Furniture is always in high demand, and it’s pretty common knowledge that vintage and antique furniture stands the test of time, and is often made of higher quality materials and craftsmanship than modern day furniture. Once you’ve had enough use out of your item, you might be wondering how to sell second hand furniture online.
Do people really buy furniture without seeing it in person? The answer is yes! And the key to making successful furniture sales online is to be very descriptive in your listing. We’re talking measurements, condition, lots of photos, and a generous amount of key descriptive words.
If you have a piece of retro or antique furniture, it’s also a great idea to do your research on trends to make sure that you maximise your profits when it comes to selling your furniture.
Preparing the furniture for sale
When selling furniture online, accurate measurements are a non-negotiable. The buyer has to be certain that a piece is going to fit into their home, and they don’t know that without measurements. This is a key part of selling second hand furniture online.
If you don’t take measurements, you are unlikely to attract many buyers. No measurements are an obstacle that can be the difference between making a sale and not making a sale. Alternatively, you might be met with lots of questions from buyers. So save yourself and potential buyers some time and just list the measurements right away.
You’ll need measurements of the height, depth, width of the piece as a minimum. You may also wish to measure things like drawers, handles, and trims.
Mending and sprucing
When you’re learning how to sell second hand furniture online, your first lesson is in mending, repairing, and cleaning. This part is essential if you are choosing to flip a piece of furniture (i.e. you have bought the piece specifically to sell for a profit).
Mending and repairs might be as simple as tightening screws. Or it might include sanding and waxing, varnishing, adding new handles, or even a coat of paint. Your piece of furniture should be in good condition from the start. If it looks great in photos (and in real life) you’re more likely to make the sale.
When it comes to cleaning you might consider hoovering, dusting, and polishing. This is especially true if you’re selling a piece of hard wood furniture.
Take great photos
The furniture resale market is competitive, and you want to stand out from your competition to make some money on your piece of furniture. You can do that by taking great photos. This is the most important lesson when it comes to how to sell second hand furniture!
Take photos of the piece from every angle. Ideally on a plain background, or styled in-situ in your home. Include close ups of interesting details, inside any drawers, and of course any damage or imperfections.
iPhone photos are fine- just clean your camera lens first! The other important note is to shoot photos in natural light where possible, to ensure an accurate representation of the colour.
Doing your research
Benchmark against other items for sale
When you are first researching your piece, look at other similar items that listed online for sale. Check how much they are listed for and any key words that are used in their descriptions. Is there any detail that they’ve missed out? Use the listing to decide on a price, and think about how you can improve your own listing by including additional information or photos.
Online marketplaces such as eBay, have a handy feature where you can track the sold prices of similar pieces. Search for the item you are selling, and filter by ‘sold’ and ‘completed’ listings. This will show you how much similar items have sold for in the past. Using the eBay app can be super helpful for this, because you can filter with just a few taps.
Is it on trend?
Selling second hand furniture in line with trends is the perfect way to maximise your profits. Ideally if you’re selling a vintage or antique piece, you’ll get at least the same price as you bought it for (unless it’s been damaged). If it’s a trending style? You might even make a profit!
So how do you know if something is on trend? You can check out higher end furniture shops, or even high street stores to see what is popular at the moment. For example rattan, bamboo cane and bobbin tables have all had their moments in the spotlight as of late.
Be sure to look for any brand name on your furniture- even if you haven’t heard of it before, it’s possible that someone else has! If you spot a brand name, look for more details online. You might even be in possession of a rare piece.
Where to sell furniture online
There are lots of different places to go to sell your furniture online. Ideally, you’ll want to list your piece (or pieces) across multiple selling platforms to maximise the number of people that see your listing, and therefore maximise the chances of a sale.
You don’t need any fancy equipment to sell second hand furniture online. All you really need is an internet connection, a smartphone or a laptop, and a way of taking photos. A smartphone is really all you need- and in my opinion, it’s the easiest way to create listings to sell your furniture.
Gumtree is a well known online marketplace for buying and selling furniture and other large household items. It is recommended that you list your furniture on this platform as a starting point.
The great thing about Gumtree is that there are no fees. That means that you get to keep 100% of your profits! The site isn’t as popular as other marketplaces such as eBay, so you may have to cross-list your item on both platforms. Just remember to delete it if it gets sold!
Gumtree make it easy to upload images and a description of your furniture piece, and sell to your local community. But you can also sell to buyers across the UK- you’ll just have to make sure that you pack the item well and arrange furniture transport with the buyer.
The best practices for selling on Gumtree are pretty similar to all the other online marketplaces. Good photos are a must. As is an eye catching title, a detailed and key word rich description, and of course essential measurements. Be totally upfront and include a list of any defects to avoid buyer disappointment.
You might think of eBay as a place to sell collectables, clothing, and knick knacks. But actually, eBay is also a great place to sell second hand furniture.
eBay is the largest online marketplace- and you’ll find pretty much everything you can think of when it comes to second hand furniture. Seriously, regular items include vintage avocado colour bathroom sets, to fireplaces and sofa suites.
The eBay app is super simple to use for selling second hand furniture. You can take photos within the app, or upload them from your phone. It really does only take minutes to create the listing, and the app loads quickly and efficiently. You can even use the AI feature within the app to help you fill out product descriptions!
As was suggested earlier, make sure that you include as many photos as possible, key words in the title and description, and describe any damage or defects. It’s important to be totally transparent about the condition of the item to avoid returns.
Of course, the stickier point comes to delivery when it comes to selling furniture online. You could set delivery to ‘collection only’ if you wish to, but this will limit buyers to your local area. Alternatively, you can put in a little extra effort to pack the item and arrange a courier for collection- which means the item is more likely to get sold.
Do you have a Facebook profile? If so, it’s a good idea to list your item of furniture on Facebook Marketplace. Your local community is a great place for selling second hand furniture, because collection is more likely than having to arrange packing and delivery yourself. You may not get the highest price, but it could be the most convenient option.
You can cross list your item on Facebook Marketplace alongside eBay and Gumtree (and any other platforms you might wish to use). Use the same description and the same photos on every platform- easy!
You can list on Facebook Marketplace directly from your phone. Your listing will also get shared to your Facebook friends- who knows, they may even reshare your listing for you!
Shpock is an app-based selling platform. So you’ll need to have a smartphone to sell on Shpock. When using Shpock, you have the opportunity to sell your piece of used furniture to your local community AND those who are further afield. The best of both worlds!
Shpock operates in a similar way to other platforms such as eBay or Gumtree. However unlike eBay, you don’t pay any seller fees, which is a bonus when selling large (or expensive) items.
Just like the other online marketplaces listed above, great photos and a detailed description are a must. And be sure to include measurements and any other information about the item, and upload. Be sure to specify whether you are open to arrange delivery or postage, or equally if you would prefer collection only.
Preloved is a lovely way to describe used or second hand furniture- and that’s what this online marketplace specialises in! You can list your items for free, and you can list any item of furniture you can possibly think of. Nothing is off limits.
Just like any other online marketplace, you’ll need to add photos, a description, and essential information such as measurements and the condition of the item.
Preloved operates in a slightly different way to the likes of eBay, in that you need to keep an eye on your messages. You may receive questions (or even offers) from buyers- and you don’t want to miss out on those! Once you’ve agreed a sale, you can discuss the mode of delivery with the buyer and arrange accordingly.
Etsy is something of a second hand furniture mecca. It really is THE place to go for retro and vintage furniture. The platform boasts millions of users worldwide- and Etsy are the experts when it comes to one-off pieces, unique items, and quirky details.
You’ll have the best success with sales if you’re listing something retro, vintage or antique. Mid-century furniture is especially popular on the site.
You’ll more than likely have to arrange courier delivery for most items that you sell on Etsy. And do keep in mind that there are selling fees for this platform. That said, if you are looking to sell an expensive piece, this might be the online marketplace for you.
Vinterior accept quality pre-owned pieces; contemporary, vintage and antique. All listings are reviewed by their curation team before being introduced to buyers. This means you need to be confident that the furniture that you are selling is in great used condition, and is a quality piece of furniture.
The items are free to list, but you will have to pay a commission when you make a sale through Vinterior. A bonus of selling through Vinterior? They can manage the postage for you, which means faff all round!
Your own website
Furniture transformations are extremely popular watches on Instagram and TikTok, which is also great publicity for your side business.
Setting up your own website means that you have control over branding, messaging, and no selling fees. It also means that you can build up authority as a business owner online. Although there are associated costs with setting up your website (like buying your domain name and hosting), it could be worth it if you want to sell furniture as a business.
What is the best place to sell furniture online?
The best place to sell furniture online depends on the item that you want to sell. For something like an old Ikea desk, your best bet might be Facebook Marketplace. A bathroom suite? Try eBay. A vintage 50s coffee table? Try Etsy for retro pieces.
How much can you sell second hand furniture for?
How much you can sell your second hand furniture for depends on the condition of the item, and the desirability of said item. If the second hand piece is retro, vintage or antique, you may find that you achieve a higher price than a modern used furniture item from retailers like Ikea or Wayfair.
Do people sell furniture on eBay?
Lots of people sell furniture on eBay- you can find just about every furniture item imaginable on eBay. From the mundane to the wacky and weird. People sell used bathroom suites, futons, sofas, sinks, fireplaces and more. It’s definitely a great place to list furniture if you’re looking to sell second hand furniture online.