When it comes to finding the perfect piece of furniture for your home, there’s nothing quite like a stately side table or a gleaming coffee table to pull a carefully curated room together. But how do you get those gorgeous pieces at a fraction of their retail price? Well, it’s all about knowing how to shop for vintage furniture and antique home furnishings at auction.
Whether you’re looking for a pristine Hans J. Wegner chair on eBay or the sunglasses Lee Radziwill once owned going up for sale at Christie’s, it’s essential to know what you’re doing when bidding. After all, you don’t want to pay a penny more than necessary—and you definitely don’t want to wind up saddled with a dud.
There are a few places you can find furniture at great prices: One option is a dedicated furniture store, which may sell returned or overstock furniture rather than throwing it out or returning it to the manufacturer. Another is a thrift shop, which sells donated furniture. This is often fairly worn and in need of repair, but it’s a better alternative to buying new furniture.
Finally, there are auction houses that sell furniture on a regular basis. They often have furniture that was previously owned by someone else, and may be a little pricier than other outlets, but can be worth the extra money for those looking to score a true antique or vintage find.