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6 Best Stores To Buy + Sell Used Furniture Online

Emma Loewe
Author:
March 15, 2022
Emma Loewe
mbg Sustainability + Health Director
By Emma Loewe
mbg Sustainability + Health Director
Emma Loewe is the Senior Sustainability Editor at mindbodygreen and the author of "Return to Nature: The New Science of How Natural Landscapes Restore Us."
where to buy used furniture
Image by ROWENA NAYLOR / Stocksy
March 15, 2022
We carefully vet all products and services featured on mindbodygreen using our commerce guidelines. Our selections are never influenced by the commissions earned from our links.

With secondhand fashion taking off, it only makes sense that the used-furniture industry is following suit with rapid growth. Looking to fill your entire home with secondhand steals? Here are a few online marketplaces to start your search and expert tips to help guide your shopping.

Where to shop.

While there's something to be said for the in-person experience, online retailers often sell a wider variety of pieces. Here are a few U.S. retailers to look into, for every budget and wish list:

1. Facebook Marketplace

Facebook Marketplace is a buying and selling platform that has everything from houseplants and books up to appliances and used cars. There's also a freebie section filled with stuff people just want off their hands. It's easy to filter your search by your location so you can find items that are a breeze for you to pick up. Some (but not all) listings are also available for shipping.

Average price: $

Pros: Wide range of goods

Cons: Selection can depend on the number of sellers in your area

wicker basket on wooden floor
Facebook Marketplace

2. eBay

Hey, it's a classic for a reason! "eBay is a good place to look," Julia Green and Armelle Habib of the book Vivid: Style In Color tell mbg. If you're in the market for used electronics and appliances, the platform also has an extensive refurbished section. Green and Habib just warn that since it's such a popular site, finding a real gem can take some patience.

Average price: $

Pros: Wide selection

Cons: Takes some patience to navigate

3. Chairish

Chairish adds over 2,000 vintage and used home furnishings and artworks to its resale platform daily. Everything listed on their website and app is screened by a team of curators for quality. They sell pieces at a variety of price points, and listers get 70% of the revenue from each sale. Though you can find some inexpensive smaller items like books and accessories, most Chairish pieces are over $100.

Average price: $$

Pros: Curated selection

Cons: A bit pricier than other resale platforms

4. Apt Deco

Apt Deco's resale platform buys and sells new and lightly used furniture from modern retailers like West Elm, Crate & Barrel, Restoration Hardware, and CB2, as well as more ornate treasures. Once a purchase is approved, their team picks up and delivers the piece, taking some headache out of the process. They currently serve New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, and the San Francisco Bay Area.

Average price: $$

Pros: Easy shipping

Cons: Not available everywhere

5. 1stDibs

If you're looking for one-of-a-kind treasures (and don't mind shelling out for them), 1stDibs is a site to bookmark. They have a unique selection of vintage and antique furniture and art from a network of vetted sellers around the world. From a designer swingset to an acrylic flower sculpture, you can call dibs on all kinds of works of art here.

Price: $$$

Pros: Unique selection

Cons: Luxury price point

6. Fernish.

For those looking for a shorter-term commitment, Fernish is one platform that lets you rent high-quality furniture month-by-month and then return it for the next person to enjoy. (If you end up loving something, there is also an option to buy.) Think of it like Rent The Runway for furniture; ideal for those who want to test out a few different options in their space or stay nimble enough to pick up and move at any time.

Price: $$

Pros: High-quality furniture at reasonable monthly process

Cons: The rental model isn't for everyone

Regional shops:

  • Kaiyo (New York): High-end furniture
  • Finch (New York): Vintage and modern goods
  • Sunbeam Vintage (California): Mid-Century, vintage, and vintage-inspired furniture
  • Stuff (California): Mid-century modern vintage furniture
  • The Old Potato Store (U.K.): Vintage accessories and artworks
  • Homeplace (U.K.): Mid-century and retro pieces
  • Smith Street Bazaar (Australia): European and Australian mid-century and modern pieces
  • CCSS (Australia): Unique vintage pieces
  • Lunatiques (Australia): Vintage, industrial, and recycled furniture and art

Reasons to shop secondhand:

1.

It's better for the environment.

By supporting the circular economy, you'll help keep furniture out of the landfill and reduce the need to make new pieces (which can be super resource-intensive1).

2.

It can be more affordable.

Though you can certainly spend an arm and a leg on one-of-a-kind antiques, buying gently used furniture is oftentimes more affordable than buying new.

3.

It's fun.

"Shopping secondhand is all about the thrill of the chase," Joanna Thornhill, interior stylist and author of the upcoming book The New Mindful Home: And How To Make It Yours, tells mbg.

"Our brains emit dopamine when we anticipate a reward, so even an ultimately unfruitful hunt (or one where we see lots of lovely things but don't actually purchase any) is still eminently enjoyable."

Designers' top tips for buying used furniture:

1. Start broad, then narrow down your search.

"It can pay off to avoid searching for terms like 'vintage' when seeking out goods online," says Thornhill. "If I'm searching for vintage or antique furniture on eBay, for example, I tend to type in a broader term like 'dining table' and then filter to only show me 'used' items."

2.

Check the receipts.

"Always do a bit of digging if someone is selling something as a genuine designer label," Thornhill recommends, "and ask for proof such as a certification."

3.

Check for any damages, as they should be factored into the cost.

Whether you're shopping online or in person, you should always inspect a piece closely for any damages. "If it's superficial, factor that into the final price," Thornhill recommends. "If it's something that would be difficult or costly for you to fix, it might be best to walk away."

If you do plan on restoring an item, Green and Habib say to look into how much that restoration will cost before you make a purchase that will be more expensive than anticipated in the long run.

4.

Buy from a source you trust—especially when shopping vintage or antique.

"The market can be rife with 'rip-offs,' so authenticity is key," Green and Habib say. "Sometimes it's best to source vintage from people that specialize in it to save some legwork and to avoid being duped with replicas—especially if you are time-poor."

5.

Don't get something just because it's cheap.

A valuable tip no matter what it is you're buying: Don't do it just for the price tag! If you do, "you will end up with a house full of items you bought for the wrong reason," Green and Habib say.

Designers' top tips for selling used furniture:

1.

Remember: Image is everything.

"Try to put your best foot forward with aspirational imagery," Green and Habib say. Staging your pieces in a neutral, well-lit area will likely give you the best chance of success.

2.

Lead with keywords.

If you're listing on a site that lets you make your own description, Green and Habib recommend leading with the important information first.

"Always add keywords in the first sentence of a description," they say, "especially if the piece is a brand with history or collectible, so people will find it easily."

The bottom line.

Buying and selling used furniture can be an affordable way to keep unique pieces in circulation and have some fun doing it. Happy browsing!

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