Whether you’ve recently acquired wealth or were born into a family who holds onto its riches by investing and spending wisely, you may balk at the idea of spending $10,000 on a sofa that you’ll end up giving away on Craigslist in a few years.
It’s not easy being both frugal and trendy, but some designers and some types of home furnishings hold their value better than others.
So we talked to the folks at two online consignment stores that specialize in selling luxury home goods. We asked them what brands and products are most in demand and will help you recover more of your initial investment.
Chairish is the Word for Luxury Vintage Furnishings
Don’t ditch your mother’s lamps or grandmother’s accent chairs. The most popular styles at Chairish are mirrors, accent chairs and consoles from the Hollywood Regency era and just about anything Mid-Century Modern, but especially étagère, credenzas and lamps, says Mugs Buckley, head of media and partnerships for Chairish. Modern accents chairs and lighting also sell well, she says.
The Hollywood Regency style dates back to the 1930s and celebrates the glitz and glamour of celebrities, including Joan Crawford and Nancy Reagan. Popular designers from the era whose pieces are currently popular include William Haines and Dorothy Draper.
If you’ve watched Mad Men or shows originating in the 1950s and 60s, you’ve seen the teak, turquoise and glass that helped define the Mid-Century Modern age of home design. If you own an Eames chair or Danish teak credenza, you may be able to sell it for more than its original value.
Here are some makers and items that sell well on Chairish:
- Eames: Lounge chairs, chairs, arm chairs
- Milo Baughman: Dining chairs, accent chairs, dining tables, swivel chairs
- Jens Risom: Accent chairs, credenzas, side tables
- Adrian Pearsall: Couches, lounge chairs
- Knoll: Womb chairs, wire chairs
- Baker: Dining tables/chairs, sideboards, night tables
- Bertoia: Lounge chairs, bar stools
If you want to recover some of your home furnishing investment before buying new, Chairish has an iPhone app for buyers and sellers. Architectural Digest calls the app the #1 Can’t Live Without Decorating App.
Chairish adds about 200 to 300 new items on its site daily and boasts an inventory of 90,000 items.
Say Nyet to High Home Furnishing Costs and Yes to Viyet Consignment
Viyet sells more than 4,600 items on its site, including about 60 vintage items. Most of its offerings are modern, and the most popular brands are Barbara Barry, Holly Hunt, Donghia, Christian Liagire and B & B Italia, says Dana, a company spokesperson.
Clockwise from left: Barbara Barry Biscuit Tufted Chair; Christian Liaigre Dining Table; Holly Hunt Cube Lounge Armchairs | Photos courtesy of Viyet
The items that sell fastest on Viyet include sectionals, coffee tables, dining chairs and dining tables.
Sellers must sign a six-month consignment agreement. Most items sell within a few weeks, Dana said.
Both Viyet (a play on the word “vignette”) and Chairish help arrange delivery and local pickup.
Viyet sets the prices of the items they accept. Chairish allows sellers to price their items but may encourage buyers to lower prices. If an item doesn’t sell within 30 days, the price is usually too high, according to the sellers’ resource page on the Chairish site.
Left to right: Donghia Traditional Eaton Side Chair; B&B Italia Marc Newson Table | Photos courtesy of Viyet
Terms for buyers and sellers are different on each site. Read conditions on both sites before making a purchase or listing an item for sale.
A key advantage to selling home goods online is that you can keep the item in your home until/unless it sells. You don’t have to arrange shipping to and from a local consignment shop. If you are eager to get a large item out of your home, you may be able to store it at a Chairish or Viyet location, depending on where you live.
A piece of furniture loses about 50 percent of its retail value as soon as you move it into your home. For buyers, purchasing used furniture can mean saving 75 percent off retail price. For sellers, if you recover $2,500 to $4,000 off the price of your $10,000 sofa, it takes a lot of the sting out of buying replacement seating.