sell furniture nyc - antique sofa

Whether your old furniture is too big, the wrong style, or just not needed anymore, here’s how you can sell it in NYC. (Aleksandr Zubkov/Getty Images)

It’s a very New York conundrum: The living room in your new apartment barely has room for a potted plant, let alone the vintage paisley lounger you picked up at Chelsea Flea Market last year. But it’s a sweet seat — and it might even be worth a few bucks more than you paid. Whether that upholstered chair is a rare old find or just old, we’ve put together a guide for how to sell used, vintage, and antique furniture in NYC.

Best Used Furniture Services for NYC (and Beyond)

Figuring out how to sell a furniture piece can be a daunting task. “For many sellers, the process of dealing with potential buyers is a huge hassle,” says Alpay Koralturk. Kaiyo, the online marketplace that he founded, focuses on selling used furniture as a sustainable alternative to buying new. To increase your odds of a successful sale, Koralturk suggests representing your item as accurately as possible. So take good pictures, and be honest!

Here are several reputable organizations that are up to the task of selling your sofa:

  • Apartment Therapy Marketplace: Sign up, list your furniture, and wait for the offers. You can pay a little extra to feature your listing or geo-target buyers. You’re on your own for shipping or delivery coordination, but there is an app!
  • AptDeco: The folks at AptDeco will pick up and deliver your sold items across the city. They provide insured delivery and coordinate the payment; all you do is list your furniture and wait for the purchase requests to roll in. You keep up to 81% of the sale price.
  • Craigslist: Still one of the most trafficked online classified repositories, and listings are free. Here’s where your photography skills can make all the difference.
  • Etsy: Yes, you read that right. Etsy is a fabulous place to list your used furniture, with an enormous built-in community. There is a $0.20 listing fee, a 5% transaction fee on the sale price, and a 3% + $0.25 payment processing fee.
  • Kaiyo: If your furniture meets Kaiyo’s standards for quality and durability, the company will pick it up, clean it, store it, and deliver it to its buyer free of charge. Up to 40% of the sale price goes to the seller.
  • Letgo: This is an entirely free app that prioritizes shiny pictures over eye-grabbing headlines. Just take a photo of your nightstand, list it, and within minutes you could you be chatting with potential local buyers. FYI, Letgo is currently the largest marketplace app.
  • OfferUp: Similar to Letgo, but with the added option of making counteroffers. OfferUp rewards repeat sellers with good ratings, and the app is free to use.

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How to Price and Sell Antique Furniture

If you really think you’re sitting on something special — literally, like your settee could set a record on “Antiques Roadshow” — consider working with a vintage or antiques dealer. But before moving forward, you might want to have your precious object appraised. Some dealers offer appraisal services, but for others, it’s up to you to prove provenance and worth.

A professional appraisal can be costly, but it’s valuable if you think your vintage or antique item is quite valuable indeed. To find NYC-based appraisers who specialize in your kind of furniture, check out the American Society of Appraisers, the Appraiser’s Association, or the International Society of Appraisers.

If you’d rather not go that route, try searching a site like WorthPoint, a resource for researching and valuing vintage and antique objects. This will give a feel for what your piece is worth by showing you prices on similar items. “The best thing to show potential buyers are comparable sales prices,” says WorthPoint’s CEO, Will Seippel. He advises coming equipped with three comparable sales prices to help ink your sale.

Where to go for selling your prized goods? Here are some sites to look into:

  • 1stdibs: An online marketplace for top designer fashion, decor, art, and well-vetted furniture. 1stdibs is highly selective, but if they dig your piece, you will get access to their global database of buyers, as well as your very own account manager.
  • Chairish: All items listed are curated by the Chairish team, which means they have to like your stuff before they will try to sell it. But once a sale is made, Chairish handles the details, and sends you 70% or more of the sale price.
  • The RealReal: TRR is in the business of authenticated luxury consignment. If your item matches up with their list of accepted brands, they will schedule a free in-home pickup. They do in-house item authentications and evaluations, and, depending on the value of your item, you can earn up to 70% of its selling price.
  • Ruby Lane: If vintage and antique furniture selling is your passion, then Ruby Lane is your move. It’s a pricier option — there is a minimum monthly maintenance fee of $54 — but it’s perfect for people in the full-time business of refinishing or antiquing.
  • Sotheby’s Home: Why yes, the esteemed auction house is interested in your antique grandfather clock. If your item is accepted, Sotheby’s Home will list it for free, manage the minutia, arrange shipment to the buyer, and offer a 24/7 support staff at your disposal. You will receive up to 60% of the sale price.

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Brick-and-Mortar Vintage Furniture Dealers

Online isn’t the only option for the intrepid furniture seller. NYC is home to plenty of brick-and-mortar used-furniture shops and consignment stores. Here are a few gold mines to try:

  • Used Furniture Store: This little shop in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, buys — surprise! — used furniture. They request that you send pictures of your piece first, and then they’ll give you a quote.
  • Syl-Lee Antiques: Syl-Lee wants your midcentury-modern furniture! They offer complimentary home visits and will purchase your furniture with cash. Visit their location in the Flatiron District to get a sense of their taste.
  • White Trash: Stuart Zamsky, the proprietor, specializes in midcentury-modern furniture and keeps odd hours (2–8:30 p.m., Monday–Saturday). He spends his mornings searching for midcentury treasures, but it wouldn’t hurt to send a photo first.

What if you have no luck selling your old stuff? Here are the best ways to donate or dispose of unwanted furniture.

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