Saturday, 26 May 2012

the high's and low's of selling furniture !

From December to February I didn't have any work, so I painted a few bits of furniture. I was hoping, I could make money from doing this, to fill in any periods when I didn't have a commission.
Initially I put three pieces on ebay.

I love working at home, I was pretty excited.

In the first week, I sold nothing and it knocked me for six. My plans weren't working, and together with other things going wrong, I just went into a bit of a lull.

We put the items on again, and eventually (after three weeks) sold this.

I was going to keep this cabinet, but our old tv didn't look good on top, and the old geezer didn't like the height (and I didn't want to take the casters off ).

So I was feeling high and a lady turned up to collect it, and was £10 short !!!

Now, I don't know about you lot, but I was a bit shocked. If you were going to collect something, wouldn't you have the money put aside in an envelope ?

I would.

She scratched around in her purse and found £8.50, so I let her off £1.50. She kept apologising, but whether she was genuine, or trying to get it for less, who knows.

I just know, it left me a bit miffed !

Then I sold this, after another 3 weeks.

It started out life like this.

I painted it cream, distressed it a little and added square glass knobs from TK Maxx.

The guy turned up - he brought the right money !!
(Btw, this was photographed in the old geezer's daughter's bedroom - she has two shades of purple on her walls).

Then I sold this.

In fact, we know the person who bought it, but they actually found it on ebay.
We got the right money !!!

Then I sold this. It sold almost immediately.

A lady turned up with a handful of change. I started counting it, and told her why I was doing so. Then I felt bad, so I stopped counting - it looked about right !

She left with the table and I counted the money. It was 10p short !
Ok, that's not a big deal, but it's the principal - I was a little bit miffed !

Then I painted this.

It's a desk, but that top section just sits on top, so it could be a console table.

Believe it, or not, I painted it the same colour as the tv cabinet - but I put a dark wax on it, and it changed the colour completely.

I put it on e-bay, on 'Buy It Now or Best Offer'.

I was first offered  a quarter of my asking price !!!
I politely declined.

I then had two offers of less than half my asking price !!!!

I did only try for one week, then I started sorting out the mini guest room, and tried it in there. It looks so good, that I'm going to keep it for now.

And the moral of this story - I'm not going to make my fortune on e-bay, though things do sell eventually.
Put 'script' on as much as you can - it will probably sell faster.
Get a booth, so that someone else can count the money !


  1. Oh, my...these are LOVELY! Your dilemma is exactly why I got a booth--it saves me the hassle of negotiating or having to meet up with someone somewhere.

  2. Oh No Fiona - that sucks that you had such a bad experience. I know I couldnt sell ice to Eskimo's - so I cant really even try. And it's awful that people try to short change your hard work. Sorry hun - but your pieces are stunning - if I had to choose one - my fav is the first piece - the tv console - just gorgeous. xxxx Nat

  3. This was a great post Fiona! First of all, where do you get such wonderful pieces? I love that vanity table & mirror and also that desk set. Great colors too! You've done wonders with all those pieces!

  4. I love the last piece too, glad for now you are keeping it. Of course you could list it while you are also keeping it. Same rule for money as measuring I guess...... measure twice and cut once...... count once and count twice!


  5. LOL! I love that last piece. Very nice!
    I would have been annoyed too. If she wanted it for 10 pounds less she should of asked before she came.

  6. First rule with Ebay is make them prepay with Paypal. But, you are right that you need to find a shop that carries your furniture or a booth. You haven't hit the worst yet. They buy your piece and tell you they are going to strip and refinish it. I smile and don't bother telling them it isn't 'refinish' quality. lol

  7. Hi Fiona, I feel your 'pain' girlfriend. I list my stuff on our Bid or Buy and buyers are always trying to get a huge knock off - guess what? they have a brick and mortar store and thinks only of their bottom line;and not all the hard work and effort you've put in.

    You've done some amazing, love!

  8. Fiona, those pieces are absolutely loving. I love every single one of them. Just gorgeous. Love how they are all different and each has a unique voice. I've never done Ebay before. As you know, I'm currently selling stuff on Etsy, but as I won't ship furniture have only sold a couple of pieces. I'm currently trying to figure out if I should do craigslist or do a kind of barn sale in the front yard this summer and try to get the beach traffic.

  9. Your pieces are beautiful and if you weren't on another continent, I would have bought at least one of them. I makes you wonder about the people coming up short on the money.

    My experience is that when you most need things to sell they never will. It is only when you don't really need the money that you get it. Don't know why it works that way.

  10. I found your blog by Maureen and really like it. I'll be a new follower. Really people can be kind of strange. Love yor work. This is what I do too. My fav is your little union Jack table, but I like it all

  11. Good for you Fiona! I'm so happy it turns out good for your lovely furniture!

  12. I love that last piece. I really like the way dark waxes change the color on colored paints.

  13. Love all these projects, especially the dark wax top, can't wait to see what else you do. CJ

  14. So glad to see this, i am a stay at home home and wanted to get back into the work field, unfortunately after a year of trying every avenue, no job :( , so i started painting and sold quite a few and was very happy. Then i was going crazy buying things and also getting some things free. GREAT i said but it slowed to a crawl and now i have a basement full of painted stuff that i spent so much time on and its hard to sell : ( . I love the work wish it was more profitable. I just spent the whole day making up fliers and also putting all the items on craigslist quite exhausting day believe it or


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