recently, mason21 spotted this fabulous vintage baker furniture asian modern credenza and scored it for one of his design clients- for a small fraction of what it would have cost from a resale store. even once shipped, it will be a third the price of similar purchased locally.
now maison21 and his client can take the money they saved by purchasing the credenza on ebay, and spend it elsewhere- like on a glamorous, long and low, white leather m21 custom-designed chesterfield sofa!
now a hint or two for purchasing vintage furniture on ebay:
- check the reputation of the seller- if they have feedback that seems suspicious, steer clear. nobody's perfect, so a negative or two is natural (m21 has a couple himself, due to his slower-than-molasses shipping times), but several negatives with the same complaint such as "not as described", "packed poorly" or "never received", are red flags that you'll want to avoid.
- read the seller's description of condition carefully- if seller says "refer to photo" and doesn't list any flaws, tread cautiously. worse, if they state that it is the buyer's responsibility to ask condition questions, just stay away.
- on the flip side, don't obsess about minor condition issues- a small chip or stain shouldn't be a deal breaker if you love the piece. once it's in a room full of other furniture, you'll never notice minor flaws, anyway. big condition issues, especially those that are structural, are best to be avoided though.
- realize that you will have to deal with arranging freight shipping yourself- it can be a little daunting for the first timer, but most companies make it easy with online quotation forms. maison21 has had good luck with plycon- they also do blanket wrap, which is sufficient for most sturdy furniture items (not recommended for fine antiques or delicate items).
- don't ship your item via greyhound- it's cheap, but you'll regret not spending the money on a real shipper when your fabulous find arrives damaged.
- last, and most important- make sure you have the ability to visualize the size of the piece you are interested in. this is the most common mistake people make when buying online, and it can be a error both costly and heartbreaking. maison21 has made this mistake himself- a glam french 1940's mirror purchased locally for m21's tiny, tiny powder room turned into a 6 foot tall monster, suitable for a 1740's french chateau. luckily, m21 owns a pick-up so he was able to get his monster home, but if he was stuck shipping it, he wouldn't have been a happy camper.
- if you can't visualize the size of the piece in your room, draw it out to scale on a floor plan, or find a similar sized piece locally to help judge the scale. you can also literally "draw" out the dimensions of the piece in the exact spot you plan to use it by laying out the dimensions on the floor and/or wall with painter's tape- no surprises when the real thing arrives! while pieces can "read" larger or smaller than their actual size in person and that often can't be predicted from a photo, at least you will know whether or not the size will actually physically fit in your space.