A month ago, we started cleaning out our attic. That room was a mess of rare finds accumulated over generations, covered under piles of dusty white sheets. Under those were eras encapsulated in wooden structures carved decades ago.
Considering we had renovated our place over the years, it had now conformed to the modern interior design, and the old furniture would stand out like a sore thumb. Thus, I decided to sell the antique furniture. To accomplish this, I went through all avenues that seemed viable and compiled this ultimate guide for you all to take help from.
In the remainder of this article, I will be detailing all the requirements when you are in need to know how to sell antique furniture. From valuing your vintage and antique furniture, where to sell, factors to consider, and tips to get the most cash for them will be discussed.
How To Sell Antique Furniture For The Most Money?
A few steps must be followed when you want to sell your vintage and antique furniture. These steps make this tumultuous process as easy as playing a video game. If this is your one-time sale, it will become an easy enough task, and if it’s a business startup, then this will simplify your thought process.
1. Identify Your Piece:
Identifying your antique furniture will help you better understand your asset. You can identify your piece based on the markings, carvings, styles, stamps, or any relevant information the manufacturer might have listed. It will help you convey the details to buyers and appraisers who want the most accurate description of the product.
2. Take Good Pictures Of Your Furniture:
When selling online, pictures are the only look the buyers get of the product, so the imagery’s lighting, aesthetic, and quality must be given grave importance. In this way, you should either do a photo shoot of your furniture yourself or hire a professional to do the job for you!
3. Get An Appraisal:
To get an idea of the price your furniture will bring, you should use look-up tools, antique furniture price guides, online listings of previous sales, or getting a professional appraisal. All these can help you understand how much your antique might be.
4. Keep Your Piece Safe:
To keep your furniture in the condition listed, it is pertinent to put it in place to protect it from the environment and any hazardous activities. This is especially important as any damage to the piece will significantly reduce its value. If the damage is extensive, the entire sale itself is jeopardized.
5. Display And List Your Furniture:
You will need a place to showcase your furniture; this can be done through either a local or an online avenue. Read on to know all about both of these options.
6. Prepare For Transport:
When you end up at the final stage of your sale, you will need to prepare for pick up and delivery of the furniture, as discussed with the buyer. All precautions must be taken at this stage to avoid any/all damages.
Note: It is vital to account for all receipts involved in the process. This can be especially useful in the case of antique furniture as most sellers/stores refuse to exchange or refund if your object is damaged.
Valuation Of Your Antique Furniture Piece:
When you start selling your furniture, it is necessary to evaluate its condition and origin to recognize the actual worth of the piece you are selling. Unless you are one of the professional sellers, who knows what to look for and what kind the antique is, it will be challenging for you to appropriately value them.
The pricing of antique furniture depends upon the quality and the age of the vintage items. This can be determined through an appraisal of the antique items. The appraisal can be done through personal research or by employing industry professionals. Fun fact, vintage furniture is only considered antique if it is aged over a hundred years!
Now to discuss options to help appraise and sell antique goods such as furniture.
- Heritage Auctions: a trusted and well-established marketplace that has become one of the third largest auction houses in the global market. Their system provides a clear and unbiased transactional exchange by providing all parties with information about art, jewels, and other collectibles. Check their free appraisal system here.
- What Sells Best: Founded relatively recently in 2008, this organization became a trusted advisor of media hubs like CBS News, Fox Business, The Guardian, etc. Not only does this company have a free online appraisal, but it also aids in finding resources and news to value your unique items.
- Facebook Marketplace:Through this forum, you can search for similar vintage and antique sellers and compare their prices to get an idea of your own antique pieces.
What Are The Best Places To Sell Vintage Furniture?
Are you too tired of looking at those curvy wooden lines in your drawing room, the elaborate structures, and the musky smell of your antique furniture? And would you prefer getting rid of it against some cash? Then you need to know how to get the highest value off of your assets.
Antique Furniture Online Selling:
Nowadays, selling online is the best way to sell without opening up antique shops. The many websites to sell antiques online are as follows:
Do you have products that have existed for over 20 years in this world? Then, there is a massive market for your collectibles on Etsy. As of Q2 2020, there are more than 60 million purchasers on Etsy! Such a vast client base means you’ll get a lot of eyeballs with purchasers to boost your benefits.
Another added benefit is that Etsy has a classification equipped for selling intriguing and rare items. This permits anyone to sell handmade, specially designed, and extraordinary or classic things that are no less than 20 years.
In this way, Etsy allows you to sell antique furniture, among other unique items, including gems and jewels, vinyl records, media (books, films, and music), toys and games, etc. The listing or selling fees are only 20 cents for an extended period. Etsy takes a 5% cut and transportation expense to fulfill the deal.
2. TIAS (The International Antique Shop)
This website for selling antiques has been up since 1995. It allows a 60-day free trial without any initial fees before activation. Although when your antique store is set up, a monthly package of $39.95 needs to be taken on. This plan is the best option if running an online antique store is not your main objective.
However, if you want to make antiques selling a legitimate business, then this site also offers a yearly plan costing $34.95. TIAS, unlike Etsy, does not charge listing fees per item sold, permitting the user to make as many as they would like. The site has close to a million visitors every month, and sales double that number, making TIAS a bright star to consider.
The slogan of Bonanza is to sell anything but the ordinary making it the best place for you to sell your antiques online. They have over five million viewers each month, most of whom are US-based, while 25% of the traffic comes from abroad.
The site does not charge any listing fees; you only pay them 3.5% of the total when you make a sale. Although, for promotion and advertising, a seller has to pay an additional 5.5% fee, which has no compulsion.
Overall, Bonanza provides a user-friendly experience that you can use to dive into the antique furniture selling business.
4. Ruby Lane
Ruby Lane is designed for regular antique sellers, as it mainly sells vintage items, making it to be ideally geared towards selling antiques. This site requires you to have at least ten items available for sale at all times at your shop, for which you have to pay $69 a month with $100 as an initial setup fee.
All in all, Ruby Lane is one of the biggest names in the antique business. She is definitely a front-runner when it comes to vintage furniture. If you’re looking to unload vintage furniture from your attic, Ruby Lane might be the place for you!
Like Etsy, ArtFire has individual seller accounts that resale craft supplies, handmade goods, fine art, antique, and non-antique items. ArtFire offers three monthly plans for setting up your resale business on their site, each with varying specifications.
- Standard shop:This is $4.95 monthly charges, with 12.75% final valuation and 23 cents per listing fees, with up to 250 listings.
- Famous shop: This is $20 in monthly charges, 4.5% final valuation, and no listing fees, with up to 1000 listings.
- Featured shop:This is $40 in monthly charges, 4.5% final valuation, and no listing cost, with up to 2,500 listings.
This is one of the oldest reigning sites allowing people to make online sales and purchases. This also makes it one of the best candidates to find the right buyer without having to rent space, as eBay has a reach of more than 177 million website visitors.
Moreover, eBay does not have any listing fees for a private seller of antique items. Still, there is a 10% valuation fee at the final stage. The website offers various monthly and annual plans for business sellers.
The most attractive feature of selling your vintage furniture through Craigslist is that the buyer will most likely be a local, causing no shipping charges, on top of the no listing costs of this website. In addition, there are no selling fees either; making this site home to 55 million visitors increases the probability of you making a sale of your antique item.
However, due to a large amount of listing traffic, your furniture may get lost quickly from the feed. The third-party mediation with eBay is not a quality of this site.
HuntVintage is one of the fastest growing marketplaces for online selling vintage and antique furniture in the United Kingdom and European countries. Each piece on this website is approved by the company for its legitimacy and high quality, so an enthusiast is sure of the furniture they are buying.
There is only a 15% commission when a product is sold, without additional charges. This website also vets its dealers to ensure a transparent and honest exchange between potential buyers and sellers of antique furniture, thus proving a direct interface between the two parties.
Antique Furniture Local Selling:
Online buyers are not always to be trusted. Online platforms contain many processes you need to know and plan for, like setting shop, advertising, listings, and valuation. These processes can be challenging to understand and navigate and may cause troubles like scams and fraud. To avoid this headache, there are other options available that may be more viable for your needs.
Therefore, if online selling is not your choice, do not fret; your furniture still has ways to get out of your house and into one the potential buyers through selling locally. The local selling occurs face to face, at a real-time location close to the seller, where the sellers and buyers can meet each other and decide upon the details of their deal.
Read on to learn how to sell locally if online is too much hassle.
1. Local Antique Shops:
One of the options is to sell to your local antique shop, which will try its best to take advantage of their greater knowledge of the industry and the furniture piece you are trying to sell to them. The prices are therefore lower, but it is an easy method if you lack both time and motivation.
However, if you’re informed about your piece, you may be able to get a good deal out of the store. So, remember to read up well before you go hovering around the local antique store.
2. Flea Markets:
Renting temporary antique shops/stalls at stationary or traveling flea markets provides a great opportunity to sell off your antique furniture and other wares. Stationary markets usually settle in a building or lot. In contrast, traveling flea market continues from town to town and can provide a more extensive customer base.
The greater the number of people seeing the furniture, the higher the price and the chances of selling it, so it can benefit you!
3. Consignment Shops:
Consignment stores are similar to selling online on websites; instead, these are in-person, with the actual showing of your item, paying showcasing fees, and then a commission sale that ranges from 20% to even 50%.
Thus, if this is the method of sale you have chosen, be careful regarding the store’s policy for every step and know the cash you’ll have to throw out beforehand!
4. Yard Sales And Estate Sales:
This is considered one of the popular ways of selling household items and can be used to sell off your antique furniture by just putting a yard sale sign outside of your place, which will attract interested buyers right in.
Moreover, suppose you jointly hold a neighborhood-wide yard sale. In that case, large masses can be convinced to visit, leading to the possibility of you making good sales. Notably, Prices are to be kept in check, as bargaining has a significant role in garage sales.
5. Auction Houses And Collectors:
If you have a furniture piece that is a rare commodity, it will prove you well to contact a local auction house nearby. These places take it upon themselves to promote and hype up your product as they also take a percentage from the sale. These places pride themselves on selling rare antiques and other unique items. Antique furniture is one of their primary commodities. Older furniture like cars has become a luxury good among the elites.
Thus, the higher the sale, the higher the piece of cake the auctioneers will receive. Moreover, auction houses sell to the highest bidder, and the whole process reflects excitement adding to the value of each piece.
Vintage and antique furniture can also be sold to collectors, but they are highly particular about their collectibles. This might fetch you a reasonable price as collectors are more critical of the product than the price they are willing to pay for it once it has passed their examination.
6. Pawn Shops:
More often than not, pawn shops permit you to involve your collectibles as security to get cash. Yet, they can also buy from you permanently. These stores became famous during the Great Depression and appeared to flourish when the economy turned lower.
One thing to remember is that pawn stores purchase from you, only meaning to flip things for a benefit. Thus, selling at different spots without mediators may not get as much cash as you would. One way or the other, they give a fast method for selling your collectibles nearby.
Factors That Affect The Value Of Your Antique Furniture:
You should consider some elements when planning to sell your antique furniture.
These factors include:
- Rarity– the uniqueness of your furniture piece. If your antique was manufactured in limited quantities, there is a high chance of it being worth a lot.
- Provenance– is it an original or a historical piece? A furniture piece that has historical significance attached to it will fetch more money than its counterpart.
- Condition– the single most crucial factor in the case of any antique, it is the state and preservation of the furniture. Better the condition, the higher will be the price.
- Desirability– the market conditions regarding the piece, whether people still demand it after viewing all the other factors.
You can answer these questions through online searches or get detailed appraisals for your item. You can also take a photograph and reverse search it on google and remember the older the piece, the higher the value.
Best Selling Tips:
If you have decided to sell and have done the correct valuation of your furniture, then here are some tips to avoid being scammed.
First, you must be up-to-date with your research regarding the market, the place of selling, and the worth of your commodity. Then, if you aim to sell multiple products, you can form a collection, which may show you to be a collector and raise the value of your products.
Furthermore, do not immediately solidify your sales; do your due diligence as people who may want to pay you at delivery may be scammers.
Lastly, if your furniture has a good value, be sure to get it insured as this will help you get the return to incase of damages during transportation, etc. This policy is to be applied for higher valued products only as it protects the more considerable investment.
Selling antiques is an intriguing endeavor as you pass down a historical heritage to another person, letting them get to know the story behind the object, which has lived through generations. These objects are representative of legacies people left behind. Each with a story and a past. They symbolize the evolution and change mankind has been through and reflects the cultures it came about from.
Selling them away is like giving away a key to the past, giving these products a higher value than the modern new items. However, this process can also take a while and be frustrating if you do not know the ins and outs of this business.
To start, you should look at the various online and local places to sell, then appropriately value your furniture and make listings at the most suitable place of your choice.
So, before you decide to go up the attic and clean up, read this article so you can inhibit the urge to throw out or giveaway priceless collectibles from the past that have more worth than you might imagine.