If you’re like most people, you probably have a piece or two of antique furniture collecting dust in your attic or basement. Instead of letting it languish in storage, why not sell it and make some money? With a little effort, you can find a buyer who appreciates your furniture for what it is—a piece of history. Here’s how to get started.
Research the Value of Your Furniture
Before you can sell your antique furniture, you need to know how much it’s worth. The value of furniture can vary wildly depending on its age, condition, and provenance. To get a general idea of your furniture’s value, start by doing some research online. Look for similar pieces that have been sold recently and compare them to your own. Once you have a ballpark figure, you can begin looking for potential buyers.
Reach Out to Local Antique Dealers
One of the best ways to find a buyer for your furniture is to reach out to local antique dealers. These professionals have a deep knowledge of the market and will be able to give you a good idea of what your furniture is worth. They may even be interested in purchasing it themselves! Make sure to bring along any documentation you have proving the age and provenance of your piece when meeting with an antique dealer.
Sell Through an Online Auction House
If you’re not having any luck finding a local buyer, don’t worry—you can always sell your furniture online. There are a number of reputable online auction houses that specialize in selling antique furniture. However, before you go this route, be aware that these businesses typically take a cut of the final sale price (usually around 15-20%).
Examples of Online Auction Houses:
eBay is one of the most well-known online auction platforms in the world. Based in San Jose, California, eBay was founded in 1995 and now boasts over 180 million active users. On eBay, you can find just about anything imaginable for sale, from vintage clothing to new cars. Sellers can list items for auction or for fixed prices, and buyers can bid on items or purchase them outright.
One thing to keep in mind if you’re considering using eBay is that fees can eat into your profits if you’re not careful. For example, standard insertion fees range from $0.35 to $2.00 per listing, while final value fees range from 2% to 12% of the total sale price—and that’s not counting any PayPal fees you may incur. Still, eBay is a great option if you’re looking for a widely-used platform with a huge selection of items.
Bonanza is a relative newcomer on the online auction scene, having only been founded in 2007. Nevertheless, this Seattle-based company has quickly established itself as a top player in the industry, thanks in part to its focus on offering low seller fees. In fact, Bonanza doesn’t charge any listing fees at all—you only pay a final value fee of 3.5% if your item sells. That makes it a great option for sellers looking to maximize their profits.
In addition to low seller fees, Bonanza also offers users a number of helpful features such as integrated shipping calculators and the ability to create custom coupons and discount codes. And with over 50 million monthly visitors, Bonanza gives you access to a large audience of potential buyers.
If you’re looking for an online platform specializing in the sale of antiques and collectibles, Ruby Lane is definitely worth checking out. Based in San Francisco, Ruby Lane has been in business since 1998 and currently has over 2,500 shops selling everything from vintage toys to estate jewelry. With such a wide selection of goods on offer, it’s no wonder that Ruby Lane attracts over 7 million unique visitors each month.
One downside of Ruby Lane is that it isn’t free to list items—sellers must pay either a $100 monthly fee or a $300 yearly fee regardless of whether their item sells or not. However, given the high quality of traffic Ruby Lane attracts, many sellers feel that the fees are worth it.
What Can Impact the Price of Your Antique Furniture?
A piece of antique furniture that is in good condition can be worth thousands of dollars. However there are several factors that can impact this valuation. Let’s break them down.
One of the most important factors that affects the value of antique furniture is its age. The older the piece of furniture, the more valuable it will be. This is because pieces of furniture that are hundreds of years old are quite rare. If you have a piece of furniture that is over 100 years old, it could be worth a lot of money.
Another important factor that affects the value of antique furniture is its condition. Pieces of furniture that are in good condition will be worth more than pieces of furniture that are in poor condition. If you have a piece of furniture that is in need of repair, it will not be as valuable as a piece which is in good condition.
Type of Furniture
The type of furniture also affects the value of antique furniture. Some types of furniture, such as chairs and tables, are more common than others and as a result, are not as valuable. Other types of furniture, such as armoires and sideboards, are less common and are more valuable as a result. If you have a piece of rare or unusual furniture, it will be worth more than a more common type of furniture.