There are lots of reasons to shop vintage — it's greener, it can sometimes be less expensive, and pieces with history can add character to your home. We've rounded up the best online vintage shopping sites of the year, divided by style: mid-century, traditional, industrial, and "the best of the rest."
Troy Seidman (who writes for Apartment Therapy from his homebase of Toronto) has a selective eye and a well-edited collection of 20th century furniture. He updates his inventory regularly and works closely with clients to help them find what they're looking for.
Based out of Los Angeles, TINI (an acronym for This Is Not Ikea) sells mid-century pieces found at estate sales, auctions, garage sales, flea markets and online outlets. To buy something you see on their website, call the store to arrange shipping.
This online store sells reasonably priced mid-century pieces from brand names like Heywood Wakefield, Vitra, and Herman Miller. Headquartered in Dallas, they update their inventory frequently and ship worldwide.
Located in Long Beach, California, this store has a lot of well priced mid-c furniture, with most prices clearly marked online. They offer local and national delivery for all items, and you can call or email for a quote.
They consider themselves "purveyors of beach culture and California lifestyle", which ultimately means good mid-century stuff. Headquartered in Venice, California, they post their frequently rotating inventory online.
The Good Mod
Located in Portland, Oregon, the Good Mod stocks vintage furniture from the 1920s through the 1970s. Prices are listed online, and — we love this helpful feature — estimated shipping quotes are included for each piece.
Regency, Deco, and Traditional Styles
VandM.com is an aggregate site that brings together a big group of sellers specializing in antique furniture, artwork, textiles, and lighting. If you choose to buy a piece, the site connects you directly with the seller, wherever they may be.
Founded by interior designer Lee Kleinhelter, this Atlanta store sells restored vintage pieces and a few new items as well. Pieces has a GREAT website — our favorite feature is that everything is searchable by color.
Jayson Home & Garden
Based in Chicago, this store has some really beautiful vintage finds. The new flea section of their website focuses on unique vintage furniture from around the world. They offer online purchasing and can ship nationally or internationally.
They're an aggregator site that posts antiques from over 2,000 sellers, and their focus is on traditional, "Antiques Roadshow" style stuff. Heaquartered in San Francisco, they ship nationally and internationally.
South of Market
Based out of Atlanta, this webshop offers a select group of antique furniture and fixtures hand-picked from locations around the globe to suit today's tastes. SOM also has brick and mortar stores in Atlanta and Charleston.
The Horsemen Antiques
Located in Brooklyn on Atlantic Avenue, the Horseman Antiques is an essential source for English, French, Empire and American mid-century modern furniture. They have an eBay shop where rotating inventory is posted online.
Founded in 1994 by Jason Wein, Cleveland Art recently moved its permanent location from Cleveland to Los Angeles. This store specializes in industrial pieces with a worn patina. Prices are reasonable and they can ship furniture nationally. Call or email for a quote.
Modern50 Vintage Industrial
Modern 50 and its sister site, Factory 20, are based in Sterling, Virginia, but they ship nationally. Prices are expensive, but their catalogs are beautifully photographed and definitely worth a look for inspiration.
Past Present Future
Based out of Minneapolis, this website has an impressive inventory of mid-century and industrial styles. They carry the "Invincible M-Line," a series of office furniture that's been in production for 60 years and is made from twenty-gauge steel.
This Chicago-based store has a good selection of reasonably priced vintage furniture and architectural elements, and they ship anywhere in the world. They can also assist customers outside the US with customs arrangements.
Based in Brooklyn, they have a large inventory of used office furniture (much of it is suitable for home use). Shop online or in-person for brands like Steelcase, Emeco, and Bisley, as well as mid-century designers like Saarinen and Jacobsen.
22 Bond. St.
This Los Angeles store carries an eclectic mix of antiques that fall under any and all of the categories listed here: modern, traditional, industrial — it's all there. Prices are high but the selection is carefully curated with unique pieces.
The Best of the Rest
Over just five years, Etsy has managed to become one of the largest online retailers of handmade and vintage goods, with hundreds of thousands of sellers. There's a lot to sift through, and searching can take some time, since it's always being updated with unique finds.
Craigslist revolutionized the business of classified listings by connecting hundreds of thousands of local sellers with local buyers. It can be a hassle (crazy sellers and buyers, emails with no answers, bait-and-switch ads) but every so often, you can find unbelievable deals.
The original online auction site, eBay is great if you know exactly what you're looking for. Sellers post items that can be bid on by almost anyone with an Internet connection, and buyers try to "win" auctions by placing the best bid.
ShopGoodwill.com pulls from a national inventory of used items, and it operates like eBay, except that all proceeds go to Goodwill's education, training, and job placement programs. Although there are some junky things, the site offers lots of good stuff, too.
This is another aggregate site that connects antique dealers with buyers around the world. They have some extraordinarily beautiful things, and the high prices reflect this. They're a go-to source for the luxury set—a lot of fun to browse.
NOTE: Photos shown above are examples of a store's inventory and may not be currently available online.
• Vintage Online Furniture Stores
• Best Mid-Century Furniture 2009: Online and Offline
• Top Ten Online Shops for Vintage Furniture and Accessories
Photo: 8 Arne Jacobsen Series 7 Chairs at the Good Mod