Since people move in and move out of London all the time, at some point you’re likely to need to sell furniture in London. Perhaps you want to get a small amount of money to go towards your next piece, maybe you bought something second hand and you want to recoup that cash, or perhaps you even want to sell an upcycled or vintage collectible piece for profit.
Let’s delve into all of the different ways you can sell furniture in London, and how to sell furniture most effectively. Whether it’s online, in your local community, or at a specialist store- we’ve got you covered.
Mend and clean
When you want to get cash in exchange for a piece of used furniture, you need to make sure it’s in good condition to start with. That means doing any repairs (perhaps tightening some screws, for example), and cleaning it up. That might mean hoovering out some drawers, wiping down any dust, and getting out the furniture polish.
When the furniture item is looking good in photos, it’s more likely to sell. If your piece isn’t in good condition to start with, you may want to dispose of it instead, or offer it for free.
Taking measurements is essential, because if you’re listing furniture online, this will be the first question you get asked if you haven’t already added the measurements onto your listing. It avoids the inevitable questions, and it means less effort for a customer to go from viewing the item online to making a purchase.
Buyers want to know that the item of furniture that they are looking at, is going to fit into their home. Be sure to take measurements of the height, depth, and width of the piece of furniture, as well as any other relevant measurements.
In your prep work, you’ll need to take photos of your furniture item, unless you are not looking to list it online. However, we do recommend that you list furniture on at least one online selling platform to maximise your chances of a sale. To sell furniture in London, you need to keep up with other listings- it’s a competitive market!
Make sure your photos include snaps of your piece of furniture from all angles, with close-up shots of any imperfections or damage. Be sure to try and capture the exact real life colour of the piece too, as sometimes different lighting can change the way the colour looks compared to real life.
Do your research
Is your piece of furniture trending? Is it a desirable brand name? How much have similar pieces sold for in the past? Research pricing to make sure that you’re listing in line with similar items on the market, you want to make sure that you’re not over or under selling your item.
Sell Furniture Online
I know what you’re thinking- surely selling furniture online adds an extra layer of complexity? Not necessarily true. When you sell furniture online, you’re likely to have more eyeballs on your listings, and more potential buyers. With a smart phone and an internet connection, it can actually be pretty easy to sell furniture online in the UK.
Not just for clothes, eBay is also a brilliant place to sell your unwanted furniture. Bargain hunters regularly scour eBay as it’s arguably the most popular online marketplace around at the moment. You can sell just about everything on eBay- from an old desk to an old fireplace, to a vintage sink. The sky is the limit!
A top tip for pricing on eBay? Filter by ‘sold’ and ‘completed’ listings to see 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.
It’s also easier to use your phone to create listings too, because you can upload photos directly from your phone camera. Make sure that you include as many photos as possible, add lots of key words in the title and description, and include any damage or defects. Update the listing with information on brand, colour, and material and you’re good to go!
When it comes to furniture, delivery can be tricky if you’re selling a large piece. You could set delivery to ‘collection only’ if you wish to, but this will limit buyers to your local area. If you’re willing to put in a bit of work with the buyer to package the item and arrange a courier collection, you’ll have better chances of getting the item sold.
Gumtree is a well known destination for buying and selling furniture, cars and other large items. This makes it the ideal place to sell furniture online, especially in London.
Just like any other online marketplace, you can upload images and a description of your furniture piece, and sell to your local community, and further afield too. There are no fees for selling on Gumtree, which might make it slightly preferable to somewhere like eBay if you are selling something of high value.
The best practices for selling on Gumtree are pretty similar to eBay. You’ll need to add good photos, a description and title with key words, measurements, and a list of any defects. If you want to offer ‘collection only’ be sure to specify this in the description.
Shpock is an app-based selling platform that again allows you to sell unwanted possessions online to your local community and beyond. It operates in a similar way to other platforms such as eBay or Gumtree- but again, you don’t pay any fees to sell on Shpock, which means more money to keep for you!
Just like the other platforms, you need to take great photos, add a description, include measurements and any other information about the item, and upload. Make sure you specify whether you are open to arrange delivery or postage, or equally if you would prefer collection only.
If you have a Facebook account, it’s a good idea to list your item of furniture on Facebook Marketplace. It means that you can again have access to your local community for selling, which means you are more likely to sell your item to someone who can come and collect, rather than having to arrange delivery or postage yourself.
You can list on Facebook Marketplace in tandem with other methods such as eBay, Gumtree and Shpock, and you can use the same description and the same photos on every platform. Again, you can upload and list directly from your phone, and you can also share on your personal Facebook page and your listing will also get shown to your friends and family- another bonus!
As the name suggests, Preloved is an online marketplace for used furniture and other items. You can list items for free, and you can list absolutely anything from a sofa to a trampoline! Just like any other online marketplace, you’ll need to add photos, a description, and provide essential information such as measurements and the condition of the item.
Keep an eye on your messages, as you may receive messages from buyers or even offers from buyers. Once a sale is agreed, you can then arrange for collection or delivery. Collection is easier as a seller, but you may reach more potential buyers by offering delivery or postage.
Did you know that Etsy is the place to go to for retro and vintage furniture? Etsy has millions of buyers, with sellers from all over the world. Use Etsy to list one-off retro and vintage furniture for the best chances of a successful sale. 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 there are also selling fees to keep in mind. However, if you are looking to sell an expensive piece, this might be the online marketplace for you.
Sell to your local community
Your local community is usually your best bet when it come to making a quick sale on some furniture that you no longer want. You have better odds of arranging for someone to collect the furniture from you, instead of having to faff around with couriers or delivery. This is especially helpful in London and the surrounding areas if you don’t own a car.
Family and friends
Family and friends who live locally (or within driving distance) could be your first port of call when it comes to selling used furniture. Although you might get less money for the item that you are selling, you might be able to get rid of an item quicker and more efficiently when you call on your existing network.
Send out messages in WhatsApp groups, share on social media, and see if you get any interest in the first instance.
Local Facebook groups are an untapped goldmine when it comes to selling stuff online, particularly furniture. New residents of your local area are likely to join Facebook groups, and many will join just to snap up furniture bargains when they are furnishing a new home.
Join any community Facebook groups for your local area. Many will have names such as ‘buy and sell group’ or ‘noticeboard’ and you’ll be able to freely post about the items that you have for sale, without paying any fees. However do be vigilant about how you handle payments, and about giving away your personal information such as your address.
The in-person version of a Facebook group are local community noticeboards. Call them old school, but noticeboards can be a free and easy way to sell furniture in your local community. Head to local supermarkets, corner shops and community centres to post flyers about your furniture. It’s great if you can print off a flyer with a photo of the furniture item you are trying to sell, and also include measurements, condition, and your contact details.
Fayres and Markets
If you’re looking to sell a few pieces of furniture in London, especially if it’s vintage or retro, there are plenty of fayres, markets and car boot sales in the city and the surrounding areas. Transport is pretty important for this one- you’ll need access to a car to transport your item to the fayre or market, and you’ll also need to be selling more than one item in the ideal world, so that it’s worth your while.
If you also want to get rid of some other furniture, home furnishings, clothes or accessories, and you do have access to a car, this could be a good option to have a mass clear out and get rid of lots of items at one time. Remember to label items with prices, have a ‘float’ of cash and change available, and make sure you’re feeling ready to take on any hagglers too. It’s a good idea to have a rock bottom price in mind before you start selling so that you don’t let an item go for less than it’s worth when you’re in the moment.
Sell to specialist dealers
In London, there are plenty of vintage furniture stores who buy furniture. Many will specialise in a certain decade, designer, or furniture type, so do some research on the dealers you hope to approach to see if they are selling similar items, or have sold similar items in the past. You want to make sure that what you are trying to sell is going to be of interest to them so that your time (and theirs!) isn’t wasted.
When selling furniture to specialist stores or dealers, try to speak to them on the phone or via email to get a better feel for whether it’s the right deal for you. You may be able to arrange collection of furniture, which can be the most seamless way to sell furniture in London, especially if you don’t have a car. Check out this list of a few London based dealers who you might want to try…
Sotheby’s are well known as a premium London auction house, and they do have a furniture department. If you are selling an antique, rare, or specialist piece of furniture, you may wish to contact Sotheby’s.
Aladdin’s Furniture buy and sell furniture, and are specialists in modern, retro and antique. Get in touch with them if you’re selling furniture from early Victorian up to retro 70s. Aladdin’s pride themselves on sourcing great quality, affordable pieces. Think tables, chairs, lamps, mirrors, cabinets, rugs and so much more. If that’s what you’re selling, you may find that they are buying.
After Noah is a family-run shop that was established back in the 1930s. They are open to buying furniture, and you’ll find that they specialise in vintage furniture, lighting and children’s furniture and toys.
Top tips for selling furniture in London
- Do the prep work. Make sure your furniture is in good, usable condition before taking any photos and listing it online or taking it to a dealer. That includes giving it a wipe down, making sure that any drawers are empty, and it looks (and smells!) pretty fresh.
- Take good photos and measurements. If you’re selling furniture online, you need to have good photos and provide accurate measurements. Try to show your piece off in the best lighting, and include all angles of the piece of furniture.
- Be honest about the condition. You need to be totally honest and upfront about any damage, marks, or breakage on your piece of furniture. This is essential because, again, this could be a real time waster if a buyer is left disappointed. If you’re listing furniture online, take photos of any damage and include it in the description.
- Cross list on different platforms. To increase your chances of a sale, cross-list your furniture on several different online platforms so that your listing is shown to more potential buyers.