Sell Antique Furniture: Getting the Right Price Sell Antique Furniture: Getting the Right Price

When the time comes to sell antique furniture, there are a few important things to keep in mind to ensure you are getting a fair price.


Knowing what you have is the first step in getting a fair price. Your great aunt may have told you that your heirloom rocking chair has been passed down since the days of Abe Lincoln, but without a proper appraisal, you won’t be able to sell it on that story.

A good appraisal will give you much more information than just a fair auction price. The appraiser should be able to tell you who made it, how old it is, and other interesting things about the piece that may help you when selling.

If possible, try to get more than one independent appraisal. This will arm you with fair market value information.

Knowing The Market

If you had an antique couch, you wouldn’t take it to a shop that specializes in selling Tiffany lamps. Likewise, if you have a bed from the French Revolutionary period, you wouldn’t try to sell it to someone who is only interested in American Amish antiques. Before you look for buyers, understand who will be most interested in your piece. After all, it doesn’t matter how much the appraiser said it is worth if no one is willing to buy it.


When the economy takes a downturn, so will industries like antique sales. Consider holding on to the piece until the market more stable. Unless it’s an emergency, wait a few months before you try to sell again. In tough times, you are more likely to encounter bargain hunters who will try to take advantage of you.


Auctions can have just as many disadvantages as advantages. While an auction may guarantee a sale, it won’t guarantee a fair price. If you are considering using a local auction house for your antique furniture, go watch a few of their auctions before deciding to list your piece with them.

Online auction houses will generally allow you to set a reserve price on the item. If the item appraised at $700 and you will take no less than $500, you can set up your auction to reflect that. Online auctions do bring another set of issues. You have to pay a fee each time you list your item, even if your reserve price was never met. Additionally, you may have to deal with scams or negative feedback.

Antique Shops

A lot of antique shops are nothing more than junk stores. While they may have a few great pieces, they are less likely to offer you a good price for yours. Do some research before committing. Walk around the antique stores in your area to get a better idea of what types of items they sell and at what prices.


Patience is the biggest key in selling your antique furniture. If you rush in to selling it, you will also be rushing to the bank with potentially less money than you would if you take your time.

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