9 Popular Places to Buy Used or Vintage Furniture Online
Of all the interior design trends for 2022, we’re perhaps the most excited to see vintage furniture having a moment. Why? Once-loved furnishings are breaking the mold of generic, mass-produced decor.
Given the challenges of today’s global supply chain, manufactured hung furniture can come with a long shipping time, but vintage or used furniture can be delivered to your doorstep in a reasonable delay. Hooray for not having to wait three months for a dining table!
You may already be familiar with buying used and vintage furniture in person. Did you know, however, that there is also a world of websites that have an even wider selection of items available for purchase?
Whether you’re looking to grab a bargain or are looking for decorative pieces steeped in history, bookmark the following websites so you can shop used and vintage furniture from the comfort of your own home.
If you are looking for unique upholstery or tables, Nicole Fisher recommended 1stDibsthe online marketplace known for its vast offering of luxury items.
“They have such unique materials and such a range of products that it’s hard not to get carried away with hours of research,” says Fisher, CEO and Founder of BNR Interiors in New York. “Luckily, it’s so easy to navigate that perfect size or price with their filters.”
On 1stDibs, you can find a wide range of products, from affordable patio furniture to 100-year-old lime green sofas priced in the thousands, and many more options in between. To help the process feel less overwhelming, Fisher suggests having a good idea of the specific part you’re looking for before you jump into the research process.
2. Live Auctioneers
If bidding is over your speed, Live Auctioneers is a must. Unlike other auction sites, such as eBay, Live Auctioneers focuses on high-end used and vintage items and is reminiscent of an estate sale. A quick search of the site turns up a diverse assortment of furniture, such as daybeds, mid-century modern sofas, and antique chairs, with starting bids as low as $1.
“For those who have the time on your hands, you can often pick up an amazing bargain on live auctioneers,” says Fisher.
She also points out that the site is a useful resource if you’re looking for vintage art.
The online marketplace pulpit has so many used, vintage, and antique options that you’re bound to find what you’re looking for.
“When I want a large catalog of items, ranging from furniture, lighting, artwork, pillows and decor, I choose to shop at Chairish,” says Christina Manzo, designer at Decorist. “I can literally spend hours going through their catalog and by the end have a whole house full of rooms.”
Manzo advises that when you come across a piece of furniture you like online, make sure you don’t sit on it. “Make an offer!” she says. “Often these pieces go quickly, but the seller will almost always accept an offer, so you can potentially score your favorite piece for less.”
4. A Way of Kings
A path of kings has a fair amount of new and made-to-order furniture for sale, but the vintage section of the website opens up a whole world of furniture possibilities.
Manzo loves browsing the vintage section and says she often finds real gems that perfectly complement a piece she designs.
“It always catches me off guard when I’m looking, and I like the feeling that I’ve stumbled upon a little treasure,” she says.
5. Sotheby’s “Buy Now”
The famous auction house, best known for its sales of works of art, also offers an “Interiors” shop on its website under the heading “Buy now” tongue. Interested customers can use filters to narrow down what they are looking for.
Sotheby’s prices can be a little high, so our experts advise using this site to find the occasional vintage piece, rather than using the website to fill an entire home.
6, 7, 8. Etsy, eBay and Mercari
Websites such as Etsy, eBayand Mercari are ideal to use if you are looking for home items at more accessible prices. Shoppers often turn to Etsy and eBay for vintage pieces, while Mercari is a great source for second-hand furniture and decor.
To get the most out of these sites, experts suggest first searching by the design era you’re interested in, then narrowing it down to the specific pieces you’re looking to buy. For example, search term formats such as “mid-century modern barware” and “Art Deco lighting” work well.
Also, feel free to ask for more photos if you find something that interests you.
“The benefit of sourcing through Etsy or eBay is that you have more access to people who have the merchandise on hand,” says Caron Woolseyfounder of CW Interiors in The Woodlands, TX.
Woolsey reminds shoppers that they should expect to pay more for shipping when buying from smaller suppliers who may not have established relationships with shipping companies to get discounted rates.
It’s also worth bearing in mind that Mercari and eBay have “local” filtering options. This means you can shop from nearby sellers, which can help reduce shipping and delivery costs.
9. Independent vintage stores
Vintage decor stores that have brick-and-mortar locations may also have websites that offer delivery to out-of-area customers. For example, Ashley DeLappfounder of Ashley DeLapp Interior Design in Charlotte, North Carolina, recommends the site of Circa Who, a high-end resale furniture store in Palm Beach, Florida.
When buying online, be sure to double-check the quality of the part and how much you’re willing to spend on rehabilitation, if necessary.
“Shipping is usually a fair amount of money, and if you’re going to have it professionally lacquered or refinished, make sure it’s worth the investment,” says DeLapp.