How to get the best price on second-hand furniture, according to an antique dealer

It might sound obvious, but it's oh-so-easy to get wrong

antique sofa
(Image credit: Getty / Andreas von Einsiedel)

Antique dealer Drew Pritchard, from British TV show Salvage Hunters, knows his stuff when it comes to used furniture. He has a huge amount of experience selling old treasures at antique fairs, and recently shared how to get the best price possible when buying that second-hand sofa. 

Speaking on interior design podcast The Great Indoors, hosted by Kate Watson-Smyth and Sophie Robinson, he revealed how to get the dealer on your side. And, ultimately, it comes down to one simple thing.

drew pritchard

(Image credit: Barker and Stonehouse x Drew Pritchard)

‘Be polite,’ Drew says. ‘I’ve been up all the previous day loading the van, I’ve then driven said filthy van across the country and slept in it overnight,’ he adds. ‘Then you get up and I’m trying to give you something for £50 and you’re offering me £25. Don’t do it,’ he warns. ‘Give the people their money. Say, “Is that the best price you can do?” That’s fine.’ 

It's easy to forget when browsing items to inspire your vintage bedroom, but it's not worth going in hard with the haggling. Pritchard makes the point that if you try to undercut the seller and get a vintage piece for a fraction of the asking price, that second-hand furniture company might not be there next time. Because they need to be paid their fair share to run their business.


(Image credit: Barker and Stonehouse x Drew Pritchard)

He also warns against coming in low if you’re not actually 100 percent sure you want to buy the item. Haggling someone down for an antique dining table and then walking away is not going to go down well. The importance of manners aside, Drew did reveal the best thing to say in order to get the best price you can on antique furniture so you can add some history into your living room.

‘If you want a bit of a deal, and you definitely want to buy it, say to the person “I really love this thing. I love it. I’ll pay you today. I’ll take it away now. How much is it?”’ Drew says.


(Image credit: Getty / Nicola Margaret)

‘And smile,’ he adds, ‘and I guarantee you will get the best price off that dealer.’ 

So, next time you’re shopping for a lovely old leather sofa, remember Drew’s catchphrase. The key is a friendly, straightforward approach - and making it clear you're there to make the dealer's life easy.

Millie joined Real Homes in early 2021 as a homes news writer. When she isn't writing about trends, makeovers and houseplant care, she spends her free time making tweaks to her rented flat in North London. Her next project is a very basic armchair reupholstering job to help create a cosy reading nook in her living room. She loves browsing antique centres, tending to her small front garden, and is never without some fresh flowers at home.