buying furniture


Sep 23, 2008
I'm just visiting Buenos Aires for a few weeks trying to furnish an apartment for a friend of mine who plans to move down there shortly. Does anyone have any advice on decent places to buy furniture without breaking the bank? Also, any tips on having things delivered (is it feasible on any kind of timeline)?
Any advice would help. Thanks.
I can tell you where to find some very cheap furniture, it´s not very nice at all, but it´s the cheapest I could find (my boyfriend and I had to furnish our apartment on very very low salaries) Ave. Rivadavia, past cross street ´Nazca´.A little nicer furniture you can find on the Ave Belgrano, crossing with jujuy and onwards...Dirt cheap, there´s salvation army and thrift stores in Pompeya..but not recommended. We´re talkin really shitty stuff.
Cheap housewares that´s not furniture, you´ve got Once. I can´t give any advice on quality or fashionable things - I´m on a tight budget! But these places were good for me and my budget...Deliveries usually aren´t hard and don´t take too much time...they do generally charge you at least 50 pesos, though. Sorry if you´re looking for higher-class furniture - maybe someone else can help with that!
Mercado de Pulgas on Dorrego not a bad place to go. With a good eye you can pick up some nice antique pieces, some restored, some in need of a little restoration but restoration is very cheap. There's some great shops nearby as well .
Av. Belgrano has a zillion furniture shops on it, most of them doing fairly modern fairly expensive stuff. Not my cup of tea, but you could find everything on that road. Top of Cabildo has loads of sofa shops and furniture shops, middle of cabildo has a load of bed shops. Garbarino fine for electro-domestics. Lots of places on Cabildo.
Not sure where you're from, but furniture here is comparatively expensive to euro prices. Much less of a mid-market and no ikea equivalent. Could cost you a lot more to furnish a flat here than it would at home....
The problem you may face is the entrega (delivery time). We bought a couch, the promised entrega was 30 days, ended up being 82. I wouldn't count on being able to bring much home in just a few weeks of visiting. Beds are another matter -- go to King Koil and you can get them delivered within a few days. For immediate entrega on any furniture, expect a big jump in prices, with a few exceptions of course. There is a place called Vivienda (various locations) that promises entrega inmediata. For cheaper things, try Carrefour Home and there's another shop called Plan Deco or something like that, on Pueyreddon and again on Cabildo that has some Ikea-type furniture and they probably will give it to you somewhat faster. Falabella also has a furniture selection, of varying quality.
Warning: in Argentina, buying cheap furniture means needing a toolkit to fix it every time it breaks. sorry, but it's true. You can't expect quality and cheap to go in hand. Whenever we go over to my sister-in-law's, my boyfriend has to fix some piece of crap furniture that they bought. You don't have to break the bank, but if you don't invest a fair amount, you'll find yourself paying for it in the long run.
There are many cheap furniture shops on corrientes, from The abasto centre to Villa Crespo.
As for delivery, that depends whether the stuff is in stock or not (same everywhere I suppose). Expect to pay between ar$10 and 50.
My own experiences have been good, I ordered furniture in January for april delivery, all went well, apart from the builder telling them not to deliver. However when I rang the stuff arrived within 2 hours.
New, crappy furniture is expensive here- but antiques are an incredible bargain.

I have found that for the SAME PRICE as ticky tack mock Ikea put it together yourself stuff from EASY you can buy handmade antiques that have already lasted 50 or 100 years, and would cost a fortune in the USA or Europe. Real wood, stone tops on mesas de luces, carving, inlays, stained glass, crystal and bronze- there is tons and tons of this stuff in BsAs, and since the current tastes among the wealthy Portenos' is for modern Italian design, its low priced. I have found craftsman style pieces, art deco, art noveau, french provincial, 50's space age, and more- stuff that movie stars in LA pay tens of thousands for, dusty and unloved in Argentina, because its out of style and, well, OLD.
The best craftsmen from Italy, Spain, Germany, France, and Belgium immigrated to Argentina 100 years ago, and made stuff to last. Particleboard, eat your heart out.

I second going to the Pulgas- good deals on a real range of stuff there. New stuff every day. Easy to arrange delivery, trucks are standing by. And the whole neighborhood around it is full of more stores. There are demolition shops on Cordoba with flooring, windows, lighting, anything from a 100 year old apartment. I once saw an entire, 10 meter long, 4 meter tall, cut glass and hardwood cafe storefront that would not be out of place in a fancy coffehouse in Vienna.

Way up Rivadavia are two of the biggest antique stores I have ever seen- not dirt cheap, but sure not expensive, with floor after floor of amazing stuff.
La Rueda - Antiguedades
is fancier, and then down a block and across the street is this other place that is kind of like going into the warehouse at the end of Indiana Jones- dusty stuff receding into infinity, 3 or 4 more floors upstairs they will only escort you to if you ask for something specific, with enough furniture stacked up to fill a thousand houses.

Great midcentury design, 50's pieces, at a fraction of the cost in the USA or Europe (but still not giving it away) at Bauhaus in Palermo Viejo.

The guys at La Mersa pick and choose the best stuff, and charge a bit more for it.
La Mersa
and down a block on Honduras is another great antique store, more classical, I think its called Casa de Honduras- amazing crystal chandeliers, art noveau furniture, cheaper than San Telmo.

And dont forget Mercado Libre.
I have spent much time looking for the best places to buy furniture in BA in doing up two properties, but found by far the best place is Tigre market on a Sunday. There's lots of nice wooden furniture there - tables, chairs, cupboards, futons and so on. It's a huge market, I would recommend checking it out. When i first got to BA i used to buy stuff in the city but not any more as it's generally much more expensive.