This $50 Facebook Marketplace Chair Just Auctioned for $85,000

published Jun 11, 2023
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Credit: Photo: Shutterstock; Design: Apartment Therapy

Justin Miller, an interior design expert and TikTok content creator, recently hit the jackpot after he bought a rare chair on Facebook Marketplace for only $50, and then months later, sold it at an auction for $85,000.

In a series of posts, Miller detailed how he discovered such a thrift gem. In his first video, he says that he came across the listing and had a hunch that the item was valuable. So, he googled the chair and found that it was made in 1935 by Danish designer Frits Henningsen.

Even more exciting, only 50 of the chairs were ever manufactured, with one currently belonging to Kirsten Dunst. With so few of them, the antiques are priced anywhere between $9,000 and $100,000.

“It is beautiful and it would look so good in my home,” he said. “But money talks, so I’m selling it.” 

And so, he quickly bought the unwanted piece of furniture and secured it in a storage facility. After that, he contacted Sotheby’s, whose representatives eventually offered to restore and auction the chair.

If you’re interested in knowing the details of the auction — such as the commission rates, conservationist fees, and the like — he explains it all here.

In another video, Miller also addressed the comments accusing him of taking advantage of the chair’s owners by not informing them of its true value. According to him, he picked up the item at a $6.3 million house in Beverly Hills, where the owners were having a yard sale. They then told Miller that the chair was valuable — especially if he gets the upholstery fixed.

“They really were just trying to get rid of the stuff,” said Miller. “They thanked me for coming and buying it. They were excited that I was excited about it, and they even helped me load it into my car.”

All of that happened back in February. This past week, Sotheby’s held the long-awaited auction, wherein the bids on the chair quickly escalated from the opening bid of $22,000 to $45,000 to, finally, the winning bid of $85,000. 

To complete the saga of the ridiculously undervalued chair, Miller plans to post one more video teaching his followers how to sell items at a Sotheby’s auction.