Used old furniture
Method 1Selling Your Old Furniture
- Wash, clean, and buff the furniture to make the most money. A clean piece of furniture is infinitely easier to sell, and to price competitively. Get out any stains, polish up the edges, and consider cheaply staining or painting faded furniture. A new coat of paint or stain only costs $20, but it can make a used desk look brand new if you apply it well.
- If there are any small repairs you can make, put them in now. It will disproportionately lower the sale price if you expect the buyer to make fixes.
- Test any old electronics to ensure that they still work.
- Check prices of similar furniture online. Head online and see some of the current styles. Check out new pieces to see how yours fits. For example, a big, plaid couch will sell for significantly less than a plain-colored one, at least until plaid comes back in style. Go on Craigslist and Ebay and check what other people are selling similar items for.
- Furniture Valuation Guides, found easily online, will give you ranges of prices for most furniture.
- Look for items as similar as possible to yours. If you know the maker, model, or materials used, look up furniture with similar qualities.
- If you don't know how much the piece originally sold for, this is the best place to start.
- Sell most furniture at 70-80% it's original sale price. The easiest way to come up with a price is to slash 20% from the price you bought it for. This is considered industry standard, and is a reasonable guide for quality used furniture. Note, however, that this is just a baseline. You can tailor the price depending on a variety of other factors, as discussed below. Say, for example, you bought an dresser for 0 several years ago, and want to get rid of it:
- The dresser is in good condition, and not very old. You decide that 80% is fair.
- Multiply $500 by 80%, or .8. (500 x .8 = 400)
- $400 is your baseline asking price for the dresser.
- Compare the condition now to the condition when you bought it. When do you subtract 30%, and when do you only subtract 20%? The biggest factor is the condition. If it is in almost the exact condition as when you bought it, then you can sell it for only 20% less than when you bought the furniture. But if it's got some scuffs, dings, wobble, or other issues, you may want to lean towards 30% or more. In general, the longer you've owned it, the less you can sell it for.
- If you bought a beautiful bookshelf for , 000, and it is in prime condition, you can likely sell it for 0.
- If the bookshelf is faded, older, missing shelves, or has marks and chips, you may want to price it closer to -700.
- Subtract an additional 5% for every 1-2 years you've had the furniture. A ten-year old desk, for example, might sell at only 50% the price you bought it. Furniture, like cars and houses, lose value as they age. Unless the construction is incredible, or the furniture is an antique (older than 1970 and in good condition), you're going to take a hit for every year you've had it.
- Pay attention to construction and materials. You don't have to be a woodworker to know good woodwork. Quality furniture feels sturdy - it can handle weight, it doesn't wobble, and the joints are all sung. If they're not, prepare to sell your furniture for significantly less than when you bought it. But if the furniture feels solid and built to last, you may be able to sell it at close to the price you bought it.
- Cheap furniture, like IKEA-brand wares, will often sell far below it's buying price, often for no more than $20-100 bucks. This is because it is not made to be moved and resold, and is made of cheap materials.
- If you see particle board - the layered, rough sheets of wood, chances are good you've got cheap furniture.
- Get antique furniture appraised by a professional. Antiques are often worth much more than their original price. Unless you're an expert in antiques, or willing to do a lot of research into similar items, past selling prices, and restoration possibilities, you should contact an expert. Most antique stores have appraisers who will give you an honest opinion about your potential selling price.
- If possible, bring the appraiser the year, make, and model of the furniture, or at least where it came from.
- It is very rare that you won't get the chance to discuss the price. If this happens, make sure you know several things before the negotiation begins. Having your strategy planned out before the bargaining begins is the best way to get a good price:
- Lowest possible price. Set this now, so that you don't have to think on the spot.
- Preferred price. What you want to sell it for, based on the value and your desire to get rid of it.
- Asking price. It may be identical to your preferred price. However, you can set the price a little higher than you need in the hopes that someone wants the furniture badly.
- Moving expenses. Who is going to pick up and move the furniture? Make sure this is dealt with in advance of sale.
- Ask friends and family if they would buy the furniture for the price offered. Poll a few people once you've settled on a price and see if it is reasonable. If a few people you know would pay for it at that price, then you'll likely be able to sell it at that price. If you're completely lost, this is a good way to set a fair price.
- Remember, you don't want to get their opinion on whether or not the like the furniture, you just want to know if they think the price is reasonable.
- If you're still stuck, there are several websites, like Splitwise Furniture Calculator and Blue Book Furniture, that that will calculate potential prices for you. Note, however, that these are only estimates.
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