Insider tips for buying and selling furniture online

Unlike smaller consumables, it's not as easy as point and click.

Here are some tips to consider:

Buying furniture

One of the problems of shopping for furniture is the size and weight of the goods, which obviously affects delivery. The closer an item is to you, the faster you will receive it and the less you’ll pay in shipping. Even better if you can pick it up yourself and avoid shipping costs.

Before adding an item to your cart, make sure the item fits in the space you have allotted – and will fit through the door, hallway, or elevator into your home or building.

Check multiple sites a few times a week for newly listed items until you find one that meets all your requirements. Many sites add new products every day.

It seems obvious but avoid cash-in-advance payments. Pay with secure systems such as Paypal or authorised credit card payment systems. Check out the site’s return policy and individual reviews before making a purchase to protect yourself from unexpected fees or headaches.

Selling furniture

Don’t price your piece based on what you paid for it. Look for comparable listings on multiple sites, check what the item sells for new, and ultimately determine a price that will motivate buyers.

Make it easy for buyers to find by using keywords people can use in searches. Include the item’s manufacturer, age, and any other pertinent information about the item within each listing.

Be upfront about flaws or damage to minimise to-and-fro conversations. Tell them if the piece comes from a non-smoking home and if there are any tears or broken parts as this will help reduce the chance of losing a sale.

A picture is worth a thousand words, so make sure you include lots of crisp images with descriptions.

Local buyers may want to see the item in person before committing. Try to meet in a public place like a front lawn that is visible from the street. Even ask a friend to join you. Or you could even drive the item to a shopping centre parking lot or other high-traffic area to show it there instead of at your home.