Ready to sell your old furniture? Dark photos and sketchy details won't find you any buyers. To get the most money for those pieces and get them out of your house quickly, just follow these steps.
1. TAKE A GREAT PHOTO.
First, turn off the flash, says Anne Doherty, owner of Annie’s Attic, who purchases older furniture, refurbishes it, and sells it in Illinois. “Natural lighting is better than flash, so as to capture the true color and not create any dramatic shadows or spotlights, which may be caused by forced lighting or camera flashes.” Most of her shots are taken head-on and at eye level, and she includes detail pictures taken at a slight angle in her listings.
2. SHOW SCALE.
It’s important to include a photograph of your furniture in a lifestyle setting (in addition to a product photo on a white background), says Dayna Winter, content marketer at Shopify. “This helps to show scale, which is important—it’s hard to really picture the size of a couch from measurements,” Winter says.
3. DESCRIBE THE FURNITURE PROPERLY.
There’s an entire book dedicated to parsing the way we talk about furniture: Furniture Phraseology: 842 Furniture Phrases to Help Sell Furniture Online and Offline. That’s how important it is to describe the pieces accurately, says Willie Davis, who wrote the book and was a marketing consultant in the home furnishings industry for 19 years.
Some of the phrases he concocted include: “Finely crafted drawers, roomy and deep enough to store your linens and flatware;” and “The beauty of a pedestal table—but built solidly enough to handle the bumps and jostles of family dinners night after night.” The key is to go beyond simply stating what the piece is and to really make the potential buyer fall in love with it, to make them envision their flatware inside of it.
4. PROVIDE DETAILS.
Identify the furniture’s design in the description, says Harry Rinker, a national antiques and collectibles expert. Is it Mid-Century Modern? Art Nouveau? When was it made? Who manufactured it? Since many people are searching for a specific style, they’ll enter those terms when they’re searching. The more specific you get, the better.
5. GO BEYOND CRAIGSLIST.
There are specific websites designed for furniture-selling, so if you’ve tried Craigslist without any luck, try these:
This site only sells secondhand furniture, and it focuses on antiques, mid-century, and current finds. It’s free to list, and you’ll pay a 23 percent commission for every item you sell. You can offer a free local pick-up, or the buyer can pay a $35 fee to have it delivered.
Operating in large cities across the Northeast, California, Florida, and more, this company comes to your home to photograph and list your unwanted furniture. Once you approve Viyet's suggested pricing of your items, the company will begin to advertise your wares. If your furniture sells, you keep 50 percent of the profits. As an added perk, Viyet will also store your furniture in its warehouse before it sells, should you so desire.
You can sell furniture locally through this site, which also aggregates listings found on eBay and Etsy. There’s no commission, but they require credits to list your items—and you have to buy or earn these credits (you can earn credits by completing your profile, shopping on the site, or sharing on social media).
Upload a photo of your item (furniture here is pretty high-end), and have it approved. Once sold, you’ll get 80 percent of the sale price, and Chairish will arrange the shipping. The buyer will have 48 hours to return the item.