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What Is the Value of Used Furniture?

By Jeff Frank


Does used furniture have any re-sale value?


Used furniture is worth whatever someone is willing to pay for it.

It loses at least half its value the day they installed it in your home.

A large part of the re-sale value is related directly to the condition of the furniture.

Styling is also a factor. Out of style pieces have lower re-sale values.

There are a lot of good reasons to buy used furniture.

Older wood pieces that are still in good shape are often better quality and less expensive than similar items that were made more recently.

I would never buy a used mattress.

I would also never buy used upholstered furniture, unless I was planning to have it completely reupholstered.

There are too many hidden problems that may lurk in mattresses and upholstered seating, including (but not limited to) bedbugs, insect or rodent infestations and mold.

Used sofas, made within the past ten years, may look OK, but there is a high probability that the cushions will be worn out to the point of discomfort.

Recently, I inherited a 6 pc. John Widdicomb solid cherry mid-century modern bedroom set. My parents paid over $5000 for it when new in 1960.

This brand is among the finest quality bedroom furniture ever made in the U.S.

There are numerous collectors of John Widdicomb furniture.

Previously owned furniture in good condition can be found through online websites or auction houses.

Unfortunately, my parents’ used bedroom set was in very poor condition.

The time & cost needed to refinish this magnificent mid-century modern bedroom classic is more than the re-sale value for similar pieces in good condition.

This leaves me with only two options:

Find an individual who is willing to spend many months carefully refinishing the furniture for his/her personal use.

Donate one of the finest examples of top quality solid wood furniture ever made to a charitable organization.

Overall, there are a lot of good reasons to buy previously owned furniture.

Older wood pieces that are still in good shape are often better quality and almost always far less expensive than more recently made similar items.

Use extra caution when before purchasing upholstered furniture or mattresses.

The photo above shows a restored chest (in walnut) from the same John Widdicomb collection.

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