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View Full Version : cheaper furniture...is it worth it?


Sagginit
07-19-2011, 08:52 PM
i need some bookshelves for storage. they don't need to be fancy because its going in a spare room, we agreed on white since it seems like a universal color and we can always add other kind of units (cabinets, shoe units). target has their room essentials on sale this week but they got bad reviews online. i had previously looked at a more expensive one they had on sale as a daily deal, but that got bad reviews too. my roomate just bought one from walmart and says its not stable and shes afraid it is going to fall apart (although i think she said it came out kinda crooked so it could be the way it was built). i have ikea in the area but they are twice the price and i don't know how much better they will be. anyone have experience with these basic units? i know home depot and lowes have them as well but i'm not sure if what they carry is that much better either :confused3

i have two particle board guys that i have had for years, very stable and held up well (except the surfaces scratched). i remember growing up we had one too that lasted very long. anyone know if they reduced the strength of these boards or something?

marie1203
07-19-2011, 09:28 PM
I bought our at target. I think it was $19.99 it works just fine. We are military we are moving in a year so we are not planning on taking it with us it works for us.

pigletto
07-19-2011, 11:06 PM
Most of the time I would have to say no. It's not always the case though.
However, the bookshelves from Ikea that I had were absolute junk as well. This was years ago though.
It's not necessarily the price that is the issue. I want things that are substantial and made out of real wood!!
No more MDF or pressboard anything for me.
We are currently looking for two new desks and though I don't want to pay an arm and a leg, I can't go for the cheapo ones. They fall apart in our house.

So I am looking through Kijiji (kind of like Craigs List). Could you try that?

miralys
07-20-2011, 07:32 AM
As a dorm resident for several years, these "cheap" bookshelves were our go to for many years. I have always had luck with them, and have even taken them with me through several moves. Right now they are out on the patio to house gardening supplies.

I see no problem with them, and would buy them again if it the need arose, just be aware the pressed wood will crumble if it gets wet and take care when moving the shelves because they are less sturdy than real wood.

dimimi
07-20-2011, 07:52 AM
We always bought the inexpensive ones when our kids were young. We still use them. Also, I have some very inexpensive ones from when I was a kid...let's just say that was a long time ago! No problems at all.

If I were using the shelves where everyone could see them, like maybe on the first floor of our home, I would purchase something nicer.

Pigeon
07-20-2011, 07:57 AM
If you are going to really use them as bookshelves, loaded with books, I wouldn't go with the real cheap ones. If you are putting a couple of books and some knicknacks on them, the cheap ones are fine.

Our bookshelves are for books. We've had good luck with buying sturdy ones from unfinished wood furniture places and staining them ourselves. They aren't dirt cheap, but they don't cost a fortune and they've held up.

ilovemk76
07-20-2011, 08:41 AM
If you are going to really use them as bookshelves, loaded with books, I wouldn't go with the real cheap ones. If you are putting a couple of books and some knicknacks on them, the cheap ones are fine.

Our bookshelves are for books. We've had good luck with buying sturdy ones from unfinished wood furniture places and staining them ourselves. They aren't dirt cheap, but they don't cost a fortune and they've held up.

:thumbsup2

elgerber
07-20-2011, 08:51 AM
Some of the really cheap ones come without a back on them, at least the shorter ones do. We solved that problem by putting a thin piece of plywood on the back, and it made them much more stable.
I think it also depends on how many shelves you are looking at. If they are like 5-6 feet tall, I would worry about the stability, but my dd has a 4 shelf unit in her room, and it is loaded with books and it's just fine.

Aristocath
07-20-2011, 08:56 AM
If you really are going to load them down with books don't go for the really cheap ones. We had a very bad experience with that!

I recommend IKEA shelving if you have an IKEA. We have bought several bookcases and some other storage items for our boys' rooms. We have been very pleased with the look and durability.

AmandaRG
07-20-2011, 09:37 AM
Ikea has a cute bookshelf/room divider that can be used horizontally or vertically. It was $69 and seemed quite nice. I was going to have it shipped until I found out that it would be $300 to do so! We ended up with one from Target.

It is for our schoolroom, and houses some supplies and the girls' books on the lowest shelves. For $30 it should hold up for a few years. I'm not looking for a lifetime piece, but for a couple of years it will be fine.

Gigi22
07-20-2011, 09:53 AM
Depends what the cheap furniture is -- we have a lot of the 'Billy' bookcases, a t.v. stand (now in use as a printer stand) and a couple of wooden dinner chairs from IKEA that have lasted over 20 years, and show no signs of packing it in. We had a daybed from them that didn't do so well, so I would stay away from their beds, sofas and so forth.

Mrs D
07-20-2011, 02:35 PM
I have a Closetmaid 3 shelf bookshelf from Target that I got for kids books about 2 years ago. The shelves sag when heavy books get put on it.

I bought the EXPEDIT bookshelf at Ikea about 11 years ago. It is study, still looks great and holds any weight.

Other furniture at Ikea, not so much. I bought my son a dresser there 3 years ago and it has slowly fallen apart and finally bit the dust last week when an entire drawer fell apart.

pixiewings71
07-20-2011, 08:22 PM
We have some Target furniture, we've had it for quite a few years and it's held up fine. We have 2 bookcases, a printer stand, a plant stand and our computer desk. They look great and work fine. We did have to glue part of the desk back together but since we did that it's been fine. We have had these pieces since our house fire, so 6 years. We also have IKEA furniture, in our girls bedrooms and our coffee table, all have been very durable and have held up great.

a1tinkfans
07-20-2011, 09:02 PM
i need some bookshelves for storage. they don't need to be fancy because its going in a spare room, we agreed on white since it seems like a universal color and we can always add other kind of units (cabinets, shoe units). target has their room essentials on sale this week but they got bad reviews online. i had previously looked at a more expensive one they had on sale as a daily deal, but that got bad reviews too. my roomate just bought one from walmart and says its not stable and shes afraid it is going to fall apart (although i think she said it came out kinda crooked so it could be the way it was built). i have ikea in the area but they are twice the price and i don't know how much better they will be. anyone have experience with these basic units? i know home depot and lowes have them as well but i'm not sure if what they carry is that much better either :confused3

i have two particle board guys that i have had for years, very stable and held up well (except the surfaces scratched). i remember growing up we had one too that lasted very long. anyone know if they reduced the strength of these boards or something?

I really believe you get what you pay for...having said that
Try Craigslist, so many people downsizing, clearing out, and you will likely get Real, wood, not particle board, that will hold up for you, at the same if not less cost. Heres hoping you do! Good Luck...:wizard:

natfrac
07-20-2011, 09:08 PM
I wouldn't buy anything less than Ikea. For me, it's the frustration of having to replace something. I've had fairly good success with Ikea stuff--our kitchen cabinets are from there.

mrssmith06
07-20-2011, 09:29 PM
We just bought our DD a white 3 shelf bookcase from Walmart for only $12. We actually have 3 of these in our house, one that we've had for a couple of years and they hold up just fine!!! Of course with small kids, we refuse to buy anything expensive to put in their rooms right now. Some of the furniture that we have bought from furniture stores has been much worse than the retail store furniture...;)

devilmafia11
07-21-2011, 01:24 AM
what?????????????????

DansBride2009
07-21-2011, 03:33 AM
I've actually had some good luck with inexpensive bookshelves. My parents got some for my bedroom about 20 years ago and they are STILL holding strong in my mom's garage. I'll have to ask my mom if she remembers where she got them from, but they've been wonderful and I think they were just particle board. I'm wanting to say she said they were from Target.

I have some shelves in my spare room from Wally World I think, and it's just particle board but they are strong and though they just have the cardboard back it doesn't bother me ... they have some nice details to them, like a kind of ... faux molding on them to make them look nice and I think I will have these for years to come.

So it really is a toss up ... I think it's all in how they are put together. My mom is like a genius when it comes to put together furniture ... and I STINK at it so everything I do turns out wobbly but everything SHE does turns out amazing, she is like a godess in that department.

So I think it all depends on how well it is put together ... but I have had great luck.

Wal Mart has some really nice bookshelves from Better Homes and Gardens that looks just as nice as some $300.00 shelves I saw at Mathis Brothers recently ... and they were only $79.00 with a lot of great reviews. I don't remember if they had white though.

Good luck!!

Sagginit
07-22-2011, 08:40 AM
thanks for all the feedback! one or two of the units will be to hold a lot of heavy books, others will be for random storage,my roomate has a cheap shoerack and wants to upgrade it (ok the next one will be cheap but the current one is plastic pipes and has collapsed from the weight at least once already). i have built things before and they held up fine. we picked white b/c its universal and we can then mix and match storage pieces later. so in theory i can get a taller shelving unit for the books at ikea if it will be more stable (which i think it might) and then get the cheapies at target for the lightweight stuff. now that i think about it, the three and four shelves one i have held up to the weight. it was the five shelf one that i got a few years ago that sagged in the middle of some of the shelves and the frame seemed wobbly.

i like the idea of solid wood but it seems like most furniture is particle board of sorts these days, even when i was browsing at more expensive websites.

FergieTCat
07-22-2011, 10:57 AM
I bought my bookcase 17 years ago from Ikea. It still looks as good as new. I recommend Ikea!

mrspaha
07-22-2011, 04:34 PM
I recently bought some inexpensive bookshelves at Big Lots; they look nice, but since I haven't had them long, I can't comment on their durability.

I do have a four-shelf bookcase that I bought many years ago at Staples. Here again, it's the pressed wood. They have held up extremely well, we have lots of heavy books on it, and it still looks great, and actually doesn't look like "cheap" furniture. I can't remember what I paid, but it was comparable to prices at the Walmart, Target, Kmart type places, possibly even cheaper, as I always watch for sales when purchasing these type of items.

I would try checking the other office supply places as well. I think office supply places would probably try to carry durable furniture for their business clients.

Sagginit
07-22-2011, 06:06 PM
oh i didn't think to check staples or office depot, good idea! i got a three shelf today at target, i will see the quality of it and how it goes building it. i may skip the five shelf there, upon inspecting the box today i noticed it is in two sections that you stack one on top of the other.

mjhd
07-22-2011, 06:24 PM
All of our bookcases are the cheapies from staples. They have held up really well. The only problem in 5 years is the shelf that i have loaded down with hardcovers (not the middle stabilized shelf) is sagging slightly. I need to take it down and flip it over to bend it back lol! I think i paid $40ish each for the tall ones on sale.

Sagginit
07-22-2011, 10:21 PM
i bought a three shelf and put it together no problem, not crooked like the one my roomate just bought from walmart. however, i can not see a 5 shelf version of the cheapie being that stable, i think i will need to invest more money in the larger one for all my books since i have so many.

DisGirl819
07-22-2011, 11:01 PM
Ikea quality is great, sometimes on par with Target depending on what you get, sometimes better. We got some bookshelves tehre that are SOLID wood and would withstand multiple military moves. I would stay away from the REstyle or whatever they're called at Target. We've had that stuff fall apart so fast...same with walmart. If you're just going to put them together and never move them, it should be ok.

And to the other poster that had issues with replacing something from Ikea...we bought a shoe cabinet, moved wiht it still in the box unassembled, assembled it when we got to our new house and the drawer front was broken. I emailed Ikea and the store I bought it from mailed me a new one free of charge! No hassle or anything.