sell used furniture

How to Make the Most Money When Selling Your Used Furniture

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When it’s time to replace that old and slightly worn sofa, chair or other piece of furniture, you don’t have to necessarily set it out on the curb with a “free” sign. If your furniture items are in fairly decent shape, you may be able to get some cash for them.

There are several places to sell used furniture and get some money that can go toward the purchase of your new furniture pieces or even toward other financial goals such as paying off debt, building your emergency fund, or even saving for a vacation.

With that said, before you give your used furniture away, or bring it to the junkyard or pay someone to take it, consider for a moment earning a little extra cash by selling it.

If you have some used furniture you’d like to sell, here’s a list of the top ways to let people know about it and add a little extra cash to your life in the process.

1. Chairish

Chairish is simply an online consignment store. You can sell a number of items on Chairish including:

  • Furniture
  • Rugs
  • Mirrors
  • Art pieces
  • Lighting
  • Other types of decor
  • Outdoor furniture and other outdoor items.

Chairish makes it easy for you to list your items, and will charge you a flat rate of 20% of your sale price. They’ll also help you arrange for shipping if you would like them to.

This means that you can widen your viewing audience by offering to buyers who aren’t in close proximity to where you live if you’re okay with dealing with shipping.

Bonus: The site shares tips on how to better advertise your items for sale and has a 24/7 customer service line if you need help.

2. Craigslist

Craigslist is probably one of the most popular places to sell used furniture. It’s free, easy to use and highly popular. There’s always an abundant selection of furniture for sale on most local Craigslist sites.

The biggest note I’d add when selling used furniture on Craigslist (or any similar site) is to be sure you’re using safety precautions and meeting potential buyers in a way that is safe and secure.

Generally when you’re selling furniture the buyer or potential buyer is going to come to your home – you’re not going to be lugging a sofa up to the local Walmart to meet.

Put security practices in place when allowing buyers into your home. Try not to be there alone. Have your cell phone on hand. Inform neighbors or others that you’ll be having strangers over and ask them to keep an eye on you.

99% of the buyers on Craigslist are likely fine, but it’s always smart to be aware of the 1% that may not be.

Selling on Craigslist can be a super fast way to get cash for your used furniture and not have to pay any commissions or listing/selling fees.

You Make Like: 27+ Other Sites Just Like Craigslist

3. 1st Dibs

1st Dibs sells both antique and modern jewelry, art, fashion, and yes – furniture. Selling your used furniture on this site isn’t for everyone; you’ll do better if you have higher end furniture that’s in great shape.

And not everyone is allowed to sell on 1st Dibs; you have to fill out an application and be approved as a dealer first. I’d say this site is best for those who have several pieces of furniture to sell; stuff that’s in great shape and can fetch a great price with the right audience.

1st Dibs helps you take care of shipping, etc. too if you end up with an out-of-town buyer. The site isn’t clear on what they charge for a commission on your sales but they do charge one.

4. AptDeco

AptDeco allows sellers in the New York City and surrounding areas to sell their furniture online. I love the professional feel of this site. As a shopper, you can search via brand name and get great deals on brands such as Pottery Barn, Room & Board, Restoration Hardware, etc.

Selling your furniture on AptDeco allows you to reach a large audience (there’s over 8 million residents in New York City alone) and get some help conducting the transaction.

You’ll pay a fee of between 19% and 29% to sell on AptDeco, however they handle all of the shipping arrangements or coordination of pickup by the buyer.

Listing your item on AptDeco is easy: there’s a form you fill out that guides you through entering the brand name of the item you’re selling and even includes pricing suggestions to help you to price your item to sell quickly.

Once your item sells, AptDeco will make a direct deposit to your bank account or debit card within 2 to 5 business days.

5. Apartment Therapy Marketplace

Apartment Therapy Marketplace is an attractive and well-organized website that allows you to sell “pre-loved” furniture and storage items for home and office, decor and accessories, art, vintage and antique and even appliances.

They have an interesting set up for people who want to sell; you can list your items for free, or they will sell you credits to “promote” a listing. You can also use any leftover credits to purchase other items on their site.

What does it mean to “promote” a listing?

First it means that your listing will be moved to the top of all listings – that is until someone else pays with credits to promote a listing.

Second, promoted listings will be included in the company’s weekly digest, which is a weekly email sent out to all members sharing featured listings. Although they used to charge a transaction fee, there are now no transaction fees for when you sell your item on Apartment Therapy Marketplace.

This website doesn’t yet operate in every city like a Craigslist does, but they are in many major cities and invite you to add your city if it’s not already listed. Some of the cities they operate in include:

  • Phoenix
  • New York City
  • Los Angeles
  • Las Vegas
  • Charlotte
  • Dallas

And thousands more, including many other countries around the world.

Bonus: You can also offer your items to ship to other cities around the country if you want to.

For example, when I looked at listings for sofas in my major metropolitan city there were only about a dozen, however there were many more listings in other cities that were willing to ship a sofa to me if I was willing to purchase.

Collecting payment with your buyers is your responsibility and is very similar to how Craigslist sellers and buyers conduct transactions.

6. Viyet

Viyet is an online consignment shop for selling high-end designer furniture and other home decor pieces. You’ll pay a high commission when you sell, but the good news is they do almost all of the work for you, including finding buyers (although I couldn’t find on the website exactly what their process is for finding buyers for your items).

They do have a suggested minimum retail price for the items you want to sell: $1,000.

Here’s does Viyet work?

First, you contact Viyet regarding the piece you want to list. After they accept it for consignment, they’ll send out a curator to examine the piece, measure it, set the price for it and take photographs.

Once your piece sells, a buyer has 48 hours to return the piece after they receive it. If they keep the piece, Viyet sends you your portion of the commission within 30 days.

How much commission will you get?

50% on the sale price, unless you’re selling more than 20 items, in which case your commission portion gets bumped up to 60% of the total sale and Viyet keeps 40%.

If you’ve got higher end pieces to sell that are in relatively good shape, this could be the way to go. Although you’ll have to share a large portion of your profit, Viyet does minimize the amount of work you have to do to sell your items.

7. Trove Marketplace

Trove is another place you can sell your used furniture. Although it is free to list items with Trove, they will take a fee in certain circumstances. For instance, if your buyer pays to buy your furniture with a credit card, Trove will take a 10% commission to cover credit card processing fees.

Items are listed by area and once you sign in with Trove using your Facebook or Google account, they’ll show you items you can buy in your area, and have your location stored so you can list your used furniture for sale.

Trove is obviously a very popular site right now. When I searched for items for sale in my smaller city there were several items that came up for me to choose from. The site is also very well-organized, attractive and easy-to-use.

When you list your items for sale, buyers do have the option to select “Make an offer” on your item, meaning they can offer you less than your listing price to see if you’ll take it.

However, you as a seller are under no obligation to take any price less than what you want to sell it for. I thought this was a nice feature, though, that made it easy for sellers and buyers to negotiate on a price.

Bonus: Trove also has share buttons at the bottom of each listing that allow you to share the items you are selling – or fun items you find – on your Facebook, Pinterest or other sites.

8. Varage Sale

Varage Sale is a site allowing you to sell your used furniture and other items online and list by state or city. The tagline says Created by a mom, for people who feel hesitant about buying and selling online.

Varage Sale is most like Craigslist in terms of features, but with a little more pizzazz. When you buy or sell on this site you need to create a profile for security purposes, which is a nice feature for everyone’s safety.

There are no listing or selling fees on this site. One downside is that you can’t get a whole lot of info on for sale items unless you sign up. This is for security purposes, which is nice, but if you’re leery about giving out personal information, this may not be for you.

As far as becoming a seller, this is a wonderful site to utilize; the listings are attractively placed and security measures are taken to protect everyone.

Bonus: Varage Sale does not allow people to advertise the less-than-ethical stuff you’ll find on Craigslist and other sites, so you can feel secure letting your kids browse the listings without worrying they’re going to come across anything sketchy.

9. Etsy

Etsy probably isn’t the first place I’d go to sell used furniture but you do have options for selling your used furniture there under two conditions;

  1. If it’s vintage (which according to Etsy is at least 20 years old)
  2. If it’s handmade

So, that old handmade table you made in shop class counts, as does grandma’s side table that no longer fits in with your home’s decor.

Although Etsy does allow for furniture sales in certain situations, their parameters for used furniture selling are pretty limited. Etsy is great for selling and buying handmade and other items. In fact, I love browsing Etsy especially when shopping for gift items. But when it comes to selling furniture your options are limited.

10. eBay

We all know eBay has a massive viewing audience, which is why it might be a great place to sell your used furniture.

When you sell your furniture on eBay you have a choice of offering shipping or stating that the item is for pick-up only.

If you are selling higher end items, you could also bump up the price to include shipping charges and offer free shipping, which is also very attractive for many eBay buyers.

Selling your furniture on eBay can be a good idea if you’re looking for a larger viewing audience, but be sure to clearly state in your listing description that your furniture is for pickup only. If you’re having to lug around furniture all over town, then this defeats the purpose of using eBay a tool for selling used furniture.

Also, keep in mind eBay does charge listing fees of varying amounts for items listed (even if they don’t sell) and they also charge selling fees as well. Be certain you know what those fees are before listing your furniture on eBay so you can work them into your asking price.

11. LetGo

LetGo is a lot like Craigslist. You can list your furniture for free in your local area and they won’t charge you any fees for listing or selling.

I like the LetGo site better than Craigslist simply because it’s a bit more attractive. Also, it’s easier to search on LetGo; you simply go to the home page and type in “sofa” or whatever other item you’re looking for and the sofa listings are immediately populated on your screen.

This, I believe, also makes the site more attractive for potential buyers, which means you have a better chance at getting more eyes on your listing using LetGo.

However, you may just want to do yourself a solid and list on both LetGo and Craigslist. I would imagine some shoppers prefer one over the other so you could be expanding your viewing audience by listing on both sites.

Bonus: The site also has some shortcuts that makes it easier for buyers to communicate with sellers, such as chat boxes with pre-determined questions like “Is it still available?”, “Is the price negotiable?” and “What condition is it in?”.

12. Facebook Buy and Sell Groups

Many communities these days have local Facebook buy and sell groups. These groups are often member-only based, so you have an idea of who you’re dealing with when you buy or sell stuff.

And they’re often targeted to a local city or neighborhood, or other type of group. This increases the likelihood that you will know – or at least know of – the people you sell to or buy from.

With Facebook groups there are no listing or selling fees, so all of your profit stays in your pocket.

To find groups near you, just sign onto your Facebook account and search “buy and sell groups near me” in the Facebook search bar.

As with any site, when you list on a Facebook buy and sell group be sure to take good pictures, write a thorough (but not overly-wordy description), point out any important flaws and price your furniture pieces attractively.

13. Your Local Consignment Shop

Most all larger cities have brick-and-mortar consignment shops where they can bring their furniture to sell to a potentially larger, buy-on-the-spot audience.

Do a Google search for “consignment shops near me”, and you can find local consignment shops in your area.

Also, many consignment shops have a note in their contracts which allows them to lower the price on your item if they have a sale or if it doesn’t sell in a specified number of days. This is so they can be sure their store is continually rotating new stock so potential buyers don’t get tired of seeing the same items each time they shop.

Although you don’t have as much control over profit, etc. when you sell used furniture with a consignment shop, you also don’t have to deal with having people over to see the piece or haggling on prices.

If you’re looking to get your furniture item out of your house quickly and have someone else take care of the negotiation and sales part of it, and if you’re willing to share a large portion of your sale price, selling in a consignment shop might be a good choice for you.

14. A Garage Sale

You can always sell your furniture at a traditional garage sale if you’re up for putting in the work. One good thing about using a garage sale to sell your used furniture is it will allow you to sell a bunch of other stuff you don’t want or need at the same time.

Obviously there are no listing or selling fees when you hold a garage sale, and people are there in person to look at your stuff, which can create a sense of urgency because they know other buyers are right there shopping as well.

If you decide to sell furniture at a garage sale, I suggest posting your sale days on sites like Craigslist, and including the types of furniture you are selling, along with photos if possible.

Signs advertising your sale placed around the neighborhood can help too, as does holding your sale with others in your family or neighborhood and posting it as a multi-family sale. That term tells potential shoppers that you’ll have a variety of different types of items for sale.

Tips for Getting the Most Money When You Sell Used Furniture

When I browse through the various websites offering used furniture for sale I’m often amazed at what I find – and not in a good way. For some reason people in my large metropolitan area seem to price used furniture much higher than I would pay for it.

Maybe I’m just cheap frugal, but if I was selling used furniture here’s how I would do it in order to make my pieces sell fast and get me some cash at the same time.

Make it stand out from the rest

Now, I wouldn’t spend the money to get your used furniture professionally cleaned before you sell it (you likely wouldn’t recoup the cost unless it was a high end piece to begin with), however you can spiff it up a bit.

For instance, you can take out the cushions and vacuum the crumbs, coins and other garb that often accumulates under couch and chair cushions.

You can also take a damp rag and work to remove any stains or dirt that might wipe off easily. Beware of using furniture and other types of cleaning products until you’ve checked the manufacturer’s directions, however.

Just clean it up good and make sure it’s free of any dirt, grime or crumbs.

Take good photos

Before you list your furniture on a website, take good photos.

Make sure the light is natural but not too sunny; photos with too much sun can make furniture appear faded and more worn than it actually is.

A slightly overcast day with your furniture in a room with lots of windows works best. If that’s not an option, just be sure to avoid shadows, too much artificial light or too little artificial light.

Write a good description

When writing a description it’s important to play up the piece’s features without being dishonest.

For instance, don’t say “excellent condition” if it’s not nearly like new. And don’t bank too much on telling people what you paid for the piece; while that can be important, buyers are more concerned with whether or not they can afford to pay what you want to get for it.

Also, adding in measurements for the piece is super helpful so people can determine whether or not the piece will fit in the space they need it for. Take width, height and depth measurements and try to be as accurate as possible.

Feel free to add in other information that might make buyers feel more comfortable too. One of the big fears people have with buying used furniture is that there have been the usual life challenges damage to it: kids throwing up on it or soaking through a diaper, beer and soda spills, etc.

Putting potential buyers’ minds at ease by telling them the sofas have been lovingly cared for with no spills or other types of kid or adult messes can help people be more eager to look at what you’re offering.

Point out important flaws

There’s almost nothing a buyer hates more than expecting one thing when they go to look at a piece of furniture and getting something else.

If there are tears, holes or stains in your furniture piece, be upfront and honest about them so that potential buyers don’t end up seeing an item in person that’s in much worse shape than what the photos show.

People expect used furniture to have flaws, but if they know ahead of time what those flaws are they can make a more informed purchase decision.

On the other hand, if an item only shows the flawless parts on the pictures and there are tears, holes or stains that aren’t shown, a buyer will likely feel deceived if they show up to buy something and there are undisclosed flaws.

Price it right

As you decide what price to charge for your furniture pieces, use other similar items online as a guide. Try and remove your emotional attachment to the piece, either the emotional attachment of how it’s served your family or the emotional attachment of what you paid for you.

As an example, let’s say you paid $2,000 for a higher end sofa ten years ago. It’s highly likely you’ll be able to sell it for $1,000 unless it’s in perfect shape – and even maybe not then.

Why?

Because people can go and get a halfway decent brand new couch for $1,000 at their local furniture store.

Instead, price it closer to what your bottom line is, and think in terms of the work you’ll have to do if no one wants to pay for it. Use that information to set a price that is attractive and will make more people consider jumping on the offer.

Or, if you don’t mind the piece sitting around your house for several weeks, up the price a bit and see what happens.

Let me give you an example: Several months back we had two higher end sofas that it was time to replace. When we bought them new they were off-white, but by the time we were ready to sell them they were dingy, the cushions were much too squishy and the fabric was starting to tear in a few spots.

They didn’t look bad, but they didn’t look good. We started out by pricing them on Craigslist for $50 a piece. We had a few calls in the first two days, and a gal who said she was coming to get them but never showed up.

After that frustrating situation (and waiting for her for two hours when we had other plans), I got annoyed. I started to think of the value of our time and about the $35 apiece it would cost to bring them to the local dump.

I didn’t want to deal with multiple offers anymore and didn’t want to pay to bring them to the dump, so I put them back on Craigslist with a “free to the first person who shows up” note.

Within 3 hours they were gone, and to a sweet young girl who’d just gotten her own job, her first apartment and was living on lawn chairs.

Her gratitude for the sofas was was immeasurable, and we got them out of our hair quickly. Sure, it would’ve been nice to get some cash for them, but at the end of the day we realized that we just wanted them gone for convenience sake.

So think about these types of things as you price your furniture pieces to sell. If you’re okay with having them sit around your house for awhile as you dabble with different price points, great, but if having them gone at no expense and no hassle to you is important, price them to sell.

Final thoughts

There are many choices for where to sell used furniture; make your pieces look great, take great photos, write attractive but honest descriptions, price right and advertise where you think you’ll have the most views. Get your money quickly and help someone get furniture at an affordable price at the same time.

Have you ever used any of the above sites to sell used furniture – or buy used furniture? If so, tell us your experience so we can all benefit from each other’s feedback?

 


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1 reply
  1. Chris Moser
    Chris Moser says:

    Most people are too cheap! Especially with furniture that is practically new, hardly used, high quality and cost over $3500 and you mark it down to say $1200. People want to buy it for like $400!!! Are they crazy? Everybody has an excuse too, oh I want it but I can’t pick it up. I’m like good-bye! Good quality don’t come cheap and if you want it, arrange to pick it up! I would.

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