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How to sell your second hand furniture

Whether you’re moving house, wanting to upgrade to something bigger, or your style has simply changed, there are lots of reasons why you might need to sell your furniture – and it’s surprisingly easy to do. Once you know why you're selling, the next step is finding out how to quickly sell your furniture to those seeking pre-loved household items.

Once you clean it up, give it a polish, and know where you can sell it, making some extra cash off your used furniture will be next on your to-do list.

Is your second-hand furniture good enough to sell?

While you think you might have loved your furniture a little too much over the years, don't make the mistake of throwing away something that's in good condition. With a little bit of effort and knowing where to look to sell your unwanted furniture, you can make some easy money from second-hand furniture buyers all over Australia.

However, it’s important to be realistic about the furniture you’re selling. If your chair has a leg missing or upholstery that’s stained and damaged beyond return, save yourself the hassle of selling and wait for the council waste collection.

To sell second-hand furniture, the item needs to be in working condition at the very least. Buyers will pick up on the true value of your product just as much as you know its true condition – you also want to show people that you're an honest and trustworthy seller.

Where to sell second-hand furniture?

Sell in-store

Many second-hand stores will buy furniture from you, provided it’s in decent condition. It’s a quick and easy way to sell your item and get cash on the spot. At Cash Converters, you can sell a wide range of pieces, from chairs to décor.

Some buyers are even more specific, hoping to get their hands on vintage pieces to decorate their homes. Just because your furniture is old does not necessarily make it a vintage item. The trick is to do a bit of digging and get to know where your piece is from and whether it's got a nice price tag to go with it.

If you do find yourself with a special item and you're wondering where to sell vintage furniture, there are dedicated stores that specialise in buying vintage, retro, and designer pieces. Places like Home Furniture on Consignment (based in Sydney, Australia) and Design Consigned (based in Melbourne, Australia) are good places to start for designer pieces, otherwise, your local antique shops might be interested in your vintage and retro items. You never know – you could be sitting on a fortune.

Sell online

Knowing how to sell your furniture online in Australia is a great place to start if you're looking at getting the attention of those you can't reach offline.

One of the main reasons many sellers have started to list items online is because of how convenient it is. Platforms such as eBay, Gumtree, or Facebook Marketplace are all free to use at your leisure, provided you're upfront and that you use the platform honestly. All you have to do is create an account or sell through your profile – the rest is taken care of by people landing on your listing through search.

Try your luck posting on local community pages as well or other online marketplaces to see if you can snag a buyer. You might be surprised at how many people are in the market for a dining table in good condition, for less than brand new, to be the centrepiece of their share house.

Gift it

If you’re not intent on making cash but need to say sayonara to your furniture ASAP, ‘Buy Nothing New’ groups and charity stores are great if you’re happy to see your piece gifted to a new home.

How to make your piece desirable to buyers

You want to sell your item, so really sell it.

Lights, camera, action

If you’re listing the furniture online, you need to take good photos of your items. This is the first impression that a potential buyer will have about your piece, so you want it to be a good one. Clean up the item and remove any cushions or clutter that could make it look dirty or obstruct the view before taking the photos.

Good lighting is key to grabbing a buyer's attention. Make sure there’s ample lighting, particularly natural lighting, and take the photo in high resolution so the buyer can see the item clearly. Plus, the more photos and descriptions you have the better – potential buyers will want to see detail. Doing this also saves you from answering questions about the item.

Being honest is another tip – if your furniture is in great condition except for a minor scratch or stain, make sure you take a photo of the defect as well so that the buyer is aware and they can clearly see the fault.

Describe your item

Give an honest and detailed description of what the item is, the condition that it’s in, and anything else a potential buyer would want to know. Make it engaging and try to pre-empt questions that anyone might have – the more information you provide the easier it will be for someone to decide whether it’s the best fit.

Nothing makes someone click away faster than bad photos and a poor description. Writing a great description will show the buyer that you know about the item and that you're being upfront.

Understand the value of your furniture

Before you sell your piece, make sure you know what it’s worth. For example, if you’re selling a 10-year-old couch, this likely wouldn’t fetch the same price as a newer couch of the same make as it would typically look more worn.

A good way to do this is by visiting all the platforms where people are selling similar items to what you’re selling. Search the furniture you want to sell and scope the price of what others are selling their piece for. Comparing prices can help you decide whether you want to stand out by giving a better offer to sell your item faster. It'll also help you understand the worth of your furniture as a second-hand piece since the price varies depending on the make, model, or whether it's vintage.

Always do a search of similar items to see what your own item could sell for. If you want to sell the item quickly, offer a lower price. Otherwise, if you’re happy to wait around for a buyer, it won't hurt to try your luck asking for a higher price.

Clean your furniture

This is a step that you should do before taking photos of your item. Cleaner furniture can help make it stand out from the rest because it looks newer, higher quality, and well looked after. When a buyer is sifting through pictures upon pictures of used furniture listings, yours could be what makes them break away from scrolling with better photos and a cleaner item.

Here are a few examples of things you could do to try to make your pre-loved furniture look newer:

  • Buy a high-quality disinfectant spray or multi-purpose cleaner to spray the surface area
  • Try some at-home remedies such as eucalyptus oil and baking soda
  • Find a hardware store and see if you can hire a powerful steam cleaner for the day

Make it easy

And finally, be available – the easier you make it for the buyer, the more likely it is you’ll sell your used furniture.

Tips to spruce up your pieces for sale

Would you buy the furniture that you're selling?

When it comes to selling your second-hand furniture, appearance is everything. Clean and tidy always sells better, but luckily you don’t have to get too hands on to make your furniture more appealing for buyers. 

The basics - Wooden

Wooden furniture can come up beautifully with a bit of spit and polish. If you’re a newbie, YouTube has plenty of DIY videos for every type of wooden furniture. Here are the basics:

  • Clean: Wipe away dust and dirt with a mild detergent and warm-water solution.
  • Repair: Tighten spindles, handles and knobs. Glue down veneers. Fill in cracks and scratches with wood putty or glue, or wax or shellac sticks.
  • Sand and prime: Lightly buff your furniture with sandpaper. Then wipe it down with a soft cloth and apply an even coat of primer.
  • Polish: Polish your furniture for a natural finish. For the glossy look, go with varnish, shellac or lacquer. For matte, go with oil or wax.
  • Paint: Painting takes practice and patience. If you’re new to DIY, you might want to stick with a natural finish. If your furniture began life painted but now looks worse for wear, you can sand it back to its natural state or re-touch the paint where it’s peeling or chipped.

The basics - Upholstered

Old upholstery stains can be hard to remove, but don't give up before you try a few things:

  • Vacuum the upholstery to remove dust and debris
  • Check the label for cleaning dos and don’ts
  • Spot-test with a mild solution of water with soap, detergent or vinegar
  • Steam the stain to loosen it with your iron’s steam function
  • Blot, don’t rub, and repeat to fade (literally)

The basics - Outdoor

Most outdoor furniture (wood, rattan, wicker, aluminium) can be cleaned with mild detergent and water. For rattan and wicker, start with a dry brush to get at those hard-to-reach places. Don't use anything too abrasive when cleaning to avoid scratching, and simply wash off the detergent with the hose.

This entire process isn’t just for furniture. You can do the same thing for whitegoods, electronics, tech, and other items of value as well.

By following the above guide, you should be able to get your furniture closer to its former glory for whatever reason it needs to go. Even if you're just looking to give your furniture a new lease on life altogether, these steps can really get your items ready for their new home.

Of course, selling may not be the route you want to go down. You may want to add value to someone else's life by donating your goods instead – even more of a reason to clean up your pre-loved piece for the next lucky person. Got a friend that could do with a couch at their new rental? Help them out by giving away furniture you don't use, just make sure to spruce it up before you do. As the saying goes; a little generosity goes a long way.

 

If you’re looking to sell an item for cash on the spot, use our What’s it Worth tool to get an online quote from our team in-store. Find out more about selling your item online and in-store.

SHDL #2026 & 2031, PBL #2025 & 2030

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