Tips for Pricing Used Furniture

Furniture in a house
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Pricing used furniture can be difficult. It's hard to know how much buyers are willing to pay for a specific type of furniture as well as how well your own piece compares to similar furniture on the market. All furniture depreciates in value after it has seen some use, and not all used furniture sells easily, especially upholstered pieces. Researching the kinds of used furniture that sell best can help.

Once you've set a price for your furniture and listed it for sale, be prepared to negotiate on the price because buyers will always have an idea about how much they want to pay for used furniture. Always look at your furniture from a buyer’s point of view, and price your pieces accordingly.

Consider the Furniture's Quality

The quality of your used furniture is a good guide to determining its price. A well-made piece of furniture that is constructed from quality materials will stand up to use over an extended period of time. Premium woods, such as mahogany, will fetch higher prices than run-of-the-mill wood species. At the other end of the spectrum, a badly made piece that can fall apart easily will be difficult to sell at a high price.

In general, the quality and condition of furniture is more important than its uniqueness. A customer will happily pay a better price for a well-made piece. An antique that is in bad condition might not be viewed as valuable.

Size Relates to Usefulness

Size matters when you're selling your used furniture because it determines an item's usefulness. Furniture that is too large can be problematic to sell. Custom-made furniture also can be challenging to unload unless buyers are looking for the same type of piece or similar special features of the custom design.

Larger furniture items simply don't fit into as many space and harder to transport than smaller pieces. Buyers might have to incur additional costs when trying to move oversized or larger pieces of used furniture, so take that into account when pricing large items.

It's usually easier to sell smaller pieces of used furniture, so you might look to make a little more profit here. Smaller items are easily transported and fit into most homes.

Style Can Make a Difference

Some styles sell better than others. A neutral, contemporary style might do better than something that's more specialized or period-specific, unless that style happens to be in demand.

Mid-century modern is a specialized style that continues to do well, and if you have any used retro furniture, you may be in luck. Retro or vintage furniture, which is often mid-century modern but may reflect a later style, seems to be a perennial favorite and usually can find an active market. While modern retro pieces may not gain value from the manufacturer's or designer's brand (few do), cool vintage design has emotional value for buyers and may fetch a relatively high price, even if it was mass-produced.

Simple furniture designs tend to be more in demand than fussy or highly stylized designs. This is because simpler pieces can find a home in more decorating styles. Unusual furniture might prove to be hard to sell. That said, if you have an unusual piece that may appeal to collectors, you might want to consult an expert before setting a price for it.