Sunday, August 14, 2011

One More Reason To Discount Most Information Gleaned From 1STDIBS. Status: Not Todays Posting!

I don't use others photos here so you'll have to click through the links, but check out this desk on 1STDIBS.

I was just bumming around a few minutes ago on first dibs when I came across this desk. It's a good

looking desk no doubt but it is not a $4200 (the asking price on the site) desk by ANY stretch of the

(or at least MY) imagination. It's just (and I don't mean "just" in a derogatory way!), it's just a

Heywood Wakefield M320 kneehole desk
. AND it's painted. The girlfriend uses a very similar

Heywood Wakefield Airflow kneehole desk here at home daily. Some day I'll shoot some pics of it

but it needs a lot of love. Maybe I'll do a before and after on it. Or paint it and ask $5000 for it on



  1. Some people consider 1st Dibs the be-all and end-all of vintage furniture identification and pricing, but I'm not one of them. All of us have made mistakes in identifying a piece, including the dealers who list there. As a pricing guide for our store, the site is useless, because those dealers are selling to a totally different demographic. To us, 1st Dibs is a sometimes a place to start, simply because of the sheer volume of merchandise they list, but the final responsibility for identifying and pricing a piece rests with the person selling it, who first and foremost needs to know his own market.

    We have people call us all the time wanting to sell furniture, and very often when we make them an offer, they say, "But I saw it on 1st Dibs for 10 times that!" They honestly think that's what they're going to get for it and are upset when no one in town offers them anywhere near that much.

    Like you, I think $4200 is unrealistically high for a painted H-W desk. We used to carry H-W pieces when we had a booth at an antique mall, but we don't even carry it at the store. Around here, you could buy and sell a H-W desk like that for anywhere from $500-1000 with a great original finish all day and all night. With all due respect to ardent H-W fans, the demand, at least here, seems to have waned, and lots of our customers consider it Mid-Century 101...or the gateway drug for mid-century addicts...LOL

  2. You have so hit the nail right on the head Dana! Hey / Wake got me into the Vintage Modern stuff. Now...I'm addicted! But you know, I think that 1STDIBS is the 1st place that the freshly initiated hit for "valueing" their finds just because they haven't yet learned better. I did it. I still get exited when I find something I know little about on 1STDIBS at some four figure price, but I know to view that with skepticism now. I was reading this post on AT not too long ago that asked readers what their best thrift / c-list score was and SOOOooooo many people quoted 1STDIBS as to the value of their find. It was so sad.