Do you have a used dining room set or couch that you want to sell before you move to a new house? Or maybe you’re looking for the perfect bureau or bookcase for your home, but you don’t want to pay top dollar for a new store-bought piece. How do you know where to sell or buy used furniture?
Buying and selling used furniture can sometimes be a time-consuming and stressful process. Knowing your options will help ensure a smoother experience and allow you to get the most out of the sale, no matter what your role in the transaction is. We’ve compiled a list of places, both physical and online, where you can buy or sell used furniture.
Places to Buy or Sell Used Furniture Locally
1. Estate Sale Companies
- How do estate sale companies work?: Think of an estate sale like a garage sale, except that instead of a few select items, all of the person’s possessions in their home are being sold off individually. Estate sales are usually held after a person dies, after a person declares bankruptcy, or after a divorce.
- Delivery/pick-up options: Most estate sale companies will hold the sale in the home of the deceased/bankrupt/divorced person so no pick-up is necessary — buyers will come in, buy the items they want, and walk out with their purchase. If large furniture items are bought at an estate sale, delivery may be an option for an additional fee.
- Prices for buyers: Estate sale companies will set the cost for each item being sold, so if it’s a house full of antiques, prices may be higher than a sale at a house full of IKEA furniture.
- Prices for sellers: Estate sales companies generally charge the person organizing the sale between 25 – 35% of the total profits.
- Accessibility: Estate sales can be found in most major cities and surrounding areas and are readily accessible to new customers or clients.
- Find an estate sales company near you
2. Consignment Shops
- How do consignment shops work?: For a small fee, consignment shops will hold and sell your furniture (and other items such as rugs, artwork, and home decor). Depending on the consignment shop’s policies, it may either pay you money upfront or pay you after the piece actually sells.
- Delivery/pick-up options: This will depend on the location. Some shops may offer pick-up or delivery; some may not provide either one. Always check with the consignment shop you’re working with if you’ll need pick-up or delivery.
- Prices for buyers: Retail prices at a consignment shop tend to be higher than at a thrift store. Because the consignment shop charges a selling fee to the consignee, this will be reflected in the selling price. However, consignment shops tend to be picky about the items they accept, so those higher prices tend to ensure a higher quality of item than you may find at a thrift store.
- Prices for sellers: Consignment shops may charge an upfront fee as well as a percentage of the final sale price. For example, The Ivy Cottage (see below) takes a 40% cut of an item’s price once it sells.
- Accessibility: Most major cities and suburbs are home to a variety of consignment shops.
- For example: The Ivy Cottage is a consignment shop that claims to be the largest such store in the Southeast. The store is located in Wilmington, NC.
- Find a consignment shop near you
3. Antique Stores
- How do antique stores work?: Antique stores find inventory from estate sales, garage sales, auctions, flea markets, and other similar venues. Most stores are willing to buy furniture and other pieces from individual sellers as well.
- Delivery/pick-up options: Delivery can typically be negotiated for large items. Some antique stores will even offer layaway programs for more expensive items. Most antique stores will not pick up items from sellers.
- Prices for buyers: Prices will vary greatly, as many antique stores offer rare or one-of-a-kind items.
- Prices for sellers: If you’re selling to an antique store, remember that the store intends to re-sell your item for a profit, so the price may be lower than what you would get if you sold directly to a consumer.
- Accessibility: Many times, antique stores can be found in clusters or within antique malls. Antique stores are easily accessible to those in big cities and even in many rural areas.
- For example: If you happen to live near Charlotte, NC, the Lake Norman Antique Mall is a large antique mall offering a wide variety of vintage pieces.
- Find an antique store near you
4. Pawn Shops
- How do pawn shops work?: Customers bring in items to sell, and pawn shops will give an offer for the item(s). The customer gets cash on the spot for their items. Note that for many pawn shops, this payment is technically a loan; if your item doesn’t sell within a set period of time, you’ll be expected to pick it up from the store and pay back the money you initially received, with interest.
- Delivery/pick-up options: If a buyer purchases a large item, many pawn shops will offer delivery for an additional fee. However, most pawn shops don’t offer pick-up, so sellers will generally be responsible for bringing their items to the pawn shop.
- Prices for buyers: Prices at pawn shops will always be significantly lower than retail, but the overall quality of items sold may be higher than what you’d expect to find at a thrift store.
- Prices for sellers: Most pawn shops offer to pay about half of the expected sale price of the item, so while you won’t necessarily make the most money with this method, it can be a quick way to get your old furniture off your hands.
- Accessibility: Pawn shops are less popular than the other options on this list, but they can still be widely found in metropolitan areas.
- For example: If you live in Las Vegas or plan on visiting soon, check out Gold & Silver Pawn Shop, the owners of which have their own reality TV show on A&E.
- Find a pawn shop near you
5. Thrift Stores
- How do thrift stores work?: Thrift stores accept donations from customers and offer a tax-deductible receipt for the value of the donation. These items are then sold at deeply discounted prices.
- Delivery/pick-up options: Some national thrift stores do offer pick-up for large items being donated. If you are purchasing a large item from a thrift store, you’ll typically need to find your own method of transportation to get the item home.
- Prices for buyers: Due to lower costs in obtaining their inventory, thrift stores are likely to offer some of the lowest prices of anywhere on our list. You may have to hunt a little to find a high-quality piece that’s just what you’re looking for, but thrift stores are a great place to find bargains on furniture.
- Prices for sellers: Typically, thrift stores only accept donations, and will not pay to take your furniture off your hands.
- Accessibility: Thrift stores can be found in both urban and rural areas and often support local non-profit organizations.
- For example: Two of the most well-known national thrift store chains are Goodwill and the Salvation Army. Find the nearest Goodwill here, or find the nearest Salvation Army here (the Locations search field is in the top right corner).
- Find a thrift store near you
Places to Buy or Sell Used Furniture Online
- How does Craigslist work?: Craigslist is a free online platform to list classified ads for a wide variety of items, including furniture. One of the most popular online classified sites, Craigslist draws a huge amount of traffic and offers numerous options for sellers.
- Delivery/pick-up options: Delivery and pick-up is worked out between the buyer and the seller, so it is important to get as much information as possible to ensure that the sale works out for both parties. If you’re willing to travel outside of your city, learn how to use the ‘frog-hop’ method to do a more thorough search on craigslist or utilize a third party search engine.
- Prices for buyers: Some of the lowest prices on furniture can be found on Craigslist — think of it much like a large online garage sale. Sellers are typically willing to negotiate on price.
- Prices for sellers: It’s free to post a listing on Craigslist.
- Accessibility: Craigslist is available anywhere in the world.
- Visit Craigslist
2. Facebook Marketplace
- How does Facebook Marketplace work?: A variety of groups and pages for buying and selling items on Facebook have sprung up, making this one of the more popular and innovative ways to sell items. These groups function like an online garage sale and offer an easy way for buyers and sellers to connect.
- Delivery/pick-up options: Similar to a garage sale or a Craigslist ad, pick-up or delivery will completely depend on the person selling the item. Delivery can sometimes be negotiated for an additional fee.
- Prices for buyers: Furniture sold in these groups will reflect garage sale prices. Often, sellers are willing to negotiate.
- Prices for sellers: It’s free to post a listing in a Facebook Marketplace group.
- Accessibility: Facebook Marketplace is available to anyone who has a Facebook page.
- Visit the Facebook Marketplace
- How does eBay work?: eBay is an online auction marketplace where consumers can bid on a variety of items, including furniture. If you wish to sell an item on the site, you’ll need to set up an eBay account.
- Delivery/pick-up options: If you’re selling a large item that would be costly to ship, you can list the item as “local pick-up only.” If you’re buying a large item on eBay and the seller is willing to ship it, the cost to you as the buyer may be very high depending on how heavy the item is and how far it needs to ship.
- Prices for buyers: As with any auction, popular items tend to have more bids, which will increase the final selling price. If what you’re looking to buy or sell is less popular, there won’t be many bids and the selling price will be low.
- Prices for sellers: eBay may charge an insertion fee, or listing fee, when you put an item up for sale. Fees can be as low as $0.10 or as high as $6.00 depending on the details of your listing. Read more about eBay’s listing fees here.
- Accessibility: eBay is available to anyone who has internet access and has listings from nearly every corner of the United States.
- Visit eBay
- How does Etsy work?: Both buyers and sellers will need to create an account to use the site. For a small fee, items can be listed for sale on the Etsy website. Though Etsy is known for handmade goods, many vendors on Etsy offer a variety of small furniture items and household goods that are either handmade or vintage/antique.
- Delivery/pick-up options: Etsy guarantees delivery for all items. The buyer generally covers shipping costs.
- Prices for buyers: Vintage, handmade, or one-of-a-kind items on Etsy can be pricey compared to the other options on our list, but those extra dollars can get you a truly unique furniture piece.
- Prices for sellers: Etsy charges sellers a flat listing fee of $0.20 per item plus 3.5% of the final sale price.
- Accessibility: Etsy is accessible to anyone with internet access; items can often be shipped internationally (although this may be very expensive for large items).
- Visit Etsy
5. Offer Up
- How does Offer Up work?: This site (and accompanying app) is similar to Craigslist in that it is essentially a forum for online classified listings. Snap a picture of what you want to sell, upload it to Offer Up, and chat instantly with prospective buyers through Offer Up’s messaging app.
- Delivery/pick-up options: Delivery and pick-up is worked out between the buyer and the seller, so it is important to get as much information as possible to ensure that the sale works out for both parties.
- Prices for buyers: Prices will be relatively inexpensive (think garage sale prices) and most sellers are willing to negotiate.
- Prices for sellers: Offer Up does not charge listing fees to its sellers.
- Accessibility: Offer Up is available to anyone with internet access or a smartphone, and thanks to the company’s widespread and rapidly growing popularity, it’s relatively easy to find furniture buyers or sellers in your area.
- Visit Offer Up
We hope that this list has provided some options for you when you’re ready to buy or sell used furniture. Whether you’re looking to sell furniture before a big move, get some new-to-you furniture after you’ve just started living in a new place, or just want to update your current home, there are plenty of options both online and in-store. We wish you luck as you embark on your next adventure in buying or selling furniture!