary or resale items online is that you are unable to inspect the piece. However, online stores usually have a surplus of furniture available, from a classic oak desk, to a wicker chair, to a stunning sectional.