Is the furniture vintage? Is it valuable? Will you be able to make a profit? Pricing antique furniture can be a difficult task – especially if you’ve never done it before. However, if you understand what to look for and how to valuate different pieces, you’ll be able to accurately price your antique furniture.
To help you out, let’s break down how to price antique furniture and give you a few tips and best practices along the way.
Is My Furniture Vintage? Or just Old?
Many people often have a desire to fill their homes with unique, vintage furniture pieces. But how do you truly know if your furniture is vintage or just old?
One way to determine the age of a piece is by looking at the materials it is made of. Vintage pieces were often constructed using solid wood, while modern furniture more frequently uses particle board and other synthetic materials.
Another indicator of age is the construction methods used. For example, In older pieces, joints were typically reinforced with dovetail joints, pegged mortise or tenon joints, while modern furniture may just use glue and nails.
That being said, it’s a good idea to consult with an expert (like an antiques dealer or appraiser). These experts can help confirm a piece’s vintage status, so you can accurately price it moving forward.
Keep Learning: How to identify antique furniture based on different styles
How to Value your Antique Furniture
When it comes to valuating antique furniture, there are several factors to consider.
First, age and history of the piece can play a role in its value. An antique from a renowned furniture maker or an item with unique features may be worth more than a less significant piece. Certain styles will also be worth more than others. Antique furniture is often segmented by style – which is also dictated by the era. Depending on the era and history surrounding the style, you’ll get more or less for the furniture. Make sure to do your research to determine what style you’re working with.
The condition of the furniture is also important. Minor imperfections may not greatly impact the value, but major damage can significantly decrease its worth. If you want full value, have the piece properly fix before reselling it.
As an added step, you can also consult with an expert. While these people can be hard to come by, you may have luck visiting local thrift shops or pawn shops or consulting with experts online. There are a wide variety of forums and groups dedicated to specific categories of vintage and antique items. Facebook Communities and Reddit can both be great resources.
How to properly clean and store your antique furniture
If you want to make the most money possible selling antique furniture, then you need to keep it in top-notch condition. But before you bust out the furniture cleaner, it’s important to figure out the do’s and don’ts of your particular piece. To steer you in the right direction, here are a few tips to keep in mind:
Material will dictate the cleaning technique and products
It’s important to first determine the material of the item – wood, metal, or upholstery – as this will dictate the appropriate cleaning technique. For wood, a mild soap and water solution can be used with a soft cloth. Metal should be cleaned with a special polish and a microfiber cloth. Upholstery can be vacuumed and spot-cleansed using a damp cloth and mild detergent. Avoid using furniture polish or harsh chemicals, as these can strip away protective finishes or damage delicate fabric.
How you store your antique furniture can impact its condition
Always keep antique furniture in a cool, dry area to prevent warping or mold growth. If necessary, cover items with furniture blankets or bubble wrap to protect them from dust or bumps during transportation or extended periods of inactivity. By taking proper care of your antique furniture, you’ll ensure that it remains beautiful for years to come.
Keep Reading: How to care for vintage furniture
The best websites to sell antique furniture
When you have determined a price for your antique furniture and you’re ready to sell it, you may face another problem: finding a buyer. That being said, there are plenty of options available to you online. Let’s lay them out.
- Etsy: With its focus on unique and vintage items, Etsy is a great place to list your antique furniture.
- Chairish: This website is particularly popular for mid-century modern furniture, but also offers a diverse selection of antiques.
- 1stdibs: 1stdibs is a go-to destination for high-end antiques and designer furnishings.
- Rubylane: This site hosts both physical storefronts and online shops, giving your listing added visibility.
- eBay: Despite its reputation as an auction-based website, eBay also allows for fixed price sales – making it a great option for those looking to sell their antique furniture quickly.
- Do U Have: Do U Have is an online marketplace dedicated to secondhand buyers. You can browse all posts to see if someone out there is looking for your specific piece of antique furniture (or something similar). You can reach out to them directly and make plans for purchasing and transferring the item.
Keep Reading: Tips on how to sell antique or vintage furniture