Why are family heirlooms showing up at Goodwill?

As millennials opt for simplicity, more family heirlooms are ending up for resale.

TAMPA -- If you're looking for a deal on older furniture, or maybe even some antique place settings you might able to score a real deal these days. And you can thank millennial's and Gen-X'ers.

Younger people's changing tastes and lifestyles are leaving Bay Area thrift stores and re-sellers with a lot more inventory.

Places like the Goodwill store in St. Petersburg are drowning in dressers. Packed with place settings. Up to their armpits with armoires.

Furniture donations and sales have soared by almost 20 percent over this time last year. 

“I think there is an increasing trend, definitely. And we are seeing more of those nice pieces,” said Goodwill Suncoast Spokesperson Chris Ward.

The whole industry is seeing the same thing as millennials and Gen-X'ers say ‘no thanks’ to family heirlooms that had been passed along through generations.

Why?

No room - or need - for big dining tables, dressers or serving sets. 

“Some people are going for the more minimalist view the more minimalist lifestyle,” said Ward.

That's exactly what we found with Isobel Miller and her daughter Marlo, shopping at Goodwill for a new table. 

“If I had a dining room table and chairs and I wanted to hand it down, the kids are not looking at the value of that necessarily. It's what fits into their life today,” said Isobel.

“Yeah, it's all about look, I guess,” admitted Marlo, “And, whether it fits in the apartment well and stuff.”

The good news, says Goodwill is that the trend allows some people to now purchase furniture they might not have otherwise been able to afford. And that money, is then being put to good use.

Jose Lozano, who owns Done Deal Estate Sales in South Tampa, is part of a booming industry created by the same trend. The IKEA generation, as he calls it, seems far less keen on keepsakes, and hires companies like his to just sell-off everything. 

“They basically hand us the keys, sign the contract and say let me know when you're done,” said Lozano.

Some downsizing baby boomers are putting their stuff in storage, hoping eventually their kids or grandkids will want it.

But in the meantime, more furniture and other items once handed down is ending up for sale.

Lozano says the same trend is also hurting the antique furniture business. Millennials, he says, often want less expensive furniture that’s easy to assemble, takes up less space and serves more than one function.

“It's just totally changed,” said Lozano. “Totally changed.”

Make it easy to keep up-to-date with more stories like this. Download the 10 News app now.

Have a news tip? Email desk@wtsp.com, or visit our Facebook page or Twitter feed.

 

© 2017 WTSP-TV


JOIN THE CONVERSATION

To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the
Conversation Guidelines and FAQs

Leave a Comment