Help My Sell My Beautiful Desk in NYC
October 25, 2012 10:45 AM   Subscribe

Asking for a friend- [Furniture lovers/buyers/sellers in NYC filter:] How can I sell and get a great price for my midcentury modern desk?

How does a mere mortal who is not in the midcentury modern furniture business sell a huge Brazilian rosewood desk? What’s my best chance of getting a good price for it?

Visits to local stores and midcentury modern websites suggest these kinds of desks sell for between $1.5K and $5K. What are my options if I want to avoid Ebay? Is my only alternative to have a furniture dealer sell it on commission? What does that really mean, ie what are they interested in? Do I have any control over the price/my cut? How do I find out what it’s worth/will sell for? It has some minor scratches but is generally in great shape.

If you think I need to go through someone's store, can you recommend particular furniture dealers I should approach? I’m in NYC.

Thanks in advance.
posted by foxy_hedgehog to Shopping (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
You can consign it, but if you do so, really understand the contract and do it with someone who's been in the same location for a long time.

Typically a consignment will involved a tiered system. You'll agree on a target price, and the shop's cut, and every 30 days, the price will drop until the piece is sold.

Sometimes someone will come in and make an offer. The shop will call you and ask if you'll take the offer.

The bonus is that the consignment shop will come, take the item, move it to their shop and that's it.

Call around for shops that specialize in MCM, as they'll have the folks interested in that type of furniture in their store on a regular basis.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 10:54 AM on October 25, 2012

I'm not in NYC but I recently sold a small mid-century modern piece through Craigslist. I was moving and had to get rid of it and approached a local antique store to see if they would buy it. They said they were overstocked and were not interested, so I listed it on Craigslist. I didn't get as much as I wanted out of it (I got about 1/8th what MCM stores were asking for similar pieces), but it did go to a guy who actually knew the (still-living) designer and I was crunched for time.
posted by jabes at 11:08 AM on October 25, 2012 [1 favorite]

I was coming in to say the same thing as jabes. If you're patient, craigslist is a good way to go in many big communities. I believe NYC has a pretty active craigslist community.
posted by small_ruminant at 11:09 AM on October 25, 2012

You might also try posting in Apartment Therapy's classifieds section. They loves the MCM.
posted by tangaroo at 11:13 AM on October 25, 2012 [1 favorite]

What are your reasons for avoiding Ebay? I've been considering using it for a few MCM pieces I want to get rid of...I don't want to bother with shipping, but think you can make it a local/pickup-only item. I think Ebay's likely to yield much better prices than Craigslist, though I use Craigslist too. Lushpad is an online marketplace specializing in MCM.
posted by three_red_balloons at 12:44 PM on October 25, 2012 [1 favorite]

Yep, I've both bought and sold some pretty fancy crap on Craigslist. The way to go IMO, but you'll have to be patient.
posted by zvs at 1:31 PM on October 25, 2012

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