- Jun 13, 2018
Hello, dear readers. The name’s Naomi, aka the Mistress of Decluttering. The last few weeks, I’ve been writing about various topics related to decluttering. Today, I’ll be teaching you how to price your furniture prior to selling. This article won’t cover where to sell furniture (that’s a topic for a different post), just how to price it.
I thought about writing this because pricing furniture is a pretty daunting endeavor for many people. It’s relatively easy to price old clothes or gadgets. But with furniture, there’s a lot to consider, from age, to material, and even if it’s been used in a home with a smoker.
To help make it less intimidating here’s my guide to pricing used furniture. Read on, and be enlightened!
The Five Factors
There must be dozens of factors to consider when pricing a piece of furniture. For now, you can forget about all those and focus on just five. I think these five factors are the most important ones when pricing out furniture. They are:
In my experience, this is the biggest factor that determines the price of used furniture. A chair may come from a no-name maker, but if it’s made of exotic woods, that will jack up the price.
Furniture made from reclaimed wood, or wood that was made from old demolished homes and other sources, is highly sought after. That’s because old wood has had decades (maybe even more) to settle into its permanent form. New wood tends to shift and warp. These changes are very small and hardly noticeable at first, but they can get to the point where they compromise the integrity of the furniture.
Reclaimed wood also has a vintage, rustic vibe that’s all the rage these days. But take note: reclaimed wood may be vintage, but the furniture made from it is technically not vintage. We’ll talk about vintage items in a bit.
Nobody wants to sleep on a bed or sit on a sofa that has a few generations’ worth of DNA embedded in the fabric. (Sorry for the mental image) Worn-out or dilapidated furniture is likewise less desirable than ones that are in good condition.
Before selling your item, make sure you give it a thorough inspection. That means inspecting both the superficial elements for things like stains and scratches, and the structural integrity of the piece. “Structural integrity” sounds like a fancy term, but all it means is, how sturdy is the piece? Inspect the wood for loose joints, missing screws, or termite damage. Selling a piece that collapses will be a big headache. So look for those red flags this early on.
Furniture doesn’t come emblazoned with huge branding, unlike shoes and clothing. But despite that, there’s a high demand for branded or designer furniture. If you have a piece from HermanMiller, you can price your furniture as a collectible, basically.
But a brand doesn’t have to be high-end to be worth mentioning. Even a brand like Ikea, cheap as it is, will be desirable to most people.
The thing to remember about brands is they give people an idea what the quality of the furniture will be. If you have an unbranded piece, you will have to explain what the materials are, and what the quality is like. You should still do that with branded items, but it won’t be a harder sell. And that’s why you can price the item a little higher than an unbranded one.
If you have a vintage or antique item, you can price it higher than a recent piece. But make sure you use the terminology correctly (furniture buyers are really particular about those two words). In a nutshell, here are their definitions:
- Antique: An item over 100 years old.
- Vintage: The definition of this term is a bit looser. Basically, it refers to an item that has a design that is different from what’s current. Of course, using that definition, a French Colonial sofa made last year can be called “vintage.” To minimize any confusion (and arguments), my personal definition of vintage is something that is ovary 20 years old.
5. Price of similar or competing items
And this is what it all boils down to. An item will sell for as much as a person is willing to pay for it. To narrow things down a bit, I suggest you go online and look at how similar items are priced. If possible, look for the exact item as what you’re planning on selling.
If you’re looking on eBay , make sure you look for completed sales and auctions. This will tell you how much people are actually paying for the item.
If all that is still daunting, I hopped on Craigslist and compiled ballpark figures on how much common pieces sell for. Here they are:
- Sofas: $35 to $200
- Dining Room Sets: $150 to $1,000
- Beds: $50 to $400
- Armchairs: $25 to $150
- Dressers: $20 to $150
- Tables (various types): $50 to $150
- Desks: $25 to $200
- Loveseats: $25 to $150
These methods are legit ways to price out your furniture! Using these techniques will help you remove the guesswork when it comes to setting prices for the items plan to sell.
This article is based on my own experiences in pricing out used furniture. Now it’s your turn to share! Have you done the same? How did you determine your furniture’s value?
Let’s hear your stories!