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No Eames Around? How to Score Affordable MCM Gems Online

Butterfly table, Adrian Pearsall, Valdimir Kagan, walnut table, MCM table

It’s not hard to find incredible mid-century modern furniture like the iconic Womb Chair or a classic Eames lounger - but you may end up paying a lot for those types of high-end pieces. If you’re lucky, you can find MCM gems in the wild. Believe it or not, I once snagged a Danish lounge chair that had been sitting on a curb waiting for the trash collection for over two weeks! If you're more into online shopping than dumpster diving, these tips can help you find MCM gems on the web.

Don’t Search Exclusively for “MCM” Furniture

You know you’re looking for mid-century modern furniture, so it might make sense to type that into the search bar and see what pops up. Whether you’re searching on a major resource like Craigslist or a local buy and sell group on Facebook, this probably isn’t a smart move. Why? If sellers already know something is mid-century, they are also likely aware of its value, which means higher costs to you as the buyer. Instead, try other keywords such as: • Retro furniture • Vintage chairs • Atomic design • Old tables Will you get some search results that don’t fit the bill? Of course. But you might also stumble across someone selling a “vintage table” that never thought to flip it over and look for the Herman Miller stamp.

Don’t Be Afraid of a Little Dirt

There’s a fantastic Danish lounge chair for sale online, and the price is right. The downside? The cushions are dirty or fraying, and the wood has seen better days. For some buyers, these are red flags pushing them to better (and more expensive) items. For the savvy MCM hunter, however, this is just a bargain. A little teak oil or some reupholstering can transform even the dingiest of chairs into a beauty.

cane mid-century modern chair

Try Online Estate Sales

If you’re like just about everyone ever, then getting up early and standing in line outside of someone’s house isn’t your idea of a great time. However, estate sales are often where you can get the best deals, and a big haul isn’t uncommon. If you can’t get there in person, don’t worry. There are also plenty of online estate sales that let you get in on the action from your laptop or iPhone. Everything But the House and Estate are two big websites to search, but often the best finds will come from smaller, local online estate houses.

Buy What You Love

A good rule of thumb when hunting for MCM furniture is to let your intuition guide you. If you spot a wooden chair that is beautifully made and reasonably priced, grab it. There’s a good chance that your natural design aesthetic will lead you to quality pieces. Whether you’re a weekend warrior or a full-time furniture dealer, the internet may well be your primary source for mid-century modern staples. These tips can help you snag some hidden gems. If you’re looking for something specific, check out our mid-century modern furniture deals on everything from iconic Eames Loungers to one-of-a-kind Mexican modern designs. Happy hunting!

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