Consigning Furniture: What sells?

As a consignment store that sells furniture, you might think that we would take most any good used piece. We know from experience however that only certain types and styles of furniture will sell in our 90 day contract term. For starters, we generally prefer to only take case goods such as tables and other wood pieces. We find that upholstered furniture, even if spotless, just doesn't sell well. You might think that a potential buyer would appreciate a well made vintage or antique sofa enough to have it reupholstered but the truth is, we live in a disposable society and the cost to do so (usually around $1,000) makes it unrealistic. So with that being said, unless your upholstered piece is truly 'like-new', you should probably consider donating it.

The types of furnishings that generally sell well are things like table and chair sets, desks, dressers and bedroom sets, accent and coffee tables, shelving and storage pieces, leather seating, wrought iron and patio sets, re-purposed or invented pieces, and items that are less common in retail stores like baker's racks, bar sets, hall trees, corner cabinets, and room dividers. We find that smaller pieces are more desirable and we rarely take things like huge entertainment wall units or large china cabinets. We almost never take particle board or put together items.

The styles of furniture that generally sell well (in our demographic) are rustic, mission, country farm, contemporary, early American, Scandinavian, shabby chic, mid century modern, and of course traditional/ transitional. Some styles that do not sell are late American traditional - think of dark stained pine with venire and blocky carved inserts. And not that we don't like it, but Victorian cuts are slow to sell as well. Art Nouveau pieces that are heavily carved and painted can be a hard sell, but we're happy to take a look. Lastly, we usually won't take TV armoires. Most everyone has a widescreen television and entertainment cabinets built for a 4:3 television just won't sell - again - the thrift store is your best resource.

In summary, we wish we could help everyone who has something to sell, but at the end of the day we just have to go with what we know. But don't be shy, if you have a nice piece that you think someone might want, just send us a picture!


Submitted by Mike on January 27, 2014

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