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What's the deal with 1stdibs?

- 06 Aug 2015 -
42 posts / 0 new

Hi folks,

Just a question, why is it so that at 1stdibs everything is priced so high? For example most of the used Cassina LC stuff you can find on 1stdibs is even more expensive than if you would buy it new from the store...


- 02 Sep 2015

It is quite simple really: If you want a random obscure, relatively valuable piece of furniture, in good condition, and right now, where are you going to go?

1stdibs is basically the a distributed, predictive warehouse. It costs the hoarders quite a bit to purchase and restore all those items and then hold on to them, sometimes for years and years waiting for you to finally decide you are ready for the item. So it costs you a fair bit to get an item from the 1stdibs warehouse.

On the other hand if you are fine with whatever random junk in poor condition will show up in your neighborhood in the next week or so, you can imagine you might pay a bit less.

Does that make sense?

- 02 Sep 2015

A big part of their market is people with deep pockets who hire interior designers to do up their places and shop for stuff for them. Designers typically get a percentage of the budget for a project, so the higher the price, the bigger their cut.

1stDibs gives dealers a venue where they can reach this market and where the market can reach them without a lot of running around (online or locally) and maybe not finding what they want. Dealers have to go through a vetting process, too. I don't know what all that entails but I do know you can't just register on the site and start selling. Dealers have to maintain a certain volume of inventory, too, and 1stDibs' cut isn't exactly peanuts.

And one other thing---just because something is listed for $2,000 doesn't mean that's what it will sell for. Many times dealers will accept lower offers.

I used to get annoyed at them but once I understood what they're about I got over that---it's actually a pretty great resource when researching mystery pieces or figuring out what original upholstery, webbing, weaving, etc. should look like. They have the best photos and often there are shots of small but very significant details that just aren't visible in most other photos online.

- 02 Sep 2015

Alternatively, you could say that it is cheaper for an interior designer to go to 1stdibs than the other option.

The other option would be for the interior designer to spend untold weeks and months and years driving around the countryside, like your average picker, looking for exactly the right Hans Wegner for Andreas Tuck desk, in teak, not oak nor oak and teak, and with two drop leaves, and in restorable condition. And so on for every piece.

That would make the budget ballon like you can't imagine.

- 02 Sep 2015

The other thing to keep in mind is that 1stdibs tends to have things in really excellent condition. Not always, but having walked around a few shops that list on 1stdibs, I'd say the condition is much better than you'd find in the average antique/resale shop, let alone find in the average antique mall/flea market/yard sale.

- 04 Sep 2015

There is also overhead operating costs. It is not cheap for a 1stdibs shop to rent in a prime location like Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles and other high end locations where people with deep pockets shop. People with means just have to have what they want because they can, a high price tag is not an issue.

True, 1stdibs dealers sell some of the best stuff with the best provenance but their bread and butter inventory also comes from where most design enthusiast on a budget shop, at the bottom of the pool. In my early days of collecting (1990's) I practically have to chain myself to a piece I want to purchase, dealers are fierce and cut throat when it comes to the acquiring their inventory. I witnessed a dealer took a large 1930's pressed steel streamlined toy car from a child's arms who was left unattended for a second by a parent shopping in a thrift store.

I sold some items that I found in a thrift store to a 1stdibs dealer for $500 so I could buy a replacement water heater for my house. The same item is now in a 1stdibs dealer in San Francisco with an asking price of $5,000.

- 09 Sep 2015

from spanky's comment: "...1stDibs' cut isn't exactly peanuts.

And one other thing---just because something is listed for $2,000 doesn't mean that's what it will sell for. Many times dealers will accept lower offers."

This has been my experience too. Which makes me wonder how 1st Dibs' "cut" works? It can't work like eBay or an auction house where the fee is a percentage of the selling price because 1st Dibs doesn't seem to require exclusivity. A dealer's items will be listed on 1st Dibs, the dealer's own website and in the showroom. I can't imagine many transactions actually occur via the 1st Dibs website. So does 1st Dibs just charge a flat fee per item, or maybe a flat fee per dealer?

- 10 Sep 2015


I was writing about 1stdibs in a older post:


This discussion is very interesting. The way 1stdibs (I should say there listed dealers) can take such a huge over price is sometimes absurd. Take a Hans J. Wegner chair for instance. On it cost $3,200 whereas Barnebys has a low estimation of $200 on the same chair.

Links to both sites: (1stdibs) (Barnebys)

I searched for other objects on Barnebys and 1stdibs and found similar results.

My question now. Who buys from 1stdibs? Is it merely rich people who doesn't have time and energy to scan the market? Or could it be 1stdibs strong trademark that enables them to take such a high price?


I believe that you guys have answered my question! When it comes to 1stdibs business model it is quite astonishing. 1stdibs’ GMV in 2014 was $1.1 billion, a 20% increase over the previous year, and online sales increased 108% year-on-year. There are over two million visitors per month and 1.2 million site registrant. (Source: Hiscox Online Art Trade Report 2015).

- 10 Sep 2015


- 09 Sep 2015

from spanky's comment: "...1stDibs' cut isn't exactly peanuts.

And one other thing---just because something is listed for $2,000 doesn't mean that's what it will sell for. Many times dealers will accept lower offers."

This has been my experience too. Which makes me wonder how 1st Dibs' "cut" works? It can't work like eBay or an auction house where the fee is a percentage of the selling price because 1st Dibs doesn't seem to require exclusivity. A dealer's items will be listed on 1st Dibs, the dealer's own website and in the showroom. I can't imagine many transactions actually occur via the 1st Dibs website. So does 1st Dibs just charge a flat fee per item, or maybe a flat fee per dealer?

I have a good friend of mine that sells on 1st Dibs. He has a shop in midtown were I live and rarely opens it up to the public because most of the items he has the average shopper couldn't afford at his escalated prices. My friend told me that he pays 1st Dibs $1400 a month plus a small percentage of the final sales price. The last time I was in his shop (3 months ago) he had just sold a Edward Wormley for Dunbar round coffee table to someone in New York for $8000. Good for my friend but to be honest...... That Dunbar table wasn't worth $8 grand.......


- 10 Sep 2015

Peruche: in all seriousness, and postulating that I know very little about Dunbar, based on what criteria would you say the table is not worth $8000? The fundamental defining principle of worth in the marketplace is what someone will pay, and someone just did.

- 11 Sep 2015

" On it cost $3,200 whereas Barnebys has a low estimation of $200 on the same chair."

There is a big difference here that renders direct comparison useless. Dibs is a retail site. Barneby's is an auction site. Auction houses very often will give a low estimate on the value of a piece just to generate excitement. If something generally sells for around $2,000 and the auction house says they expect it to sell for $200-400, a lot of people will lock onto it thinking they're going to get it for way less than market value! Some people are likely to get very proprietary about it, thinking of it as theirs before the bidding even starts, and some may get carried away and bid higher than they intended---all of which is great for the auction house.

And the Dibs seller who has a $2000 item listed for $3200 may well end up getting $2000 net in the end. Or less.

- 02 Nov 2015


Thanks for having a level headed conversation about 1stdibs. I'm surprised more people don't understand the concept of retail vs. wholesale, and pricing being influenced by buying environment. The price of the exact same thing in a suburban antique store in Kansas, that does not ship, is going to be very different than the price of something in New York City in a show room on a major street, that ships all over the world. Pricing is also an art, not a science.

1stdibs is indeed geared towards interior designers and the very wealthy. I know several 1stdibs dealers, and I have heard that things often go for less than the list price (I have heard 20%) but that still makes the price higher than the fair market price. As far as auctions, they are mostly wholesale, with things sometimes going for retail or even more than a thing is worth if two people in the room really want it or get carried away. Also, there is a new trend in the better auction houses of charging a performance premium. An item is listed at less than it is worth, and if it does better, the consigner is charged a percentage of the "performance" over the high estimate.

- 11 Mar 2016

Any 1stDibs dealers on here? I'm interested and just wondering what sort of fees they charge. I have heard different figures in terms of their subscription fee to post things, but also wondering about their commission rate on sold items? And do they photograph the items for you?
I have submitted an application to them, but they are very cagy about giving me this information before coming to meet me, which makes me think they are going to go in for the hard sell in person...I'd rather just have the facts up front and have time to think through how their fees would fit into my budget.

- 19 Mar 2016

I hope this is appropriate to report (if not, I'm sorry 1st dibs!) but we were invited to join them last year. If I recall it was going to cost us $500 per month and some setup fee (I seem to recall it being over $1k but I'm not sure.).. I don't believe there were fees beyond that. I suspect the monthly fee varies depending on the inventory size of the dealer. As we are quite small maybe that's why we were told $500 rather than the $1400 noted above. I really have no idea.

I do know that the dealers I've talked to who sell there said they will often accept 50% of the asking price.

Like others, I value them as a research resource, although I will say I've seen many incorrect attributions over the years, so I take everything with a grain of salt.

The frustrating thing for me is when I'm speaking with people about selling their pieces, or estates, etc, and they look at 1st dibs and think they can ask those sorts of prices from me!

- 15 May 2016

I used to work for a 1st Dibs dealer and did the online postings for his store. Here is what I can tell you .

1. 1stdibs dealers set their own prices and own all the inventory. There is no 1st Dibs warehouse. Some dealers prices are outrageous and some are in the expected market range. Dealers with highly coveted pieces that are priced well tend to sell out quickly, so often when you look up items on 1stdibs, the dealers with available inventory tend to be at the higher end of the pricing range for the item/niche you are researching.

2. Based on the high end pricing I've seen from dealers, I believe many 1stdibs dealers price their pieces at double or more than what their bottom line price is. Rarely do dealers get full asking price. Unfortunately, many customers who want dealers to buy their pieces take the 1st dibs pricing at face value. We regularly received offers for 1stdibs pieces at 30-50% of asking price.

3. The overwhelming majority of 1st dibs buyers (through year end 2015) were design professionals who expect, and get, trade or net pricing when buying from dealers for their clients. That discount is typically at least 20-30% off the published prices. Dealers know this and price accordingly.

4. 1st dibs makes their money in a number of different ways. There are what is called 1st Dibs Direct purchases, essentially a Buy IT Now kind of feature, where 1st Dibs takes a 10% commission AND arranges the shipping on which they have negotiated a hefty discount AND help themselves to a nice override on that shipping charge as well. These commissions are IN ADDITION to the $550 monthly base fee + $15 per item initial list fee + $2 per month per item maintenance fee. So if your 1st Dibs store has an inventory of 500 pieces and you list 20 new pieces this month, your base fees for that month, not including any commission from Direct Orders, are $550 subscription fee, $1000 inventory maintenance fees, $300 new listings fees. There are a myriad of other extra fees as well, late fees if your listings aren't uploaded in time, $25 per item to be included in the new item postings, etc etc. plus there is very expensive advertising. So, with no set up fees or commissions, your 500 item inventory + 20 new listings costs $1850 per month on 1stdibs.

5. My dealer friend also tells me that the latest 1stdibs updates have infuriated many dealers. Like eBay, 1stdibs has now inserted themselves between the dealer and customer in all forms of communication. The online contact / email is blind to both sides. Dealers and customers are not permitted to provide their direct email, phone, or web contact info and if they do type it in, it is redacted just like an FBI file. The only phone numbers provided for customers to reach dealers are 1st Dibs relay lines and THEY ARE RECORDED and MONITORED by 1stdibs. Very creepy Big Brother stuff going on and they seem to have forgotten that they have NO ANTIQUE INVENTORY. If a customer is savvy enough to find a dealer's contact info independent of 1stdibs and ends up making a purchase, 1stdibs expects their commission too. Dealers hate the new set up and everyone is hoping that one or more of the 1st dibs competitors gets some serious traction so they can abandon the creepy Big Brother restrictions at 1stdibs.

6. 1st dibs also puts a tremendous amount of pressure on its dealers to accept returns and refunds for ridiculous, scammy transactions. We were strong armed into accepting a very pricey return 7 months after the purchase because the customer decided she didn't like how the 300 year old hand carved features weren't perfectly symmetrical.

So, yes 1stdibs is a valuable marketing channel but it is by far the most expensive and it is the individual dealers who come up with outrageous pricing and misappropriated attributions.

Hopefully, some of the 1stdibs competitors will grow big enough to offer customers and dealers more choices, but for now, they have the market share and are seriously exploiting that advantage.

- 01 Jun 2016

I've done work for a high end antique shop in the US.

1stdibs is quite expensive for most dealers.

• $750 - $1,000 per month subscription.
• 10% commission on all sales.
• $2 - $20 per listing.

It's a necessary marketing expense as high end dealers have very low visibility outside of local markets.

1stDibs spends more than any competitor on advertising (fashion dealers benefit the most however). They also spend an incredible amount subsidizing shipping cost for customers. LA-NYC white glove delivery of a fragile credenza will likely cost about +$1,500 - 1stdibs offers a flat rate of $350.

Pricing is set by antique dealers & designed by the trade.

In a sense, designers & firms can be described as a dealer's sales force. Their 'commission' is the difference between the dealers trade & list price. It averages about 20% but varies. I'd definitely consider trade pricing fair from most antique dealers.

However, cash flow is king. Most small dealers will give trade if you ask them directly.

- 15 Jun 2016

I didn't see it mentioned earlier in this thread, so I figured I'd drop this link here:

Right about the time this thread was originally active, 1stdibs raised another round of equity, which effectively bought out the founder. There were already some a-list VC firms invested, along with Alibaba, but now the VCs and their CEO are running the show completely.

Their CEO, by the way, is David Rosenblatt, whose background is online advertising. He ran DoubleClick and sold it to Google. He was brought in Benchmark, one of the early VC investors, in 2011.

- 29 Jul 2016

The original incarnation of 1stdibs created by Michael Bruno was to connect the world's finest antique dealers with designers and collectors. He succeeded! He was very selective about the dealers who were invited to participate, their years in business, reputation in the industry and there was a "cap" on dealers let in by region. Items were presented in their best possible incarnation - most mid century pieces either in mint condition or refurbished to be high end client ready and of course, priced accordingly. Looking at the new items offered was an absolute treat! I literally have a binder of items that I would print out not only for attribution purchases, but to keep track of the items being sold and at what price (though you never really know what the end price was for sure).

Once the investment company and new CEO came into the picture, the direction moved from being a site dedicated to being a shopping resource to connect dealers with clients to being a sales driven platform focused on capturing every possible sale. On one hand, the infusion of money allowed the site to penetrate the online marketplace at a much higher level and increase the overall presence of the site, brand recognition and increased sales for the dealers and the site. The flip side of that is that the cost of being a 1stdibs dealer dramatically increase as many fees doubled and the peer to peer connection or dealers to end clients has been removed as well as any chance of salesmanship skills of those dealers.

As more and more dealers across the world, both high and low end have been brought in, you can definitely see that the same high standards for dealers and pieces has not been maintained. Less and less items are being offered in "client ready"condition. For some, that may be good as they may want to have purchases refurbished to their own specifications by their own restoration specialists - certainly a beautiful lacquered finish can be damaged in transit, but for others, to buy pieces in original condition is a deterrent as buying a project for a designer can certainly cost a designer more money and certainly time than originally anticipated.

Many of the new dealers are vendors who have been selling on Ebay (you can even find the same items with the same pictures on both sites) or the "pickers" for some of the original higher end 1stdibs dealers with storefronts. Once the pickers are pulled out of the food chain, it makes it harder & more expensive for the high end dealers to purchase quality merchandise. Think of the cost for a Manhattan antique dealer to buy a piece from a picker in Colorado, ship it to NY to their refinisher and/ or reupholster then have it brought into their showroom to offer for sale at their showroom or on 1stdibs (not to mention the high cost of rent in the city) all in the hopes that a designer will come in and select it for a client. Compare that to going online and finding the same or similar piece on 1stdibs in original condition and buying it from a picker with subsidized shipping from the site - in a lot of ways 1stdibs is competing with the dealers on whom the business was originally built.

As 1stdibs attempts to capture every sale possible, they are inadvertently lowered the overall quality and rarity of the products on which the site's reputation was originally established. The increase in competition will most likely force a period of low sales for high end dealers that will force them to lower their prices while their overhead continues going up - that's the simple economics of supply and demand. Antiques and vintage pieces are finite quantity and the competition to get those pieces will continue to increase.

The 1stdibs commission structure on sales isn't capped at 10% - remember that the investment company has spent millions to create a sales driven platform and hired a CEO with an amazing resume who could have gone to work pretty much anywhere - again, not for the love of antiques, but to make money. The most logical goal for the investors and CEO is to build the organization to go public for a big payout. The biggest question remains to be seen - how much will 1stdibs increase fees and commissions for dealers until they decide to migrate to another site or just give up all together. Taking the monthly 1stdibs site costs mentioned in another post at $1,800 a month, dealers have $21,600 in site fees before any other overhead. If the yearly sales of an antiques dealer are $500,000, at a 10% commission and 3% credit card processing fee, that's an additional $51,500, so $73,100 a year, 15% of gross revenue - which puts a big dent in a dealer's ability to not only pay for overhead, but to acquire new and ever increasing in cost inventory. The rest remains to be seen...

- 13 Jul 2017

1stDibs is the worst and my transaction with 1stdibs as a buyer was a horrific consumer nightmare. We were told by their customer service over the phone that our purchase was protected through their secure checkout. We found out later after our item collapsed in transit, nowhere near our home (not even in the same country), that if we suggest a transporter to the dealer, 1stdibs will not be accountable for the transaction. After looking at the photo of our item sitting broken, it looked like the dealer we purchased from through 1stDibs actually poorly packed the glass table in a pitiable layer of bubble wrap. 1stDibs, however, has held us accountable and apparently does not hold their dealers accountable for suitable packing. This, was our horrifying experience buying through 1stDibs.

So going back to what one user said about 1stDibs strong arming dealers, my experience with the company was quite the opposite. The dealers can continue to profit the company, but buyers like myself whose purchases are relatively small are neglected when something goes wrong.

- 20 Jul 2017

It seems that your beef is with the shipper not the 1st Dibs dealer. It sounds like the piece was in tact when it left the dealer, however subsequently broke in transit. The shipper has a responsibility to ensure items are packed properly before they attempt to transport them. It also sounds like you recommended this shipper to the dealer, bypassing the 1st Dibs shipping and choosing a (more than likely) faster or cheaper method. This entire process explodes in you hands and you blame the 1st Dibs dealer.

- 20 Jul 2017

secrettruth is correct.

"We were told by their customer service over the phone that our purchase was protected through their secure checkout."

This simply means that First Dibs will responsibly handle the financial aspect of the transaction, eliminating the need to release credit card or wire transfer information on to the dealer. This secure checkout then will deduct necessary fee's, etc. (approx 13%?), and forward the balance to the dealer. When a shipper picks up an item from a dealer, the shipper will carefully inspect the item (with the dealer), and signatures will be exchanged. A responsible dealer will take several photographs of the packing, etc. First Dibs encourages this secure checkout, as it is too easy for the consumer to bypass First Dibs checkout, and pay the dealer directly (no commission would then be paid to First Dibs).

It would seem that your damage issues are with the shipping company, not First Dibs. Did you pay the freight bill separately, or through First Dibs?


Aunt Mark

- 27 Jul 2017

1st Dibs has increased its fees by 50% since I posted last year. The standard monthly subscription rate is now $750 per month. Commissions have been raised from 10% to 15% plus they charge a standard 3% processing fee. So, for a dealer, the net proceeds of a 1st Dibs sale are charged a flat 18% PLUS the monthly subscription rate, plus there is a $20 per item charge to have listings featured in the weekly New Additions section. It's expensive. And their dealer service SUCKS. And they demand 30 day exclusivity for listings and parity pricing. So a dealer who lists an item on 1st Dibs cannot list it anywhere else online besides their own personal website for 30 days and if they do list it on other sales channels after 30 days, the price has to be the same as it is on 1st Dibs.

Dealers have a love/hate relationship with 1st Dibs. They love the visibility, hate the interference. 1st Dibs forbids any direct dealer contact with customers; email and website addresses in the 1st Dibs message system are redacted and the dealer phone numbers published on the 1st Dibs site are 1st Dibs relay phone lines that are recorded and monitored by 1st Dibs. If a customer sees a dealer's item on 1st Dibs and independently, of their own accord, searches out that dealer's website/store/direct phone line, 1st Dibs contract requires dealers to pay a commission to 1st Dibs for ANY and ALL current and future sales with that customer, regardless of whether the items the buyer purchases were / are listed on 1st Dibs.

Most buyers do expect items listed on 1st Dibs to be "client ready" and those clients tend to be upscale. So, here's how the costs break down using a pair of Milo Baughman chairs currently listed on 1st Dibs for $3900. They are chrome frame armchairs with newly upholstered seats and biscuit tufted backs. A designer will probably purchase them for his/her client, so automatically, that $3900 is marked down by 20% for trade discount (it can vary, but 20% is standard). So the gross sale is $3120. Now subtract the 1st Dibs commission and processing fee of 18% = $2558. Now, do you think the dealer bought those chairs in newly upholstered condition? Probably not. So, what is the cost of fabric and upholstery? It can vary quite a bit depending on if the structural elements of the chair also need to be rebuilt. Fabric required for each chair is approx 4 yards. Cost of fabric can vary dramatically and depends on how well you shop, but can range from $20-80 per yard. At $20, cost for fabric is $80 per chair or $160. Tufting adds significant labor cost to upholstery. I'm in the Midwest and have very good, inexpensive upholsterer who would charge about $400 per chair or $800. So, for sake of argument, lets say labor and fabric to reupholster chairs is $1000. Subtract that from 1st Dibs net sale proceeds of $2558 for $1558. How much do you think it cost that dealer to find a pair of Baughman chrome frame arm chairs (with chrome in good condition - re-chroming is exorbitantly expensive) and have them shipped/delivered to shop/upholsterer, photographed, listed and stored until sold? Could I find them for $500? That would be a great price for a pair of Baughman armchairs with good chrome. If I didn't find them locally, they have to be shipped to me. At least $200-300. So now the base cost is $700-800. So how much did the dealer really make?

$500 - wholesale/picker price dealer pays to buy inventory
200-300 - shipping/delivery costs to dealer
1000 - supplies and labor costs to reupholster

= $1800-1900 total acquisition/labor costs

$2558 - net sale proceeds from 1st Dibs = $758/858 margin

And keep in mind, that $758-858 margin DOES NOT INCLUDE: 1st Dibs monthly subscription cost, Featured New Item listing cost, overhead, photography, storage or retail space, staff to create listings etc, any other negotiated discounts by buyer. And it could easily take a dealer 6-18 months to sell those chairs.

Hope this helps explain dealer pricing/margins.

- 27 Jul 2017

You forgot to include the costs associated with verifying that a listing is attributed correctly for designer and manufacturer: $0 (which converts to £0 and €0 if those 1stDibs dealers are in Europe).

- 27 Oct 2017

I can tell you why they suck from a dealer perspective :

They've gotten so big and greedy that it makes it impossible to have a good working platform that is competitive.

They charge dealers on the fine art side - $600/month AND they take 25% commission !! This is insane to double dip. Also - they have crazy algorithms that monitor EVERY email conversation, and will reprimand you and kick you off the site if you give any contact information.

My advice to all designers out there --- Use 1stibs to search for product, and call the vendor directly. You will get at least 20% off and much better service !

- 28 Oct 2017

AmidMadness does a great job of laying out the landscape for a 1st Dibs dealer. The policies continue to restrict access to a customer base. Previously each listing had a sub-header reading "offered by [dealer name]." Shoppers could choose to browse a single dealer's wares if they liked their aesthetic, and view the address of their showroom to check out local pieces. Since last week, the storefronts have been removed and the dealer name is suppressed everywhere on the site. So despite the photos and product information being their own, dealers now have no way of associating their brand with their product. The lack of transparency makes it impossible to form a long term client-dealer relationship and the erasure of dealer presence/branding on the site unfortunately does convince uniformed buyers they are purchasing from a "1st Dibs warehouse," resulting in a lot of frustration with dealers that is really frustration with 1st Dibs horrendous customer service. It's increasingly difficult to explain the third party transaction that's happening and communicate effectively about logistics if a sale is made. But in the end, a small business and can't afford to kiss 30% of their revenue goodbye in protest. Everyone is just crossing their fingers and hoping Decaso or InCollect can strengthen their marketing efforts enough to genuinely compete.

- 18 Dec 2017

Just wondering, does anyone here have experience selling on the Berlin-based Pamono ? Do they maintain same level of control as 1stDibs?

- 21 Dec 2017

1st Dibs does not do their own brand much good by not removing listings for things like this, even long after it has been pointed out to them. The first image depicts a pair of authentic chairs, but all the rest of the photos are of a hideously constructed fake chair that has no monetary value. But, for $36,000 you can get a pair of them.

- 04 Jan 2018

In response to the comment from tchp - I looked up the listing you linked and agree that it's a hideous fake! I'm a designer who sources through 1stdibs regularly (and yes, my clients are New Yorkers who can afford pay extra for the convenience of easy access to a large online inventory, reliable delivery, restored condition, returns, etc.). Upon reading about this last night, I right away emailed my Trade account rep to let him know about this listing. He called me first thing this morning thanking me for bringing it to their attention and assured me that it will be reviewed and addressed internally... I would be surprised if 1stdibs did NOT want to take action against dealers posting fakes because that's greater liability and reputational risk for them. This specific dealer is hopefully making an ignorant and not a malicious mistake because they don't have any other inventory of this type and maybe are unfamiliar with the pieces? Let's give them the benefit of doubt... But in any case, I would expect this listing to be addressed (removed or revised as "Finn Juhl-inspired"...) asap.

- 12 Jan 2018

^the listing is still up. This is a great example of the negligence of 1stdibs. I see many entirely wrong attributions and fakes on 1stdibs. Just imagine someone buying these fake Finn Juhl chairs for that price.

@flipster: regarding Pamono, they have a different kind of control. Clients can not reach out to dealers directly. If they have a question it goes through the Pamono team. Also, the dealer names are hidden. At least Pamono works with a "no cure, no pay" model. They charge commission on sales but no monthly fees.

- 25 Jan 2018

i have just been contacted from 1stdibs EU to be part of their platform, although excited about me as a dealer being under their radar i know its too much stake of my business to invest on their site...
The break down example of the costs for the chairs, given above, clarifies to lots of buyers why these 'rubbish' 'granny' furniture are so expensive..
The running and associated costs of a product escalate its price and there are lots of buyers out there who do not understand this. Having these extremely high fees at 1stdibs it is obvious the dealers to charge so much for one of their pieces.. At the end of the year you would expect to make a profit out of all your associated costs.. I would prefer to invest $800 a month to a part time PR and marketing person in order to escalate and bring my business in contact with the interior professionals, which I'm sure it will pay back, that pay $800 per month and waiting passively for one of my items to be sold online hoping that it will pay at least my expenses.
Also for people who do not know the associated prestige of being a dealer at 1stdibs pays an important role in your business.
I sell already through designmkt, vinterior and soon at pamono and i am happy so far with my personal sales and profits of the pieces, any extra costs would reflect on my prices as a result to double them and i don't want that.

- 25 Jan 2018

It's good to get insights from dealers, thank you for your comment. You see, there is a category of people that wants items immediately does not matter at which cost. It will only change if dealers will start to think like you, but it only depends if the demand on 1stdibs will decrease substantially.


- 26 Jan 2018

The competition in the U.S.A. struggles to get as big as 1st Dibs because the fake reviews site called Sitejabber says very bad things about all the other online resale furniture sites except for 1st Dibs. Even this site is not targeted by sitejabber. So the very fact that these big boys hire marketing specialists to get rid of the competition is todays new normal. Get used to it. I still believe that the small family owned businesses in you local area is the best way to shop. Service with a smile!

- 31 Jan 2018

Love these witty and insightful comments, will definitely share with our staff and partners!

My boss is fuming about 1sstdibs right now so I can barely be around him today. In addition to my glamorous job of picking up his kids from sports and making sure the cars are full of gas, he pays me to make sure people who cheat get what they deserve. SO I get to spend hours going online and supervising the IT department to make amusing websites that review the bad eggs and that float to the top of every search engine. So validating.

The lesson is this: buy local from nice people you trust and hold 1stdibs and their vendors accountable if you have the resources to waste. Or let me know and I will do it.

The implied value of buying from 1stdibs is founded on a claim that their standards are v high because they label sellers "vetted" and "top seller." And there are some sleazy vendors. The problem comes when we realize we're not dealing with an honest broker. 1stdibs allows the cheats to keep selling. And that's making my boss (and therefore me) crazy.

The fakes are insane. There are 3 vendors selling Kress Furniture and claiming they are Michael Taylor. There's the fake vintage bureau plat, which is not actually Louis XV, not from France, not from the 18th century, and not an antique.

Objectiques.: might be the boldest cheat on the site. Posted a pair of "1940s French Club Chairs, Condition - New, Recently Reupholstered" which my boss ordered. We love the chairs! But they arrived with urine and gross sweat and grease stains, soiled by drinks, broken legs, mice poop and torn skirts. Insane. Not the pristine chairs in the online photos. Plycon noted the condition at pickup and rightly told our shipping: "They always sell old stuff! We didn't know they told you it was new!" They thought we wouldn't notice. Then owner Mike offered a $250 discount and wrote "END OF STORY" all caps. Yuck.

Objectiques again: Mike (the owner) listed a pair of twist floor lamps in the style of "Frances Elkins, Michael Taylor and Giacometti" and we thought, "What a find!" But they forgot to remove the stickers on the bottom that say "299.99" and "Made in China" by a common manufacturer called Three Hands. Clever.

Let me know if you have trouble with these guys. I'm here to serve.

Update: the vendor and the website are both throwing shade on my boss (thanks a lot!) and demanding the pieces back. My boss definitely doesn't need the cash. Quite rightly, he wants the chairs fixed and a partial refund on the lamps. He has the resources to teach them a valuable lesson so here I sit writing reviews. Yay.

- 03 Feb 2018

It's upsetting when you press 'buy' for an expensive £££££ item and it arrives in a miserable condition. Especially when this site is 1stdibs which as it mentions it uses 'vetted and trusted' dealers.
I always try to be as realistic as possible with my products.
I take nice pictures of the items and i do retouch/lighting/contrast/background them to make them look nicer as images BUT i do not retouch the products themselves to hide any damages. I always leave the scratches or any damage visible so when the product arrives to the buyer he/she knows what to expect. If for any reason i missed a damage of the item on the description i always email them with images before i post it and i ask the buyers if they still want it.
For the last weeks a rep from 1stdibs trying to reach me and send me so many emails trying to get me on board.. It starts feeling so desperate and so not cool, like these cold calls trying to sell you something.. I don't understand why, is it my products, are they like this with every dealer or they are just desperate to register new dealers..?
As a 'viewer' i love 1stdibs, i used to see items i never seen before and for every new designer name i used to see i googled it to find out more and more... In my first years as a dealer i learned lots from their site and i was hoping to sell with them one day.. But nowadays it feels like is a nice facade what you their dealers' images, first cut out image of the product looks amazing, then you go on next images and they are so gloomy photographed in back yards or dirty walls, the item is still dusty etc..
Like is said above do some more research and try a trusted local dealer or straight from the dealers website, ask questions about condition and better price.

- 03 Feb 2018

You need to be lucky that the seller is posting the same item on his shop's webpage, and the images are the same. With a deep google search, one might find the dealer's name, and contact directly for a better price.

- 18 Feb 2018

Hi, I was wondering if anyone is aware of a reputable site for selling antique furniture in the US? I know that this is a European professional design forum, but I was hoping that someone may have knowledge of a site where I may list several personal antiques. I am not a dealer, but an individual trying to liquidate some authentic 1800's American and French antiques in good to excellent condition. My items are not Craigslist material, but I did list them in Atlanta, Nashville, and New Orleans since those are the nearest main hubs the deep south where my items are. Of course, these listings generated lots of scammers, so I have been researching other options and saw such terrible reviews about Chairish and 1stdibs that I didn't want to go there.
I am told that pictures of my items don't do them justice and they need to be placed in a shop to be seen (especially the triple corner armoire), but local consignment or antique stores take 40% of the sales price and discount items that don't sell within a month. I priced the items well below similar things I saw in other regional sites and stores. I also asked a friend how she was trying to sell her items and she recommended opening up my own website or FaceBook page to market them--an idea she read about on an antiques store site she stumbled upon. Any ideas or insight is appreciated.

- 18 Feb 2018


Yes, your furniture looks to be of fine quality.

If this were me I would take out a small advertisement in the Palm Beach Daily News (not the Palm Beach Post).

Include in your small ad a website that will display your above pictures. and your email.

know what you are selling (measurements, vintage, origin, any signature,,,etc.) .

have a shipper to recommend.

See what happens.


Aunt Mark

- 19 Feb 2018

As an end user, I will never buy from 1stdibs.
Their prices are just ridiculous, often up to ten times what you'd pay elsewhere. You can justify these markups all you want. The bottom line is that buyers don't care about overhead. Plus, why would I pay thousands of dollars for something I can't see in person — or even return?!! (Fun to view their Study blog, however.)

- 15 Mar 2018

I am selling currently through Pamono & Design-mkt, and another platform that I pay per click, but no commissions. I find so far Pamono the most professional of the two platforms. they are straightforward to deal with and have a better shipping network.

Design market doesn't have really good terms, much in favour of the consumer. I am currently thinking of cancelling my Design-mkt account, as they don't seem too organized, and never follow up on any of my questions.

In the end I prefer using none of these two platform anyway, as I loose touch with my customers, which for me is one of the things I actually really enjoy in this business.

- 11 Apr 2018

My experience with 1stdibs as a seller has always been fantastic....
But lately orders are rare, it is hard and I'm not sure if I could keep up.
The competition out there is tuff and unfair these days....
I work with various suppliers, but most of them started selling themselves on different sites who don't charge monthly fees either do you not have to be a professional have a smartphone your in!!
So yes, they can be cheaper and yes our prices look ridiculous.

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