You Might Be Sitting on Extra Cash. Expert Tips on Reselling Furniture
Updated: May 19
Did you know that you might be sitting on extra cash and not even realize it? Check out these expert tips we found on reselling your furniture and which pre-owned furniture is fetching the highest prices. With the re-sale market HOT, it’s time to part with that furniture that’s been collecting dust in your storage.
Are you sitting on cash?
By Michelle S. Feb. 5, 2022
A FEW MONTHS AGO furniture flipper Leslie Jarrett of Denver, Colo., found a 12-drawer dresser on Facebook Marketplace for $40. That was pretty much what secondhand, solid-wood case pieces fetched at the beginning of the supply-chain crisis. But before she could slap a coat of primer on it, a neighbor frustrated by an endless wait for a Pottery Barn delivery offered her $400. She sold the piece, of course, but today she says, “I wish I could get it back because I could sell it for $800 now.” If you’ve ever fantasized about selling your hand-me-down or other “pre-owned” furniture, now’s the time.
If you’ve ever fantasized about selling your hand-me-down or other “pre-owned” furniture, now’s the time.
“Demand is increasing for everything from high-end antiques to well-known new brands like CB2,” said Alpay Koralturk, founder of secondhand furniture site Kaiyo, where last year 68% of sellers were first-timers.
Mr. Koralturk said items with brand-verification marks or tags command a premium. “If we have two of the exact same product, the one where you can show authenticity will sell for an average of 10% more.” On Kaiyo, brands that increased most in value from 2020 to 2021 include Drexel Heritage (up 13.8 %) as well as anything sold at Design Within Reach (up 13.6 %).
Pieces in good condition from high-end brands and well-known designers such as Roche-Bobois and Ralph Lauren “in some cases even increase in value over time,” said Anna Brockway, co-founder of the online furniture marketplace Chairish. For instance, a used leather Knole Sofa from George Smith is for sale on Chairish for $12,500; the price of a new Knole sofa starts at $9,298.
Desired categories include upholstered pieces and flexible small-scale furniture, said Denver, N.C., furniture flipper Flo Ward, of We Chic’d It. A makeup vanity can be a desk, console or serving table, for example. “We used to be able to get them for a few dollars or less at yard sales or just about anywhere, but now if you can find one, you might pay $200 or more.” If you've been storing furniture and home decor you no longer use or want, now is a great time to start clearing out that extra stuff. Before you set that old sofa or antique dresser on the curb, however, consider the potential resale value of the piece. "You'd be surprised at what you might be able to sell," says Natalie Angelillo, vice president of community at OfferUp, an online marketplace. "Even items that are slightly damaged or have normal wear and tear can still be sold to the right person."
Selling unwanted furniture and decor online is an easy way to make some extra cash (and free up space around the house). In fact, according to a new report from the online resale marketplace Mercari, the average household contains more than $4,500 worth of unused goods that could be resold. Follow these tips for selling furniture and decor online, including finding the right resale site for you.
1. Choose the Right Platform
Listing items on the right platform is key to successfully selling your stuff online. There are tons of options available with a wide variety of features, and the best one for you will depend on your preferred style of retail and the types of items you have to sell. If you just want to get rid of things, consider a site that takes the items off your hands and does the legwork for you. The site dictates the selling price and takes a larger commission. If you're looking to make some money, consider a company where you oversee all aspects of the sale and it takes a lower commission. Remember you'll need to store those things until they sell.
Here are some of the best places to sell furniture, apparel, and decor online.
Curated Home Sources
Shopping secondhand sites with a targeted selection of vintage, antique, and gently used contemporary items is a surefire way to find unique furnishings. These sites also help you navigate getting the goods to or from your house.
To start selling at Chairish, create an online listing and submit it for review. Chairish will optimize it for search results, edit the lead image, and post it. In return, the site gets a 30% commission. Must-try for buyers: the "View in Your Space" app lets you see via augmented reality what an item looks like in your home. We like Chairish for its high-quality vintage pieces and on-trend items, such as a velvet upholstered sofa or cane-back dining chairs.
While Chairish is nationwide, AptDeco takes a more localized approach with service in parts of Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Philadelphia, Delaware, and the San Francisco Bay Area. Buyers can search by category or brand. Listings are easy to create, and AptDeco enhances your photos before posting. Its cut is 19 to 38%. Local Sales
Craiglist, OfferUp, Facebook Marketplace
These sites act like free classified ads, connecting local buyers and sellers. Include as many details as you can and research similar items to set the price—either a firm one or best offer. SAles are made in person and cash is preferred, so make safety a priority. Craigslist is great for quick sales at bargain prices, while OfferUp lets you quickly post listings for local delivery or pickup and nationwide shipping straight from your phone. Facebook Marketplace is ideal for local listings and easily accessible through your Facebook account.
Though curated sites deliver a shopping experience that feels like browsing a store, shopping these behemoths is akin to hunting flea markets for a find. Sell or search for anything: clothing, decor, electronics, memorabilia, etc.
EBay appeals to buyers looking for a needle in a haystack—something specific, difficult to find, or collectible. Buyers sift through over a billion listings at any given time. Creating a listing is user-friendly. Choose the "Buy It Now" feature to allow a shopper to buy a piece immediately or an auction in hopes of generating competitive bidding. EBay gives you a limited number of free listings per month, then charges a small listing fee, which tops out at 12.85%. Category exceptions may apply.
Etsy is a popular destination for selling homemade goods as well as secondhand decor, including artwork, rugs, and furniture. It costs 20 cents to publish a listing to Etsy's marketplace, and a listing lasts for four months or until the item is sold. There is also a 5% transaction fee on the sale price.
Gaining popularity among people looking to score yard sale-type deals, Mercari uses seller's images and data to recommend prices based on similar listings. The site takes 10% on sales, and there's never a listing fee. This is a point of difference and cost savings for sellers who want to list vast quantities or refresh and repost stale listings to attract a buyer. You can sell nearly anything you can ship, and have your stuff picked up by a driver and delivered locally.
If you're new to the resale game, start by listing one item on a single platform to test how well it works for you. Continue with the rest of your items if the process goes smoothly. Otherwise, consider switching to a different site.
2. Clean or Repair the Item As Needed
Before listing something online, complete any necessary cleaning or touch-ups. Clear off any dust or cobwebs, and treat stains on rugs and upholstered items. Consider completing minor repairs, such as re-attaching a broken sofa leg or getting an old lamp re-wired, to make the item more functional and attractive to potential buyers. A fresh coat of paint or a new wood finish can also help make the item look like new.
3. Take Quality Photos
"Within online selling platforms, buyers tend to be very visual and will only stop to read the description for an item that catches their eye," says Amy Mings, a frequent Facebook Marketplace user and blogger at Maison de Mings. To ensure buyers know exactly what they're getting, your listing should include several accurate, high-quality photos of the item from different angles, including a full view of the front and sides and close-up shots of details or damaged areas. Take photos in natural light (with no added filters) against a neutral background that's free of clutter for a more professional look.
4. Write a Detailed Description
The item's description should answer any questions the buyer might have and include keywords, such as "gray upholstered sofa" or "small wood dining table," to help your listing appear in searches on the site. Include as many details as possible, such as the age of the object, brand name, color, style, dimensions, or even an interesting story about how you got it. "If your item is similar in style to a popular name brand, like Pottery Barn or West Elm, you should mention that as well," Angelillo suggests.
Additionally, be honest about the piece's condition and make note of any dents, scratches, or damaged areas. It's best if the buyer knows ahead of time about any damage; otherwise, they might insist on returning the item, which creates an even bigger hassle for you.
"You will also want to consider listing delivery and/or pickup arrangements within the description," Mings says. "Sellers that are willing to meet or deliver the item generally have quicker sales than those that offer pickup only." And perhaps most importantly, the sentences should contain proper spelling, grammar, and punctuation so the description reads clearly.
5. Practice Safe Delivery or Pickup
Selling furniture and decor online requires proper safety precautions to protect you and your information. First, read the seller's profile before you buy. Be wary if they have poor (or no) ratings or reviews from previous sales. Only communicate with the buyer through your chosen resale platform so you can easily report issues if they arise. Don't give out personal information including your phone number, email address, passwords, or banking information.
Discuss the details of the sale, including the price and type of payment, with the buyer ahead of time. When paying online, use the platform's integrated payment methods only. If you're meeting in person, ask for payment in cash or through a secure payment service, such as PayPal. For extra precaution, plan to meet the person in a well-lit public place, like a shopping center or police station parking lot, instead of inviting them to your home. When meeting in another location isn't feasible or convenient, only give out your address if the person is committed to purchasing the item. If possible, move the item to your garage or driveway to avoid having the buyer enter your home. Have a buddy with you or inform someone else of your plans.
In light of the coronavirus pandemic, contact-free approaches are a good idea where possible. "If you are selling items to someone located in your area, you can also consider having the buyer pick it up at your doorstep (we call it a 'porch pickup'), or you can drop it off on theirs to limit personal interaction," Angelillo says. If the item is small or not easily breakable, shipping might be your safest option. Choose a trackable shipping service (and tick the insurance box) so you have proof against claims of no delivery. Regardless of your preferred delivery method, it's best to clean and disinfect the item as well as you can before sending it off so it's in the nicest condition possible.
With these best practices, selling your stuff online can be simple. Now all you have to do is clear out that clutter!
6. NOT EVERYTHING CAN BE RESOLD OR DONATED - SOME FURNITURE IS JUST READY FOR THE DUMP.
How you throw furniture away will largely depend on how much you need to get rid of and how quickly you want to get the job done. Before getting started, take inventory of the furniture you’re removing, as well as any other junk you may be throwing out. Items in good condition can be donated, but if there are major tears, scrapes or pet damage, you’ll need to get rid of the furniture.
If you’ve exhausted your resale options and even your college freshman won’t take the old sofa, take a look at the furniture disposal options below to find the best solution.
1. Rent a Roll Off Dumpster This is a quick and affordable way to get rid of furniture and other junk during a home cleanout. We offer a variety of different dumpster rental sizes you can choose from, ranging from 10 to 40 yards. Once you’ve picked a size that fits your project, we will drop off the container in a spot of your choosing. Then, you can easily load your couch, chairs and everything else into the bin. When you’re finished, just schedule your pickup online and we’ll come haul it away. This option is ideal for home cleanouts and major junk removal or decluttering projects, as it allows you to work at your own pace as you sort through your items.
Benefits VS. Things to Consider
-Load your furniture at your own pace. -Best for removing multiple items, or large furniture.
-No need to be home for pickup.
-You have to load your own items.
-Low, upfront rate is provided before your rental arrives.
-Offers a guaranteed, scheduled removal of your furniture.
2. Haul it to the Landfill With the right size pickup truck, you might be able to dump furniture yourself at the local landfill. If you don’t need to get rid of that old couch right away, see if your area landfill offers free bulk waste disposal days and wait until then to dump it. Always call before hauling your items, as some locations are not open for public dumping, or may not be able to dispose of certain types of furniture.
Benefits VS. Things to Consider
- Low-cost or free furniture disposal option.
- Requires access to a truck. - Allows you to remove furniture at your own pace.
- Nearest landfill may be far away or not open to the public.
- Could require multiple trips.
Knowing where to throw away furniture on your own can be a great way to save money on disposal costs. But remember that some landfills and curbside services do not offer furniture disposal. If your local providers do, there may be limits in what furniture they can accept or the number of items they can take each week. Always call ahead to confirm whether your items can be dumped. The easiest method is renting a Sameday Dumpster and letting us haul it away. Need to get rid of furniture? Call Us Today: 801-935-0297