We Can’t Stop Obsessing Over This Online Estate Sale Site
When it comes to home decor, I, like many women, have Elle Decor taste but an IKEA-and-Craigslist budget. I have a serious love for unique vintage home accessories; unfortunately, I’m generally unwilling to actually splurge on them. Pink Rococo settee? Swoon. Gold-trimmed mid century modern tumblers? Yes, please. Art Deco clocks? Gimme. Art Nouveau decor? Must have all the things.
If you follow me on Twitter, you’ve probably seen me tweet about the process of cleaning out my grandparents’ home about 200 times over the last few years. Let’s just say that you can cram a lot into the attic of a relatively small Chicago bungalow… and like many people who lived through the Depression, my grandparents never threw anything away. Neither did my great grandparents, who also owned the home. Or the five kids who grew up in the house.
Now that their house is mostly cleaned out, I’ve been helping my father sell off the items nobody in the family wanted, which currently occupy an entire 10 x 20 storage unit and part of my parents’ living room. I’ve been listing smaller items on Etsy, while my dad has been selling bigger items on Craigslist and eBay.
Let’s just say that the process of selling these items has not been going as fast as we’d hoped. Etsy has become so saturated, that even with the highest level of keyword optimization and over 100 items in a shop, traffic has been absolutely anemic, not to mention that nearly ever vintage item I list has to compete against a dozen or so identical listings.
After receiving a mere 30 sales on Etsy over the span of six months, I decided to look for an Etsy alternative—a relatively high-traffic platform where I could sell cool vintage stuff. Unfortunately, I discovered that Etsy seems to currently corner the online vintage market. However, during the process, I also found my dream website: Everything But The House.
Cheap Pink Rococo settees? Check!
Reasonably priced Art Deco and Art Nouveau items? Yes!
Insanely unique home decor that’s actually affordable? BINGO.
Honest to God, I damn-near lost my mind when I started browsing through EBTH and finding all of the actually cheap (yet high quality!) antiques. The proof? Check out this spazzed-out text I sent Gina after stumbling upon the site:
Since I know you’re wondering, that lithograph (an After Pablo Picasso with a certificate of authenticity) sold for a mere $47—less than 1/10th of what similar lithographs are going for.
What is EBTH?
Everything But The House is an online estate sale site that’s headquartered in Cincinnati and works with appraisers and warehouses throughout the country. Here’s how it seems to work:
When someone divorces, moves or passes away and their family is smart enough to not waste two years of their life trying to sell off their estate on Etsy (hahaha… help me!), EBTH then sends an expert to their home to appraise the estate. They collect items that are in good condition, photograph them, take them to the nearest EBTH warehouse, and create an online estate sale on the website.
As a result, the site features a carefully curated selection of authentic, high-quality antique furniture, vintage and designer clothing, interesting artwork, and luxurious housewares. Most of the items seem to come from wealthy households, and the prices tend to be way less than what you’d pay elsewhere.
Honestly? I’m praying dealers don’t start flocking to this website and driving up prices!
After scouring the website around 100 times and browsing every online estate sale they have listed, I finally settled on my first purchase: a pair of framed vintage travel lithographs. Swoon!
Want to see a few of the amazing things I had to (tearfully) stop myself from bidding on? Here’s some of the other gorgeous antique items I’ve been swooning over on EBTH—hover to view prices.
OK, so clearly I’m secretly a nouveau riche wannabe… or perhaps an Italian-American granny. By the way, anyone know where I can pick up some sweet plastic couch covers?
While some of these items aren’t dirt cheap, they mostly tend to hover around 50% or less what you’d pay elsewhere. I don’t know about you, but I’d rather pay $200 on some well-made, interesting antique furniture than spend the same amount on an IKEA item that’ll fall to pieces within a few years.
If mid century modern furniture is more your speed, EBTH is a freakin’ gold mine.
If you're making the transition from post-college IKEA into "grown up" furniture and decor, I highly recommend checking out Everything But The House. Even if you don't find something in your price range immediately, there are constantly new auctions being added, so it's worth creating an account and signing up for a few search alerts!
Likewise, I think I'm thisclose to having Everything But The House come out and appraise my grandparents' stuff, as it seems way easier, and their cut is relatively low compared to some of the brick-and-mortar estate companies and auction houses we researched in the past.
Have you had an online estate sale with them? I'd love to hear your review of EBTH!