With many antique dealers selling online and auction houses that offer online bidding options, shopping online for antiques is becoming the norm. Online antique stores provide a wider variety and the convenience to shop anywhere, anytime. As a result, you will find various online antique stores.
While shopping from the comfort of your home can seem easy, the number of options certainly makes it difficult. When you are unsure which online antique store would be best, you are unable to select the best option within your budget. With the risk of fakes or false provenance, you should take careful consideration before making a purchase.
Keeping this in mind, we have compiled some of the best online antique stores that are highly reputable.
Table of Contents
- 1. Etsy
- 2. 1stDibs
- 3. Selency
- 4. Omero Home
- 5. Sotheby’s
- 6. Mid Century Mobbler
- 7. Chairish
- 8. Bonanza
- 9. Ruby Lane
- 10. Just Vintage Home
- 11. Old Plank
- 12. M.S. Rau Antiques
- 13. Pamono
- 14. Tara Shaw Antiques
- 15. Rejuvenation
- Buyer’s Guide
Etsy is one of the best places to purchase vintage and antique items, such as furniture, art, jewelry, and other collectibles. Shopping at Etsy is similar to shopping at your local flea market because you’ll find a large variety of items at affordable prices. You will also find sellers that restore or repurpose antiques to give them new life.
When shopping on Etsy, you’ll find a section labeled “vintage” on the far right. Clicking on the tap will lead you to Etsy’s vintage section where items such as jewelry, furniture, art, collectibles, and fashion accessories are available.
If you’re looking for valuable antiques to resell later, 1stDibs is a great option. It is a high-end auction site where items and sellers are carefully vetted. You will some extraordinary furniture, jewelry, art, collectibles, and home décor on the 1stDibs site. The listings on the site include over one million pieces from authentic sellers over the world, while a thousand new pieces are also added weekly.
Their team of experts authenticate and ensure quality for all items. 1stDibs lets you contact sellers directly, negotiate item prices, or bid for a piece. The site also offers a free app so you can save your favorite pieces, and receive suggestions, editor’s picks, and promotions.
Selency, previously known as Brocante Lab, started in 2014 to aid those who want to buy or sell unique secondhand furniture and home décor. The site features secondhand furniture, Scandinavian-style pieces, and secondhand décor from professional and private sellers. The sellers set the prices, while Selency works as a trusted intermediary between buyers and sellers.
There are over a million unique pieces available on the site along with convenient doorstep delivery. They also have a team of professionals that hand-picks the items available on the site to ensure authenticity and quality.
4. Omero Home
Omero Home is a venture inspired by music, style, and adventure to enhance your personal environment. They source furniture and other vintage items from all over the world. You will find items in various styles such as refined or rustic. Omero Home also sells vintage Fiat cars alongside home décor.
Omero Home has a unique collection of vintage furniture and home accessories. While they also offer antique pottery, sculptures, and taxidermy, which is rare for an antique store. If you’re looking for something unique to add to your home, Omero Home is a great choice.
Sotheby’s is one of the world’s largest marketplaces for art and one-of-a-kind luxury vintage items. Their large collection includes furniture, jewelry, fine art, and other collectibles sourced private sellers, corporations, and more all over the world. Sotheby’s has been in business since 1744 and has a global network spanning 40 countries. While Sotheby’s hosts six hundred auctions annually, many items are also available on their site for immediate purchase.
While this isn’t the place if you’re looking for a good deal, you can shop for specific valuable items with peace of mind. Sotheby’s large inventory ensures there is something for everyone’s taste.
6. Mid Century Mobbler
Mid Century Mobler is an online and physical store that specializes in 1950s and 1960s vintage furniture imported from Scandinavia and Europe. Their collection of items is selected by hand on a regular basis during trips to Denmark, Germany, Sweden, Norway, Scotland, Italy, France, and England. If you want to see the items in-person, they have a 7500-square-feet showroom in Berkeley, CA.
The collection on Mid Century Mobbler includes tables, storage, seating, lighting, and home accessories. Mid Century Mobbler also offers the option to pre-order furniture of your choice. If you like mid-century modern furniture, Mid Century Mobbler is the place for you.
If you’re looking for luxury vintage furniture and art, Chairish is the place for you. They add more than two thousand items to their extensive catalog daily, so you have a wide variety of options. Their collection includes the finest vintage items in the US and Europe selected by experienced curators.
Chairish offers multiple great options to buyers, including a Buy Now, Pay Later option. For your convenience, the items on the site are categorized by maker, style, region, and seller location. Although the items on Chairish are expensive, they are high quality and in great condition. They also offer a 48-hour windown after delivery to return items if something isn’t as expected.
While Bonanza is not a popular online marketplace, they offer unmatched customer service. In fact, it was ranked first for “Communication”, “Customer Service”, and as the “Most Recommended Marketplace” in the 2021 EcommerceBytes Sellers Choice Awards.
When buying on Bonanza, you have access to a variety of antique items. They offer various categories including furniture, rugs, carpets, books, manuscripts, and home accessories to name a few. Their site features more than a hundred thousand antique items of varying types. Whether you are looking for something for your home or office, Bonanza’s extensive catalog is worth browsing through.
9. Ruby Lane
Ruby Lane is an online store similar to a virtual antique mall that offers a variety of antique items. Their vast and versatile collection will appeal to every collector. Ruby Lane features around 2000 shops that specialize in vintage items such as dolls, art, and collectibles. They provide a platform to multiple sellers and feature an extensive catalog of over half a million items. When you click on the “Shop Directory” tab, it leads you to a page where all the independent businesses are listed.
10. Just Vintage Home
Just Vintage Home is a family-owned resale business based out of Auburn, Alabama. They buy and sell unique vintage and antique items on their online store as well as their Etsy store. You will find one-of-a-kind vintage items and refinished pieces on their store. Additionally, Just Vintage Home also features a blog with tips about buying antiques at affordable prices and home decorating. Their catalog includes a variety of vintage items, such as jewelry, art, books, and home décor. Just Vintage Home has all the vintage items you want as well as decorating tips all in one place.
11. Old Plank
Old Plank is an incredible store that deals with vintage and antique items as well as their reproductions. This store began in the US with only a few items but now boasts a 31,000-sqaure-feet warehouse and a workshop. Their antique items are sourced from the Italian countryside, the European midlands, and the South of France. The items are usually collected during trips and brought back to the US.
Old Plank also has a team of artisans that can recreate any antique item of your choice. Their projects range from a solid bronze Giacometti inspired desk to custom kitchen island for your new home.
12. M.S. Rau Antiques
M.S. Rau Antiques is a New Orleans-based online antique store with multiple one-of-a-kind pieces. It is a family-run business that operates globally, discovering items from around the world. They offer an extensive collection of fine art, furniture, jewelry, and more on their site. Their antique shop also features some unique collectibles such as canes and music boxes.
You will find many valuable antiques on M.S. Rau Antiques such as porcelain, fine art and sculptures, jewelry, and silver pieces. Additionally, any item you buy from their store can be returned even five years later in the same condition.
Pamono is a unique online marketplace and magazine that specializes in antique, vintage, and contemporary furniture, lighting, accessories. and art. Their extensive catalog includes items sourced from around the world. Their antique collection includes furniture, lighting, home accessories, art, pottery, rugs, and various other collectibles.
If you are looking for a unique antique or a centerpiece for your home, Pamono is a great choice. They deliver internationally and all shipments are insured for damage. Additionally, they create condition reports for high-value objects upon pick-up and delivery, so you can shop with piece of mind.
14. Tara Shaw Antiques
Tara Shaw is known for her luxury European antiques and bespoke interior styling. Along with her antique store, she has also created her line of antique reproduction and custom furniture called Maison in 2007. Tara Shaw’s signature style mixes old word antiques with clean lines and contemporary finishes.
The Tara Shaw Antiques store features an extensive collection of European and French antiques. Items features on the store include furniture, mirrors, garden accessories, lighting, jewelry, and art.
Rejuvenation is best-known for restored antique lighting but they also offer furniture, home decor, and rugs. They source antique and vintage items from all over the world to restore them at their studio in Portland, Oregon. Their expert artisans restore each light by hand from cleaning and painting to rewiring. If you’re looking for a beautiful chandelier for your home, Rejuvenation’s collection is worth browsing through.
If you want to add some character to your home, buying antiques is the best way to do so on a budget. Many people believe that antiques are expensive, but with enough research, you can find many great pieces at an affordable price.
Shopping for antiques can be intimidating for some since you have to consider various factors such as damage and authenticity. Buying antiques online can be even more difficult because you can’t judge the item’s qualities in person. However, online shopping, regardless of its caveats, offers many benefits.
Advantages of Shopping for Antiques Online
There are many advantages to shopping for antiques online, such as:
When shopping for antiques online, you have access to a variety of options at different online stores. You are not limited to what’s in front of you, as you would be at a physical store.
Online antique stores generally have a catalog with item dimensions and details. If you are shopping for something specific, this makes it much easier. You will also find items sorted by style and era, so you can easily find something for your home. A well-thought-out online store will be easy to navigate with various filters to sort through items.
Most people shy away from haggling at antique stores because it is difficult. It is common for shopkeepers to set the price higher since they expect you to haggle. With online stores, this becomes much easier since you bid or make price requests. Similarly, with a variety of stores to browse through, there are chances you will find something similar at another store at a better price. When buying antiques online, always browse multiple stores to get an idea about pricing before purchasing anything.
Ease of Access
You can shop online from the comfort of your home or wherever you are without hassle. The online version of “window-shopping” helps you gain knowledge about prices and antiques available online. Regardless of where you are, you can shop for antiques online at your convenience.
Disadvantages of Shopping for Antiques Online
Shopping for antiques online is a good choice but it also has its caveats, such as:
If you’re buying antiques online, you have to consider taxes and shipping costs. Often people find antiques at a great price, but the shipping costs are high. If the shipping costs aren’t too high, you still need to ensure that the company uses a professional delivery service. Some antiques are fragile and can be damaged if not handled properly. If you are shopping at an antique store in another country, consider that shipping costs will be higher for international shipping.
When shopping online, you are entirely reliant on the images of the item. You cannot judge how damaged the antique is, as you would do in person. Some sellers may also add misleading photos, while the actual item is much more damaged. Similarly, authenticity can also be an issue when shopping online.
How To Shop for Antiques Online
Although there are certain disadvantages to buying antiques online, you can easily prevent them by using the following tips:
When shopping online for antiques, ensure the seller you’re buying from has a solid reputation. Whether it’s a business or an individual seller on a site like eBay, read the reviews to learn more. Many reputable online stores have in-house professionals that authenticate items and document wear-and-tear extensively.
Quality and Condition
The description of the item should detail any signs of wear and tear or damage. This also includes information about restoration or repairs. When you know how damaged the piece is, you can judge the cost of restoration. For example, repair costs for a chair with broken springs will be higher than those needing reupholstery.
When shopping online, look for sites that upload clear, high-quality images of items from every angle. Some online stores also include pictures of any signs of damage, which is helpful when negotiating the price. It is better if you check all the images thoroughly or ask the seller for more photos. The description should include the necessary information, such as dimensions, materials, era, provenance, and signs of damage. If a seller is hesitant to share photos of the item, it is better to steer away from such sites.
The biggest disadvantage of shopping online is compromised security. Ensure the sites you’re buying from offer secure payment options such as PayPal and Auction Payment Network (APN). Always ask for a receipt that includes the seller’s name and contact information. If you have issues reselling the piece in the future, you can trace it back to the dealer.
When shopping for antiques at an online store, thoroughly review their return policies. Most reputable online stores offer returns if the item differs from the images or descriptions. However, there is a limited time to contact the seller about returns, so ensure you understand their return policy.
If you’re buying antiques online, keep shipping costs in mind. You should know about customs and shipping costs if you’re buying from an international antique store. If the antiques you are purchasing are fragile, talk to the seller, so your items are not damaged during delivery.
When shopping for antiques, an important factor is “provenance,” which refers to the history of ownership. Many antiques are expensive simply because their previous owners were famous celebrities, politicians, and historical icons. You are provided a provenance document that includes a description of the item, an identifiable signature, and a list of previous verifiable owners. When you resell your antique, the provenance document is necessary to ensure its value.