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How to Sell Used (Old, Vintage, Antique) Furniture Online

10 min read

There’s a big market for antique furniture out there. If you have an eye for antiques and want in on a piece of the action, selling antique furniture online is a great way to make it happen.

In this article, we’ll go over what steps you should take to prepare antique furniture to sell online. Then, you’ll learn about our three favorite platforms to sell used furniture online. Keep reading to find out how to turn your antique furniture addiction into cash!

How to sell online
Tips from e-commerce experts for small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs.
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Prepping the Furniture

Perhaps one of the most crucial parts of the online selling process is preparing your antique furniture for sale. If you’re not thorough in the preparation stage of selling, it could cost you some serious cash later.

Luckily, preparing to sell old furniture online is easier than you might think. Here are a few of the major bullet points you should know before posting your items for sale:

Get an appraisal

You may think you know the value of the vintage and antique furniture pieces you want to sell. However, you might be surprised at how valuable some pieces are. One antique badminton cabinet sold for $36.7 million at auction, making it the most expensive piece of antique furniture ever.

The Badminton Cabinet in Liechtenstein Museum

The Badminton Cabinet in Liechtenstein Museum (image source)

Even though recruiting the help of an appraiser is an investment, it’s worth the extra cash.

You must protect yourself from selling old furniture for less than it’s worth. It’s undeniable that the best way to do this is by hiring an appraiser to advise you on the value of your piece. Appraisers are highly-trained professionals that specialize in valuing antique furniture and helping you get the top dollar for your sale.

On the other hand, if you price an item too high, you’re not likely to make the sale. Even minor cosmetic issues can drastically reduce the value of a piece. Appraisers have a keen eye for detail and can advise you what issues the furniture might have that would hurt the selling price.

Consider restoring antique furniture

If you have a piece of antique furniture that’s not in the best shape, one option to consider is restoring the furniture. Furniture restoration focuses on repairing cosmetic issues and conditioning furniture to last for decades to come.

When you commit to restoring a piece of furniture, it can be a months-long process. Especially when it comes to high-value, old pieces, you must take extra special care that the items are restored properly and that the piece retains as much of its original personality as possible.

Did you know the process of furniture restoration is not solely to make pieces look better? While that is a side effect of the restoration, the true goal is to restore the piece to be as close to its original condition as possible. After all, collectors in the antique furniture market are looking for unique pieces that have a character from a different time.

You should take extreme caution if you plan to attempt to restore antique furniture on your own. It might seem like an easy DIY project to you, but there is a laundry list of protocols that must be followed to retain the furniture’s value. Many modern cleaning chemicals and polishes can ruin a piece’s veneer, which takes a big hit to the value.

Professional antique furniture restorers are the best people for this job. Years of knowledge and experience retaining the quality and look of antique furniture pieces is what you need to get the most cash selling furniture online.

Create high-quality images

High-quality old furniture images are your best friend when selling furniture online. When an interested buyer checks out your listing, their first impression matters. Low-quality, grainy, or blurry images leave a bad taste in a buyer’s mouth, especially when the asking price is high.

Creating a positive relationship with customers is all about building confidence. Also, buying big-ticket items like antique furniture online can be a risky business. Capturing striking images encourages buyers to make a purchase. It fosters peace of mind that when the buyer receives the piece, it will look exactly like the image.

Here are a few things to keep in mind when capturing product images:

  1. Avoid leaving too much to the imagination. Capture images from many angles and in good lighting. Shoppers will appreciate the transparency, which will make them more likely to buy from you.
  2. Consider staging the furniture. Adding a few pieces of minimalistic decor on top of the furniture can increase the curb appeal of your piece, which makes it a more attractive option.
  3. Don’t be afraid to stand out. There is no shortage of antique furniture sellers in the business these days. What makes you unique? Be sure to showcase whatever that is.

Choosing a Platform

Now, on to the fun part — making money! Choosing the right platform to sell old furniture online is a big decision. Opting to use national platforms with their own infrastructure is a great way to get your product in front of a large crowd, but fees can reduce the amount of money that goes into your pocket. On the other hand,

Facebook Marketplace

Facebook Marketplace is a great option to sell used furniture online. Creating a listing is as simple as creating a title, adding a description, price, and category, and you’re done! Since Facebook is one of the most popular social media platforms out there, it means you get to advertise to a ridiculously large audience.

Even though Facebook Marketplace has many benefits, there are some downfalls to the platform. For one, the platform takes a 5% fee on sales over $8. It might not sound like much, but if you want to sell high-value antique furniture, that fee can add up to hundreds of dollars. Also, purchases aren’t protected on the Marketplace, which means that buyers might be hesitant to make large purchases on the platform.

eBay

eBay is an auction house that is known for its eclectic offerings. But did you know it’s one of the best places to sell antique furniture online? It’s true — their audience includes an awesome mix of many different types of buyers, and people looking for something unique often flock to the platform.

Selling antique furniture on eBay is simple. You have two choices:

  • Sell auction-style, where you set a minimum price and the item goes to the highest bidder
  • Set a buying price, where consumers can instantly purchase the item

It’s never a bad idea to go auction-style with your antique furniture. Since you can set a minimum price, it’s guaranteed that you won’t get less than a piece is worth. Bidding wars between users drive the price up higher and higher, which could result in big bucks for you!

On the other hand, if you’re looking for a quick sale, implementing an instant buy price is the best route to go. You won’t have to wait for the last day of the auction to get paid, which means quicker cash for you.

Create your own online store

Even though using national stores’ infrastructure is a great way to get your antique furniture out there, it’s not the only way. Creating your own store online is a wonderful way to go, too. You have the flexibility to set your store up the way you’d like and there’s no middle man taking money out of your pocket.

If you’re worried that setting up your online store might be too difficult, think again. With Ecwid, you can tap into the easiest way to sell antique furniture online. You can use your shiny, new online store to sell across all your social media platforms, and you can get started for free.

What’s holding you back? Start selling antique furniture online with Ecwid today.

Do you want to learn more about selling furniture online?

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About the author

Max has been working in the ecommerce industry for the last six years helping brands to establish and level-up content marketing and SEO. Despite that, he has experience with entrepreneurship. He is a fiction writer in his free time.

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