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.
Reminder: Be aware that vintage products, materials, and their layers can contain hazards — consult with pros to assess what you are working with so that you can make informed decisions how to handle. For more info see my Be Safe/Renovate Safe page.
Here are places to start looking; where online search is involved, I recommend you play around with your keywords. For example, in addition to searching steel kitchen cabinets, also search metal kitchen cabinets or vintage kitchen cabinets or of course, by name/brand:
- 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 (google to find other such aggregators, I have not looked into them all) to search craigslist into your larger region or even nationally.Note, reader Frank also suggested, in comments, another way to do aggregation quickly:
“For those that may be interested in searching all of craigslist, say the entire craigslist site just to see what’s on the market, it’s quite easy to do. Just use google to perform a power search. Type in the following in the search bar “vintage metal cabinets site:craigslist.org”.”
Note, when I try Frank’s method, I seem to still have to search by specific keyword, but at least I seem to get to the location where the item is or was for sale.
- Facebook Marketplace — newer to the scene, I like this source because it’s easy to search, easy to see photos and I think the listings are presented to you based on the locations closest to where Facebook thinks you are.
- 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.
- ReStore Habitat for Humanity and salvage places — I see vintage steel kitchen cabinets at my ReStore regularly.
- Also — if you are a BUYER — ask your neighbors. They may have old cabinets in their basement or garage that were originally in their kitchen — and yours!
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.