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Selling Antique Furniture

I am looking for advice on an antique or vintage dining set. I have been trying to research and study up on this dining room set for almost a year.

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I am wondering the value. I also don't have a problem with a dealer taking a percentage of the sale. Who or where is the best place to go?

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December 20, 20190 found this helpful
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There are a few things you should consider before calling an appraiser or even an antique dealer.
1.) what is their specialty? If they are not familiar with vintage/antique furniture they probably cannot really help you. Not that they will tell you right off what they work with but maybe you can ask a few questions and find out a little. Can they tell you the value on the spot or will they have to do research? Most should tell you a 'somewhat' figure but current value should require a little research.
2.) Do they own a store or are do they just do appraisals? Owning a store means they may wish to buy it and may give you a low-ball figure unless you state in advance that you want a written appraisal. They will be more careful if they know they are going to sign their name to an appraisal.
3.) Always ask for an estimate before asking someone to appraise an item, whether they are doing it by remote or coming to your house.

I always suggest asking for a free appraisal online before going to a 'hands on' appraisal as many times you can gain valuable information for free.
Many of the free appraisal sites will not provide an appraisal for free if the item is valued at less than $500. This is because they all represent auction houses and may wish to see your item.

If you wish to try one of these sites you will need more pictures and a very good description (your best) as well as measurements. State any damage you see.
They will also wish to know where you are located and any information (provenance) you have on this set.
I believe your set will go over the $500 mark so that should not be a problem.
Your pictures are good but you need several full length pictures (standing away from the table) without chairs. Also full length pictures of one chair - front, side and back.

Here is a link but you should post your question to several sites.

www.whatsellsbest.com/.../antiques.html

If you wish to have an excellent appraisal you should use this link and pay the $20 fee, which - most likely - you will never regret paying.
This site is a part of Barnaby's auction house.

www.valuemystuff.com/.../start-valuation

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December 21, 20190 found this helpful
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This is a really interesting grouping. It is not clear from the photos, because there is so much that needs studied (truthfully best in person--so I am only going by what I can see in a zoom on the photos), but at first blush it appears that chairs may not be original to the table.

The wood seems a different color and the shape of the turns are different.This may be why you are having trouble finding comparable items.

The table looks to be an Italian Renaissance Revival (1890 to 1930). The chairs are much less ornate and may be from the 1940s-1950s.

My suggestions go along with the suggestions of cybergrannie.

Although before I would pay any money for an appraisal, I would love to hear a discussion on the items from the Facebook group called Antique & Vintage Furniture Identification and Estimated Values. You will have to ask to join and answer some questions. Once you are approved, you can upload your photos and ask for guidance there. People can sell from that site so keep that in your back pocket.

Please know that generally, values are a totally different animal as they are regional. In NC, one of the furniture hubs of the country, you may well fetch much more for these pieces (together or separately) than I would in Pittsburgh or another person in Texas, but a buyer in California may pay twice what one would in NC. Furniture is very supply and demand driven and low supply and high demand can give you totally different audiences and selling prices.

I think the table at least, my jury is still out on the chairs, but I feel the table may have a significant value to it, and if it does, it would be best sold in an auction format (not eBay) but a real, antique and collectible auction where their book is shared nationally and maybe even internationally and they take care of the freight shipping.

Please post back what you learn. Thanks for sharing these neat items!

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25 More Questions

Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

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
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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.

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.

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.

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.

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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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.

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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...

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

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 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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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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I know it was sold in auction previously. It has J.L.F &CPT. Co. stamped on back as well as writing with number 241.

I am trying to sell it, but don't know what a fair asking price would be.

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We are selling this table and wanted to make sure it was not worth more or less than what we are asking (we are asking $50) and it needs some TLC. My mother gave it to me a few years ago and we need a different type of table for my family.

Thanks in advance!

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July 11, 2019

I have kept my grandma's old extendable dining room table and 6 chairs hoping I would use them properly, but my home doesn't fit them in. I occasionally use the table, but it is always covered with a table cloth.

Any ideas of what they are worth? I am thinking of selling them. It feels like such a waste of lovely old furniture.

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January 7, 2015

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.

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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, 2014

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.

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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, 2013

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

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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.

toronto.en.craigslist.ca/.../

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