How and where to buy or sell vintage metal kitchen cabinets

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My kitchen. Use of this image requires my permission.

WHERE IS THE BEST PLACE to sell your vintage steel kitchen cabinets? As a follow up to my post on how much your metal cabinets may be worth, here is an outline of where and how you can sell them. Update: A reader analyzed selling prices in 2010, and we published her research here.

WHERE IS THE BEST PLACE TO BUY vintage steel kitchen cabinets? Take these tips in reverse!

The market for these cabinets is generally going to be very local. People will want to come look at them before they buy and to be sure, it will be a lot cheaper if they can pick them up rather than having to arrange for a moving company. But, “local” actually means “within driving distance” for someone who wants to buy a set of steel kitchen cabinets. So your marketing and outreach should really extend…3 or 4 hours in a circle around where you live, although I know of folks who have driven further to buy particular brand cabinets they need.

Here are places to start looking:

1. Craigslist is probably the most common source for cabinet listings when you take into account the entire U.S. — and it’s crafted to serve your local market, which is important when selling huge items like kitchen cabinets.  I think they will only let you list in one city, and if that is their rule, you should abide by it.

  • TIP: Use aggregators such as searchtempest to search craigslist into your larger region or even nationally. Take note: Play around with your keywords. For example, instead of searching steel kitchen cabinets, search metal kitchen cabinets or vintage kitchen cabinets or of course, by name/brand

2. eBay — I see lots of listing come up, and only one in 10 or seems to sell. However, there may be after-market bidding going on (at a lower price). eBay may work for you if you are in a larger market where there are more potential buyers.

3. ReStore Habitat for Humanity and salvage places — I see vintage steel kitchen cabinets at my ReStore regularly.

4. Also — if you are a BUYER — ask your neighbors. They may have old cabinets in their basement or garage that were originally in the kitchen!

Finally, if your cabinets are in really bad shape — with tons of rust, for example — take a look at the hardware. There is a market for vintage cabinet pulls — in particular old Youngstown handles. And, people with the old Genevas are always eager to connect with the white plastic concave piece behind the chrome pull. And, folks want the knife hinges that connect the doors to the base and wall cabinets. If you have parts, I’d recommend eBay — as they are not expensive to ship.

Click here to see all my stories about vintage steel kitchen cabinets — we’ve identified 80 brands!

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Comments

  1. Mark says

    I’m in the market for a PRISTINE CONDITION GE or ST Charles or VIKING Steel kitchen for my daughter’s c. 1959 condo. It had a GE kitchen originally and out of 167 units, only two still have their original kitchens. She wants it restored and she’s a perfectionist like her dad. So if anyone knows of a complete (about 26’ +- linear feet of upper & lower cabinets complete with two corner units is humanly possible – although I can have them made if I have to, although doing so is costly in the extreme.) When we say “pristine” we mean almost no rust. . However, do not want something dented beyond repair with broken hinges etc. Paint doesn’t matter because they’ll be stripped and powder-coated and baked. Not quite the old fired-on enamel but as close as we can come today and the color choice is unlimited. Any sellers out there? We’re in AZ – so closer is better but will go to the east coast for the right group of cabinets at the right price.

  2. Kristin says

    Can’t find a better place to ask this. I am about to embark on buying a full St. Charles set that is still attached. How much work, realistically, am I getting myself into for the removal? It’s 7 lowers and 6 uppers, and there is a soffit above the uppers so they won’t just lift out. I need to hire day laborers to help but have no idea how long it will really take to remove.

  3. VLG says

    I have a vintage 1970’s St. Charles kitchen in excellent condition. The top cabinets are solid pecan and the bottom units textured steel.
    The interior of the upper cabinets are Celadon green. We had the bottoms repainted in a body shop and are now a neutral almond color (We did this in 1992)
    I think they have great value, certainly more than $89/unit. What do you think?

  4. Dale says

    I have Youngstown cabinets that were installed 1950 that were taken out of my kitchen 25 yrs ago and stored…No rust and an end what not shelf included..with yellow counter tops stainless steel trim.. kitchen roughy was 24 x 24 huge..they were repainted.

  5. Cheyna says

    My kitchen is all Hotpoint. Tags on the inside are somewhat readable. My problem is, they have been painted to look like wood. From what I could actually strip off, it looks like they were originally white, but the paint and stain is very hard to come off the doors. I want them red in the worst way. Help!!!!!

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