Vintage furniture shopping is as hit and miss as retail therapy can get. It’ll either leave you feeling exhausted and disappointed, or you’ll find a hidden gem that perfectly compliments your interior design and home decor. Tackling vintage furniture stores with near-guaranteed success really requires a keen eye, especially with such a wide array of second-hand and antique furniture out there. This is especially important if you’re making the investment in larger furnishings such as coffee tables, armchairs or even sofas.
Before you even get round to choosing your vintage pieces, however, you need to know the right vintage furniture stores to be looking at. As online marketplaces have given individual sellers more power, platforms such as Facebook Marketplace, eBay and Gumtree have majorly boomed over the past few years. And while these can be surprisingly fruitful, they aren’t always the easiest to navigate, especially if you don’t feel like spending hours scrolling through listings to figure out what a good deal looks like.
The other, more conventional option, is to head to a dedicated online vintage furniture store like The Old Cinema. Often featuring more curated collections of high-quality antique pieces, these tend to be easier to navigate and more consistently reliable when it comes to the quality of your furniture, as well as how easy it is to pay and receive your items.
To cater to both styles of shopping, we’ve included marketplaces and online stores in our guide to the best vintage furniture stores you can shop from online, as well as some important information to help you get started.
What is considered vintage furniture?
While the terms are often used interchangeably, there’s actually a clear difference between vintage furniture and antique furniture. Vintage furniture tends to be considered as items that are more than 20 years old, so most 20th-century furniture counts (although this can often be referred to as just retro furniture). Antique furniture, however, is usually at least 100 years old. Given the greater need to verify that antiques are actually antiques, you’ll normally want to find a specific antique dealer for these.
Age isn’t the only distinguishing factor however in what makes something vintage, and not every piece of old furniture is worthy of that label. Essentially, vintage furniture should reflect the period and decade by which it is defined.
How do you source vintage furniture?
Shopping for vintage furniture has plenty of perks, but it also comes with some risks that you need to keep in mind. Platforms like Facebook Marketplace, Gumtree and eBay are full of great sellers, and there are also plenty of excellent independent websites that offer vintage furniture, but it’s worth taking the time to verify what you’re buying and who you’re buying from. Run your own investigations, try to arrange to view the furniture in advance of purchase if you can, and most importantly, make sure there are enough positive reviews from customers that you feel comfortable making a purchase.