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Best Place to Buy Used Furniture 

Miriam Switching Post

If paradise has a thrift store, chances are, it looks a lot like the Miriam Switching Post: a big but not overwhelming room filled with immaculately preserved sofas that don't smell like cat pee once you bring them home; housewares that range from quaintly funky to hysterically kitschy to straight-up elegant; polite, helpful staff members who will line up a reliable delivery service for you, no problem; and an affiliation with a child-related charity (hey, no sales tax!) that wipes away any vestige of consumerist guilt. Voilà: the perfect shopping experience. Once people discover this place, they're loath to tell even their closest friends about it: What if the word gets out and the prices go up? What if all the good stuff gets snatched up by Cherokee rip-off artists? We feel a little traitorous for letting the cat out of the bag, but because we've already landed the Couch of Our Dreams -- a pristine white-on-white damask-upholstered two-piece sectional that obviously spent the last 50 years or so under a plastic slipcover, a Platonic ideal of a couch that we would have paid for three times over, except we didn't have to -- we'll finally give the Switching Post the props it so richly deserves.

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