Wash, clean, and buff the furniture to make the most money.
A clean piece of furniture is infinitely easier to sell, and to price competitively. Get out any stains, polish up the edges, and consider cheaply staining or painting faded furniture.
- If there are any small repairs you can make, put them in now. It will disproportionately lower the sale price if you expect the buyer to make fixes.
- Test any old electronics to ensure that they still work.
Check prices of similar furniture online.
Head online and see some of the current styles. Check out new pieces to see how yours fits. For example, a big, plaid couch will sell for significantly less than a plain-colored one, at least until plaid comes back in style.
- Furniture Valuation Guides, found easily online, will give you ranges of prices for most furniture.
- Look for items as similar as possible to yours. If you know the maker, model, or materials used, look up furniture with similar qualities.
- If you don’t know how much the piece originally sold for, this is the best place to start.
Sell most furniture at 70-80% it’s original sale price.
The easiest way to come up with a price is to slash 20% from the price you bought it for. This is considered industry standard, and is a reasonable guide for quality used furniture. Note, however, that this is just a baseline. You can tailor the price depending on a variety of other factors, as discussed below. Say, for example, you bought an dresser for $500 several years ago, and want to get rid of it:
- The dresser is in good condition, and not very old. You decide that 80% is fair.
- Multiply $500 by 80%, or .8. (500 x .8 = 400)
- $400 is your baseline asking price for the dresser.
Compare the condition now to the condition when you bought it.
When do you subtract 30%, and when do you only subtract 20%? The biggest factor is the condition. If it is in almost the exact condition as when you bought it, then you can sell it for only 20% less than when you bought the furniture. But if it’s got some scuffs, dings, wobble, or other issues, you may want to lean towards 30% or more. In general, the longer you’ve owned it, the less you can sell it for.
- If you bought a beautiful bookshelf for $1,000, and it is in prime condition, you can likely sell it for $800.
- If the bookshelf is faded, older, missing shelves, or has marks and chips, you may want to price it closer to $6-700.
To be continue…