How much is my furniture worth?

Or, how long is a piece of string. The better question is, how much can you sell it for. Here are a few of our expert tips:

It's high quality, I promise you. (Do your research)

Sure, I believe you, even though we've never met and you've told me nothing about what makes it 'high quality'. [read with a sarcastic tone]

The first step in establishing the quality of a piece is to find out what brand it is, and whether it is a designer.

> If it's a chair, flip it over and see whether there are any tags or stamps underneath.

> If it's a sofa or upholstered armchair, open any zippers and see if there are tags inside. Alternatively, turn it upside down, again checking for stamps, labels or tags.

> If you have good reason to believe that it's a well-known designer, google it (see below). Even without tags, if you can show evidence that it is identical to a known design piece, you may be able to command a premium price. However, beware of copies which can look very similar - pay attention to the details.

Even if you can't find information about the brand or designer, look at the piece and think about what makes it high quality. Is it solid wood? Does it have a label that says what country it is made in? Do they know what store it came from? You need to give people a reason to believe that it's high quality.

Just google it.

Search engines are a great way of benchmarking against the current market price. Type in the brand and model of your furniture and hit enter.

If you know the brand, but not the model, try mixing the brand with descriptive terms, such as 'Pfister couch sofa grey'. Normally you'll get a hit.

If you don't know what brand or model it is, you might still get lucky by trying descriptive terms, such as 'mid-century teak chair Danish'. Even if you don't, this will still help you get an idea of the price range.

Finally, if there is even an outside chance that it might come from a flat-pack store, check their website and/or google the store name + descriptive terms. It is really embarrassing when someone tells you that cool designer chair you are selling cost new half of what you are trying to sell it for. Normally these items are well-labelled, so as said above, examine the item closely for labels.

Clean it.

Seems obvious, right? Surprisingly, this is something that is often overlooked. Do you really think that someone will want to buy your sofa covered in dog hair? Your dusty armchair? Your sticky dining room table? A vacuum cleaner, warm water and gentle soap (and some elbow grease) will work wonders.

If you are selling wood items, consider using a product such as Moebel-Neu which very easily erases surface scratches and water marks. This can make a huge difference.

Be honest with yourself.

Why are you selling your furniture? If it's because it's worn or damaged, chances are that you're not the only one who won't want it. It doesn't matter how much you paid for it, or how 'high quality' it is, very few people want damaged furniture, no matter what budget they are on (designer furniture is an exception to this, since sometimes dealers will buy inexpensive designer furniture and restore it).

If you are expecting that someone might want to buy your worn sofa and have it re-upholstered, bear in mind that this can cost CHF 3,000+ so it better be a pretty amazing sofa for someone to want to invest that much in it.

We recommend selling any 'project' items that will require significant time / investment at a token price, or even offering it as free.

Don't be stubborn, but do be patient.

It doesn't matter how much it cost you, people almost never pay more than half of the original purchase price (except if it's a famous design piece or an appraised antique, but that's a different story). More common is 25%, and even less for flatpack.

We recommend trying the Splitwise Furniture Calcultor for a quick reality check.

You can always adjust the price down if you need - depending on how urgently you need to sell it. You might get lucky and sell it within a few weeks, but some things can take 3 - 6 months or even longer so make sure you build in some time, if you are moving out soon.