If you don't know where to start, shopping for secondhand furniture online can be, in a word, daunting. How do you know if the item you're purchasing is authentic? How do you ensure it's not damaged? Should you buy something you've never seen or sat on in person? Is the cost of shipping really worth it? It's a veritable minefield. To help simplify the process, we turned to Los Angeles-based interior designer Kerry Vasquez for her expert guidance.
"My best advice is to find vendors that you can trust the level of quality of the pieces they pick, that way they've already ruled out a lot of junk so you don't have to," Vasquez tells MyDomaine. Her second-best piece of advice? "No matter what, look at all the pictures, because even the best vendors won't show any damage in the first few," the designer adds. That said, "if you love a piece and there is damage, it can be fixed, but you will have to pay more money to have it fixed, so hopefully, the vendor can give you a lower price. Sometimes, vendors will even have people they can refer to help restore or fix any issues."
"My best advice is to find vendors that you can trust the level of quality of the pieces they pick, that way they've already ruled out a lot of junk so you don't have to."
There are some incredible secondhand furniture vendors and deals out there, just make sure to take shipping fees into account, advises Vasquez. "These can end up doubling the cost of the item (but sometimes it can still be well worth it!)," explains the designer. To cut down on costs, find local vendors who can deliver, as this will usually end up being cheaper than shipping from out of state or overseas, suggests Vasquez. In short, "don't be afraid to purchase a gorgeous piece of vintage furniture online," encourages the designer. "There are so many incredible resources out there and amazingly unique pieces to unearth, go wild!"
Meet the Expert
Kerry Vasquez trained at New York University and began her career in event design. She now owns and operates Kerry Vasquez Design in Los Angeles, focusing on residential and commercial interior design and editorial styling.
To help you do just that, we asked Vasquez and some of our favorite interior designers to weigh in on the best places to buy quality secondhand furniture online. Keep scrolling to find out exactly where the pros shop for hidden gems.
“Sunbeam is my go-to stop for affordable and unique vintage pieces,” Vasquez tells MyDomaine. “They have a huge selection so I always know I'll find something I need whenever I go (in person or online).”
“Amsterdam Modern is the chicest vintage shop around, no question,” divulges Vasquez. “If I am after a real statement piece in top-notch quality this is my first stop.”
"1stdibs' curation and presentation of vintage designer furniture really is the cream of the crop," says Joyce Downing Pickens of JDP Interiors. "I always head here when I need a truly special and unique piece and have the budget to splurge."
"Chairish is an awesome alternative," offers Pickens. "You really can't beat the selection and the variety of price points they have to offer. You can find both high end and middle of the range deals here. Keep an eye out for their A-list items which highlights some pretty special one-of-a-kind pieces."
Never overlook Etsy, advises Pickens. "There are some hidden gems and great price points on here and also a great source for vintage rugs shipping from overseas," says the designer. Some of the Picken's favorite Etsy shops include Beniouraincarpets, RaraForma, Kollektive, and Peach Modern.
For secondhand/vintage lighting, interior designer Mandy Cheng loves perusing Rejuvenation’s Antiques & Vintage section. "They have such a fun selection, and there’s usually style options for whatever period I’m looking for," she explains. "Also, their photographs of the pieces are pretty accurate (color-wise), which we can all appreciate, am I right?"
"I’ve recently found some great treasures on Apartment Therapy Bazaar, which operates like a curated, design-forward version of Craigslist," offers Cheng.
"Revival Rugs is my go-to for affordable, one of a kind handmade rugs and runners," confesses designer Liz Lipkin. "They have a beautiful, constantly changing collection of Turkish imports to choose from."
"Berlin-based Pamono offers an incredible selection of European vintage and contemporary furniture," says Lipkin. "I could get lost in their pages and pages of unusual, rare and cutting edge vintage modern pieces."
"Urban Americana is one of my favorite sources for secondhand furniture and home décor because I can scour their site for killer finds 24/7," says Kate Lester of Kate Lester Interiors. "This means, that now I can spend even more money while I lay in bed with my iPad!"
"They have a 16,000 square foot warehouse based in Southern California that houses 40 different dealers—each with their own style, vibe, and unique collection of furniture, antiques, and décor," explains the designer. "Whether your style is mid-century modern, farmhouse, vintage industrial, or quirky and colorful, they literally have something for everyone."
"Big Daddy’s Antiques offers one-of-a-kind antiques and reproductions from Europe, Asia, and North America and is a go-to for interior designers, set decorators, event planners, as well as art and design enthusiasts," offers Lester.
"They have such a diverse inventory, that not everything is listed online, but there is a great sampling of funky one-of-a-kind antique pieces as well as art, accessories, and lighting," she explains. "I love that you can find everything from a set of rush chairs from the 60s, an über-distressed leather sofa, oversized vintage ladders, and other amazing found accessories, all in one place!"
"This is hands down the best place to find a vintage Turkish rug online," divulges Sara Malek Barney of Bandd Design. "They have thousands to choose from, awesome pricing, free shipping, and top-notch customer service. Bonus: If you live in Texas, they will bring you a rug to try out in your home in advance of purchasing."