Shopping Guide

4 Must-Read Tips On Buying Vintage Furniture

Avoid getting duped with the help of this handy guide


Whether it's from a curated auction or a weekend flea market, it's always thrilling to find a secondhand gem to add to your home. However, it can be tricky to distinguish the genuine pieces from the knock-offs. To help you get value for your money, here are a few helpful tips from architect Allen Oblena: 


1. Do your research. 

  • Google Image Search is a handy tool for learning about vintage furniture—especially if you have  little or no knowledge of the item you intend to buy.
  • Consider joining Facebook groups dedicated to thrifting vintage pieces and ask for tips from more experienced buyers.

2. Check the quality. 

  • It's always good to give an item a bit of shaking before purchasing. If an item is an authentic vintage piece, it's bound to have loosened parts and scratches. If you think you can resurrect it with minor repairs, buy it.
  • Some sellers maliciously hide defects on purpose by painting over the problematic parts. Be wary of chairs displaying muddy wood stains and cabinets with hastily glued veneers. 

3. Study the authenticity background. 

  • Not all secondhand items are the same—there are vintage pieces and there are authenticated vintage pieces. These authenticated pieces have historical value—making it more expensive.  
  • Avoid getting a knock-off by checking the underside of the furniture. Authentic items proudly wear badges or serial numbers from the company that produced the item.

4. Be informed about the cost.

  • Unfortunately, there will always be sellers who intentionally overprice their merchandise to outsmart haggling customers. At all times, one should keep in mind the cost of item plus additional repair work that may arise and reference it to your spending capacity.
  • Never force a sale to happen. If you walk away and the seller reconsiders, then you get the item on a much better price.

More on

4 Ways to Shop for Furniture Like a Pro

4 Tips on Restoring Old Furniture

4 Storage Tips for Your Vintage Pieces


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