How to Get Rid of Old Furniture
Someone once said that the right piece of furniture has a personality imbued within it that connects with its owner. Furniture says something to its owner that can’t be translated in language but understood visually when it comes time for interior design aesthetics on moving day. However, personalities change in people and even in furniture. And the day will come when it is time to get rid of old furniture.
Also, just throwing your old furniture on the sidewalk, the go-to move for people looking to get rid of old furniture in cities for decades, is not as viable a plan as it used to be.
If you throw old furniture on the sidewalk on non-trash days, you could be fined $100, or more. If you use a vehicle to get rid of old furniture, you could be fined over $2,000 in New York City.
Here are some tips on how to get rid of old furniture efficiently – and maybe even profit.
Relatives and Friends
You can first start by networking with all of your relatives, friends, and coworkers and ask anyone in the market for old furniture if they would like yours.
There will always likely be someone in your life who will need furniture. The people in your personal life are getting married, starting a family, moving, upgrading their living arrangements, and so on.
Someone will always need free furniture.
And you can get rid of old furniture at the same time.
Just make sure to state upfront that upon acceptance they would be responsible for picking it up and transporting it, either themselves or by moving service, and on their own dime.
Craigslist and Similar Sites
Craigslist and similar classified listings sites have a “free section,” and “barter,” section on their sites.
Want to get rid of old furniture? Make a persuasive listing of an online classified site that details how you are giving away your free furniture.
Make sure to include detailed photo images of the free furniture that you are giving away. Include descriptions that detail the sentimental importance of the furniture.
Write descriptions that would make it sound like that if someone came to take your free furniture then it would literally feel like a steal.
People like being persuaded and they like discovering material items of sentimental or historical importance. Just watch any episode of Antiques Roadshow, or any similar show, if you need proof of that idea.
Just make sure to explain in your post that anyone who shows up to help you get rid of old furniture must get it and take it away upon arrival.
It is the 20th century, and everyone has a smart device in their hand. But sometimes, the old traditionalist ways are the best ways.
If you want to get rid of old furniture, you can just have an old-school garage sale.
You can set up your old furniture on your front lawn in an ad hoc display. Also, you may have to sacrifice the pricing if you are eager to get rid of old furniture.
And let’s be realistic – no one is going to pay you top dollar for your old furniture. So be realistic about your profit potential.
Especially if you have a garage sale with your old furniture strewn in the front yard for public viewing.
The fastest way for you to get the word out about your garage sale is to notify everyone via social media. Set a date, post pictures and descriptions of the furniture, and then notify everyone in your neighborhood and personal life who may be interested.
Get an Appraisal
I might have been a little dismissive about the value of your old furniture before.
Does any of your old furniture have historical value?
Get an official appraisal of your old furniture if you think it may have any value to collectors. I don’t recommend that you do it on a whim since appraisers don’t work for free.
Only contact an appraiser if you have legitimate beliefs that some or all of your old furniture might have some value.
Contact Local Thrift Shops
It is the operating mission of thrift stores and secondhand furniture stores to source their inventory for free or as cheaply as possible.
Thrift stores can’t afford to buy their inventory from wholesalers. So, the managers of thrift stores are also networking and making new connections to find clever ways to source their inventory for free.
You may get rid of old furniture, and all of it in one go, if you can find a thrift shop willing to take it off your hands.
First of all, do as much research as possible. Make a list of all of the thrift store local to your area and region.
Contact all of the thrift stores on your list by phone or email. Send them pictures of all of the free furniture that you want to give away.
Make as many thrift stores as possible vying for your free furniture.
Then, accept the offer from any thrift store that promises to come and take all or most of the old furniture that you are looking to get rid of in your home.
I may have made this tactic sound a lot easier than it actually is in reality. Never assume that the first thrift store that you contact will be happy to show up and physically take your free furniture.
Make as long a list as possible of thrift stores in your area to contact. You will increase your odds that one of them will be happy to show up and take your old furniture.
Freecycle is a nonprofit organization and website that is dedicated to connecting people who want to give away and receive free items.
Freecycle has local, domestic, and international websites that are relative to their users according to region.
So, you can make a listing with pictures and descriptions of your free furniture, and people living specifically in your region will automatically see it.
OfferUp Now is an app where you can develop a page for your old furniture, price it, and wait and see if you get any takers.
Buyers and sellers can communicate and negotiate via the service’s in-app messaging service. So, if you are good at negotiating, you may even be able to inflate your profit margin, albeit a little, with the right buyer.
OfferUp Now even has its own vetting service. Buyers using the app must scan their driver’s license or ID onto the site. Then their ID will automatically be cross-referenced with local public records to make sure those using the site are legit.
VarageSale is what it sounds like, a website where you can register and make a page to display your virtual garage sale.
You will need a current Facebook account to register and activate your VarageSale account. Then you will be able to connect, negotiate, and sell to other VarageSale members relative to your location.
Waste is a Waste
Even if you can legally throw away your old furniture on a legal trash day, it would be such a waste.
There is always bound to be someone out there who can stretch a few more years out of your old furniture. The personality you imbue on your furniture may reach someone looking for free furniture as they start their lives or make a new move.
And if you strategize how to get rid of old furniture relative to your circumstances, you may even be able to make a little profit.
Allen Francis is a full-time writer, prolific comic book investor and author of The Casual’s Guide: Why You Should Get Into Comic Book Investing. Allen holds a BA degree from Marymount Manhattan College. Before becoming a writer Allen was an academic advisor, librarian, and college adjunct for many years. Allen is an advocate of best personal financial practices including saving and investing in your own small business.