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Selling Antique Furniture

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When you are selling vintage pieces of furniture you will want to get the best price for it. This guide is about selling antique furniture.
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By 0 found this helpful
September 23, 2018

I am selling antique furniture, a Roma living room set. My grandparents kept these couches covered in plastic which was just taken off recently for pics for selling. I have no idea what to sell them for. We are selling the entire set, lamps, end tables, and coffee table. Does anyone know or have any suggestions on best place to sell and for how much?

Thanks!

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September 24, 20180 found this helpful
Best Answer

Large pieces are best sold either through an estate sale or dealer, who will take a percentage, but they have the means to take it from your place and deliver to the new place. Some purchase outright and then sell in their stores. This is your best option if you can get someone to call you back and schedule.

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A formal estate sale in the home is usually the next best option, but realize many things will go unsold and you will need to either work with them or on you own have plans B, C, and D and maybe E for what to do with what didn't sell....like give pieces to family, donate (and it will probably need to be a place that can pick it up and some donation sites only take certain items and not others, so you may need several donation site) or give it away by the curb, etc.

The hardest option is if you try to sell them yourself, Facebook Marketplace, Next Door or your local classifieds are good sources. Apps like Letgo are OK also. You may need to break up the set as large pieces are super hard to sell and sometimes people just want to replace a chair, or a couch or a lamp. Sometimes you will get lucky and find someone who needs it all, but that is like a four leave clover, they exist, but are really hard to find.

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Selling on your own means people have to come into the house to see it (safety first as you will always need a second person to be with you, and you need to be sure they can take the furniture and haul it once they buy it. I have known of people that have bought furniture and then damaged it while trying to haul it and then demanded a refund for damaged merchandise.

Please know that unfortunately no matter which way you sell it, 9 times out of 10 selling furniture also takes a very long time. I just did an uncle's estate with large pieces of furniture and it took from April until about 2 weeks ago to sell all the big pieces and I still have a bunch of the smalls (lamps and such) we need to sell. No one is interested and we may just end up donating. It is very stressful as vendors don't call back, have long wait lists for appointments, potential buyers are late, cancel an hour after appointment etc.

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I looked up the sets on eBay and there are two similar unsold furniture sets like yours, one in the 899 range and one at 1,400. This tells me the market demand for the pieces is low.

I don't usually use similar items for comparison sake, but with pieces like yours you may never find an exact set because people did custom upholstery, pieces got damaged and some of the gingerbread decorations came off and were repaired, etc.

I would start the entire set at 400-600 and take best offer if it was mine to sell, knowing you may only get 200 or less for it all (furniture). It is gorgeous, but sadly that has nothing to do with the market. The market is people don't have money or space these days and they want small, simple furniture in neutral colors like black and tan. BORING, but true!

You may get more for the lamps and the mirrors than the individual furniture pieces as people like to change out accessories. Maybe you can find a brand on them and look them up on eBay using the sold section to see what people actually got for them.

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Without knowing brands, I am guesstimating 100 for each to start, but rare brands may fetch more. I am having trouble selling my lamps because they are small and very common styles. Yours are much more ornate.

If you need more info, please ask me. I have lots of experience being in your shoes and it is tough!

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By 0 found this helpful
September 4, 2018

I'm thinking of selling this piece. I bought it several years ago at a garage sale from an elderly couple. Unfortunately, it doesn't have markings of any kind. I looked everywhere. I just want to make sure I don't undersell it. Thanks in advance.

Answers

September 4, 20180 found this helpful

This is a neat piece...and I may be able help give you more info if you can add a few things...

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1. Is the back real wood or is it particle board? You can feel the different by knocking on it...wood has a rich sound, particle board sounds hollow and feels rough to the touch.

2. Are the drawers dove tail grooves or are they nailed together, screwed together, glued together?

3. What is used to hold up the shelves--are they plastic clips or wood ledges?

At first this looked like an antique...but zooming makes me think it is a 1980s piece...just want to be able to do my due diligence before answering.

Thanks!

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September 4, 20180 found this helpful

It is a nice piece. I would take the pictures to a dealer or two to get verbal appraisals

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September 5, 20180 found this helpful

The drawers are dovetailed. I thought I had included a picture of an open one but I guess not. The back is open but real wood. The shelves are held up by little wooden dowels. Thank you for your help.

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September 5, 20180 found this helpful

It should say the back is thin, not open. Like plywood.

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September 5, 20180 found this helpful

It should say the back is thin, not open. Like plywood.

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Anonymous
September 5, 20180 found this helpful

I didnt mean to say the back is open, I was speaking my answer. It should say thin. Like plywood.

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September 6, 20180 found this helpful

Thanks for posting the extra pictures!

While I am far from an expert, I like to dabble in furniture and have a few comments for you that I hope are helpful in finding a value and deciding whether to sell or not.

These pieces are typically referred to as a secretary or a combination bookcase or a side by sideso when you are searching for comparables you may have to search a bunch of ways to find a match.

The hard thing is you probably will NOT find an exact matchbecause there were many of these utilitarian pieces made in the 20th century. Also, people frequently modified these to meet their own needs so you may never find an exact match (like removing a shelf, changing hardware, prying off the gingerbread decorations, etc.).

These were workhorse pieces and got a lot of use so they also got damaged and parts wore out and were replaced.

Yours has nice dovetail drawers, it looks plywood base, which would date (most likely) after 1928probably into the early 1930s (no wire drops on the desk leaf that were popular in the 1950s).

The cuts on the legs and other details also confirm it was most likely machine madeagain pointing to the late 1920s. I say this with the caveat that I cannot see and touch it and look at screws etc.because it could be a really nice reproduction piecewhich would take a true expert to tell you).

I would call this piece craftsman style (not all fu-fu and girly like the Victorian gingerbread). That era ended in the late 1920svery early 1930s (depending on who you talk to).

If this is a 1928ish piece, the back looks like it is replaced as an original back would look much more weathered (see this link for what I would want to see in an original back)
www.ebay.com/.../132744717753?hash=item1ee833a5b9...

For me, setting a value is going to be a bit of a challenge because it is going to be very hard to find an exact matchand I am all about exact matches when valuing. This is one of the few times I suggest using the genre as a guide (see below).

You could take it to an antique dealer and ask him/her to give you an insurance valuewhich would tell you what it is worth in your area.

If you dont want to invest the time hauling it or pictures of it around, you have some options if you want to do it yourself and sell...

1. To find the genre value, you can use eBay as a guide (looking only at what is SOLD) and find the average range of saleswhich I did today and is between $50 and $200so the average is about $100-$110 if I carried my ones correctly).

I used this link:

www.ebay.com/.../i.html?_from=R40&_nkw=oak+combination...

I will tell you that selling it online would be a nightmare as you would either have to worry about shipping or someone coming to pick it up.

Selling on Facebook or Craigslist would be your best bet. I would start it in the low $200s (which is what the most expensive one got on eBay) and take best offer (always start high and work down).

2. You can take it to an antique or consignment store and have them sell it for youwith them taking a percentage. They will know the audience of your area and if here is a high demand, low supply or low demand and high supplywhich dictates the price.

It is a nice find! If it were me, I would enjoy it if you have room. It can be quite versatile as it holds todays laptops nicely!

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September 7, 20180 found this helpful

Thanks for all your help, it was more than I expected! I really appreciate it. I learned a lot. :)
Cindy

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September 7, 20180 found this helpful

Happy to help! I love cool pieces like this! It's neat to think about it's history and how it was used!

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By 1 found this helpful
May 17, 2016

I have what I believe is a Rococo French series bedroom set. We got it from an estate sale like 15-20 years ago. It is unknown how long the original owner had it. I have the queen size bed with headboard and foot board, a 5 drawer tall dresser, a vanity with mirror and matching stool, and 2 night stands. It's still in excellent condition. It's absolutely beautiful furniture, just too fancy for me.

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August 16, 20170 found this helpful

It appears that the bedroom sets start selling around $800 on eBay and go up from there. The more pieces you have, the more they are selling for. Some people are asking $1,495 for their bedroom set. They don't have as many pieces as you do.

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August 16, 20170 found this helpful

You would need to know who manufactured this set. Some names are more expensive than others, even if they are the same style.

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By 0 found this helpful
September 14, 2018

We have this piece that has been in the family, but not used for years. It needs some work on the flat surface and legs. Is there a market for people who want to refurbish furniture who will pay a nominal amount for the piece, since they would need to refinish it?

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January 7, 20150 found this helpful

I posted an ad on Craigslist to sell an antique desk and was deluged by shipping/MoneyGram scams. Any suggestions on how to sell without dealing with crooks? By the way, the photo shows that each shelf is pegged by a single peg and each drawer by double pegs.

By Ed G.

Answers

December 4, 20170 found this helpful

It is a very pretty desk! Try calling various antique shops and see if you can sell there on commission.

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December 12, 20140 found this helpful

We have an older bedroom set of curley maple furniture. It is in pretty good shape. I was wondering how to even begin with selling it. What would a good price be without really taking a hit?

By Jenise B.

Answers

December 14, 20140 found this helpful

Maybe there is an antique dealer near by that would appraise it for you but I would be careful and get more than one opinion.
Take some good photographs and show them to some of the antique dealers or you may want to use an auction house if there is one near by.

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May 22, 20130 found this helpful

I have a dining room set made in Philadelphia in 1927. It includes a buffet, hutch, table, and 6 chairs. It does need refinishing. The table was refinished. I am wondering how much I could ask for it?

By Urszula from Brampton, Ontario, Canada

Answers

May 24, 20130 found this helpful

I suggest you search the Craigslist.ca for the city nearest you in the furniture section and see what other people are asking for similar things. Since it needs refinishing your potential market will be smaller since not everyone wants to do the refinishing.

http://toronto.  list.ca/bra/fua/

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By 0 found this helpful
July 16, 2010

I have two antique matching window chairs, one is a rocker and other is a chair. They have never been refinished. They have the extra spindles. I am planning on putting them in a fundraiser yard sale. Are they to valuable to put in a yard sale? Please help.

By margaret from Nova Scotia, Canada

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July 16, 20100 found this helpful

Probably, People don't look for things of value to pay any value at a yard sale. They want stuff for next to nothing. Your best bet would be an auction if you know anyone having an auction and they don't mind if you add your chairs. A local newspaper ad. Craigs List on the internet. Or maybe a second had shop that does sales with commission.

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By 0 found this helpful
May 12, 2009

I have some antique furniture that I would like to sell at the right price. I do not want to be ripped off. How do I do this?

By anne roberts from Flintshire

Answers

Anonymous
May 18, 20090 found this helpful

You could sell them on www.craigslist.com or put them in a consignment shop. At CraigsList, you can place ads and pictures of the items for free and people in your area will reply to the ads.

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November 14, 20050 found this helpful

How do I research and sell my antique furniture. Post your advice here.

Editor's Note: Please do not post ads for buying or selling specific furniture here or for getting price quotes. This is an informational resource only.

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September 21, 20150 found this helpful

I have a very old bedroom suiet. How do i find information on who made this and how much its worth?

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August 22, 20140 found this helpful

How can I find the best price for antique furniture?

By Cynndi

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May 9, 20140 found this helpful

How would you quote a price on a 1800 century dress mirror three drawers on small wheels? I have picture. It is in fairly good condition over all.

By Ida

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