The Bottom Line. Most household furniture is considered "second-hand" - usable, but not of high value. Keep in mind that what you paid for an item is only the starting point of what drives the price. The memories you have of your favorite piece provide no benefit to the buyer. Other factors affecting the value include condition, manufacturer, and size.
What is often overlooked is time involved, moving costs and supply and demand. Because a large number of seniors are now downsizing, the market is being flooded with antiques and basic furniture.
Whom to call - plus two DIY options. The list below addresses the pros and cons of each with respect to selling price, time, and costs.
Specialty Dealers. $$$ Start by sending a picture and receive a timely response. No moving costs, quick sale. i.e. Mid-century modern styles are in high demand; dealers abound.
Auction Houses. $$$+/- Great option for high-end or antiques; not interested in basic furniture. Start by sending pictures. Auctions can insure sale but NOT price. Commission is 25-30% plus moving costs. May take 45 days to receive a check.
Craigslist. $$ /- You set the price and need to write an effective ad. Free listing. Time consuming dealing with emails and no-shows. Safety concerns. Upholstered and pressed wood furniture is hardest to sell; this is your best option for these items.
Consignment Shops. $$ /- Automatic price drops over three months. Commission is 50%. Receive check one month after sale. Moving costs. If item does not sell - find another option.
Pickers. $ Buy in quantity, minimum wait time, quick sale. No moving costs. Buy fair condition items to repurpose; so do not trash a damaged antique!
Yard Sale. $ Very time consuming, weather dependent and expect to negotiate. Does not sell - find another option.
Donate. ($) Tax deduction only. Only a few charitable organizations are allowed to enter your home to retrieve furniture. Good condition only. Need at least one-week lead-time, may have to wait hours for pickup.
Owner Dakota Downsizing
Dakota Downsizing has a team of professional organizers who assist families as they part with decades of possessions. If you need help, give us a call - we will coordinate all the details.