Why You Should Be Buying Antique Furniture Right Now
1. The Market Is Overflowing: If you follow the antique market at all, you probably have heard that the furniture market is extremely “soft” right now. This is fueled by baby-boomer retirements and downsizing, as well as city-life loving millennials with small apartments. This means that there is a surplus of secondhand furniture for sale and insufficient demand for all of it to sell. For those in the market for furniture, one can buy complete sets, as well as single unique pieces that are in excellent condition for the fraction of the price of buying new at the retail level. Thinking about going to IKEA or Ethan Allen? You can unquestionably find sturdier, longer-lasting, one-of-a-kind furniture for the same price (or cheaper) in the second-hand marketplaces of auction, estate sales and antique stores or thrift shops.
2. Shopping Secondhand offers Opportunities & Entertainment: With so much furniture on the market, there are many ways to buy antiques and vintage furniture. Regardless of your price point, location, condition concerns, or styles of interest, you will be able to find what you are looking for. Thrift stores & Craigslist are good for shoppers who are looking to spend the least amount of money and have time to sift through a wide and diverse pool of objects. Visiting estate sales in your area can be a great way to spend the day with a friend and explore how others lived and collected. Furniture which has been vetted by a credible dealer or expert will save some time in your pursuit, but may cost a bit more because they are working on behalf of their client and get paid to do so.
3. Cheap, Cheaper, Cheapest: Going to garage or tag sales run by everyday folks offer the opportunity to negotiate for an even greater deal. Sometimes, people don’t know what they have. Obviously, they no longer want what they’re selling. Professional estate sales offer less negotiation, but better quality items. For those wishing to save time and money, auctions (online or live) are a good way to see a lot of furnishings and, maybe, find something no one else will want. For those who are downsizing or moving, it can be cheaper to buy quality second-hand and vintage than to pay for transportation or storage costs of your current pieces.
Co-Authors: Lynn Magnusson, ASA, AAA and Becky Lipnick, Communications Coordinator