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Guide to Selling Your Second Hand Furniture

Last Updated Nov 9, 2011 · Written by Rob Schneider

If you're renovating or doing some interior decorating, you might find yourself with some unwanted furniture. If you go about it the right way, you may be surprised to discover how valuable your second hand furniture can be. This guide to selling your second hand furniture will help you do it the right way.

Should I Restore My Second Hand Furniture or Leave it As Is?

The first question you should ask yourself is whether or not restoring your second hand furniture is worth the effort or cost of restoration. A piece of furniture does not have to be an antique to be valuable. In fact, some modern furniture has actually increased in value over the years. If you know the brand and name of the line of furniture, look it up online and see what yours may be worth. Some other things to consider include:
  • If you have solid timber furniture made from an exotic species, it is probably worth restoring before you sell. Depending on its condition, you may be able to just clean and wax it and/or make minor repairs yourself. Better furniture may be worth having restored by a local cabinet maker.

  • Minor upholstery repairs may make the difference between selling or being unable to sell your upholstered furniture. However, don't reupholster second hand furniture you want to sell unless it is particularly valuable.

  • Bookcases and other furniture made from timber veneers will be more valuable to others if they are in sound condition. Sometimes all it takes to make a wobbly bookcase solid again is to replace the nails or screws on the back panel.

  • Your local hardware store will have wood stains, coloured wood putties, waxes, polishing supplies and other products that are cheap, easy to use and can make an old piece of furniture look like new again.

Where is the Best Place to Sell Second Hand Furniture?

Second hand furniture is a booming business in Australia and you may be surprised by how much a second hand dealer will be willing to pay you for yours. This is the quickest way to sell it, but may not be the most profitable. Some other options include:
  • A consignment store in your area may be a good place to sell your second hand furniture if you are willing to wait before getting paid.

  • An online auction site: Take a few good photographs so potential buyers can see your furniture from all angles While you're on the site, see how much has been paid for similar items. This will help you determine the value of yours.

  • Have a garage sale: Be sure to put some signs up in your neighbourhood and advertise in your local newspaper to attract more customers.

  • Car boot sales are held in many areas throughout Australia. Find one in your area and ask about how you can participate. In some cases, you may have to pay a small fee to cover your share of the parking allotment for the weekend.
Finally, before selling your second hand furniture, ask yourself if that's really the best thing to do. A couple of coats of paint can make an old bookcase look like new again and may also be all it needs to make it fit in with your new room decor. A good upholsterer can do wonders to an old couch or lounge chair. Whatever you do, don't throw it away. Even badly broken furniture can be repaired and appreciated by someone for years to come.
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