21 Places To Sell Your Antiques and Collectibles – Where to sell vintage items

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Where to sell vintage items online and in real life.

21 Places To Sell Your Antiques and Collectibles

Please do not ask me to appraise, buy, sell or help sell your item. I’m either not qualified or simply don’t do any of those.

So you think you’d like to sell vintage and/or antique items? Maybe you already sell in one venue and looking for another. Perhaps you have more of Grandma’s stuff than you have room for. Or, if you’re like so many of us, you need your addiction to pay for itself.

Selling vintage and antiques can be fun, rewarding, tiring, frustrating and profitable. Sometimes all at once. I’ve been buying and selling since 1997. No, I haven’t tried all the methods listed below, but you can bet I’ve certainly thought about them all!

There are so many different ways of selling, both online and off. Here, off the top of my head, are 19 21 different ways.

Online:

  1. Good ol’ eBay. It’s the venue most people think of when you say you’re selling online. It’s hard to beat for a quick sale. But the “glory years” of eBay are long gone. In the beginning, you could sell any old thing for an amazing amount. People started to catch on and list their any old thing, and then there were 10 of the same thing up at one time and then 20, until the market became saturated. Buyers started looking for the lowest price. Things can still be sold for an amazing amount, but it generally has to be extraordinary. Something truly hard to find, but not so hard to find that nobody’s looking for it!
    With eBay you can have a store or “fixed price” or, if you’re a gambler, put your item up for auction. Auction can be the quickest way to get some extra cash, but not necessarily the most profitable. The fee structure is a bit complicated. Rather than try to explain it, I’ll send you here to their fee chart. 
    I cut my teeth on eBay, but have since moved on to #2……..Etsy
  2. Etsy. Many people think Etsy is strictly for handmade items, but you can sell your vintage items there, too. There is actually a huge vintage market on there. The only requirement is that the item is older than 1996. Pretty cool, huh? It only costs 20¢ per item to list and it stays listed for four months. Yes, 4 months for 20¢! If your item sells, they take 3.5% of the sale. If it doesn’t sell, you can relist for another 20¢ or if you don’t want to relist it, then… don’t. Can’t beat that with a stick! There’s a myth that you have to promote yourself for more sales. Maybe when Etsy was young, but these days, your listing will probably be on the first page of a Google search for the item and more and more people are learning about Etsy and starting there just like they would eBay. Of course self promotion never hurts. Can you tell I’m kinda partial to Etsy? And by the way. If you click on the Etsy links I’ve given, and sign up as a seller, both you and I will get 40 free listings. Occasionally someone will email me to say the free listings didn’t work. There are only a couple of stipulations. Per Etsy: If [you] navigate away from the link [provided here] or switch browsers, [your] new shop will not be registered as coming directly from [this] inviteAnd the free listings will be forfeited. 
    You might like to read 7 Mistakes New Etsy Sellers Make, too.
  3. TIAS. TIAS is a venue for antiques and collectibles. It costs $39.95 a month (on a month to month basis). From their site: “If your total sales for one month on TIAS.com result in a monthly 10% commission fee paid to TIAS.com that is greater than $39.95, you pay just the 10% commission that is due. No other additional fees will apply.” Um… I don’t understand that, but I can be stoopid some times. There is also a yearly plan that works out to be $34.95 with the same commission structure. It’s been around since 1995.
  4. Ruby Lane Ruby Lane is a bit more persnickity about what you can list. You must have at least 10 items in your shop at all times and they have a minimum price. Each “lane”, antiques lane, jewelry lane, doll lane, etc. has it’s own requirements, but they’re not so bad. Vintage/collectible requirements are that items have to be 20 years old or older with a minimum selling price of $5.00. They have a minimum fee of $54 a month plus 39¢ per item to list.
  5. Your own website. One of the most popular ways of selling where there are no rules or fees is to sell on your own site. If you want a blog platform, I recommend using WordPress. (Not wordpress.com, but a WordPress that you install on your own domain, from wordpress.org.) There are several free store front plugins to choose from, like WP eCommerce or WooCommerce. A non blog site could use the free ZenCart or AgoraCart. These take some technical work on your part. You won’t need a lot of coding, but you should be comfortable with the back end of your site. If you’re not comfortable setting up your own site, you can use a service like StudioPress. I’ve heard wonderful things about their Genesis platform and their service.
    Another option if you already have a blog is a paid venue like, Big Cartel. They provide a storefront that is on your domain. They have a free plan for up to 5 items. Other plans start at $9.99 a month. There is no extra fee associated with them.With all of these, you’ll need to work at promotion. There’s no third party to promote for you. It’s your responsibility to get your items to show up early in Google or otherwise in front of buying eyes.
  6. In a similar vein, Shopify. It sets up a store for you on your site for as little as $29 a month. They also have a feature where you can sell on Facebook and…. wait for it… Pinterest! Yippee! They were one of the first to have “buyable pins” on Pinterest. I’m hearing good things from people who have started to use Shopify. I’m seriously considering trying it myself. The Pinterest Buyable Pins could totally be worth the money!
  7. If you have old books to sell, then Amazon might be your market. There is also AbeBooks and Alibris. I sell books on Amazon, but haven’t tried the other two, so I can’t say how sales might be there.
  8. Consider selling dishes to Replacements.com
  9. Sell on other specialty sites. There are sites that specialize in certain items, ie. coins, baseball cards,  records, jewelry, mid century modern, etc. that have a selling platform for you. You just have to search them out.
  10. Instagram stores and Facebook auctions. I’m putting these together because they work basically the same way. (Instagram is generally a fixed price and Facebook auctions are, well, auctions. However either could be auctions or fixed price.) Here’s an explanation of how these work from Southern Living: Retailers post new inventory on their Facebook pages during predetermined time periods (for example, Accessories Auction routinely hosts auctions on Mondays and Wednesdays at 8:00 pm CST). Then fans “bid” on products by posting their email address and desired quantity in the comments field.  Those who score first dibs receive an invoice and then, after payment, (yes, there is that pesky part) receive their winning items in the mail.

This is just the beginning of where to sell your items online. There are certainly more, but these are the ones I’m most familiar with. Now, let’s talk about selling out in the real world.

Sometimes our items are bigger than we want to ship. Nothing’s impossible, but many of us just don’t want to try to ship a table and 6 chairs. Plus, there are many things that will just sell better in person. 

Click to page 2 to see ways to sell in the real world, person to person

Continue to part 2

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Hi! I'm Wanda, the owner of Just Vintage and this is my blog. Just Vintage sells decor and collectibles. This blog is all about the business, our home, our DIY projects and our lives.

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25 thoughts on “21 Places To Sell Your Antiques and Collectibles – Where to sell vintage items

  1. Hey Wanda, some great info on ideas of where to sell. I did my first 2 shows this Spring and did awful. (Never again). So I went back and moved my booth from one place with not so much traffic to a larger more well know and more expensive booth 2 doors north of it. I am anxious to see how I do at this new location. I agree about the love hate relationship. I am just too much of a perfectionist and so it takes me forever to finish a project for selling. I agree about the styling and changing things around. It is a necessity.

    I have been wondering about Etsy as I have a bunch of leftover items from my craft show and my husband suggested I try Etsy. So I am thinking to begin with, to sell lightweight easy to ship items. Heck, the opportunity is staring me in the face and I am going to take it. Here’s to 40 free items! Thank you! ;o)

    • Go for it! But Etsy is like everything else. The more you have in your store, the more you’ll sell. (I’m so low right now, sales kinda trickle in.) Still, you never know til you try. It’s hard work trying to make money reselling. We have to keep reevaluating what’s working and what isn’t.

  2. I have a complete set of antique old rose China if you price it by the replacement company it is well worth 1200. Plus dollars how do I get some one interested

    • Hi Lisa. Dishes are generally a hard sale. I’ve found that we can only expect up to 1/2 of Replacements asking price — if we’re lucky. You may have tried this already, but sad as it is, you’ll probably need to break the set up. Sell each serving piece separately, all the dinner plates together, all the soup bowls together, etc. I recommend eBay or Etsy for that. To sell the set as a whole, I’d say try Craig’s List, local Facebook buy/sell/trade groups or local want ads and wait for a buyer.

      Good luck!

  3. Hi Wanda, I have been “playing” at buying and selling vintage items/collectibles for about 8 months or so and have decided to put some real effort into it and see if I can turn my enjoyable hobby into something worthwhile. I came upon your blog while searching for info on reference books that might help me on learning any and every thing about making my venture profitable. I was hoping you might have some idea of what books I might find helpful, useful, informative, etc. Of course any thoughts or tips you can provide will also be very much appreciated!!
    I enjoyed reading your blog and will look forward to your next posting. Thanks so much.!!

    • Hi Becky and thank you! I don’t have any book recommendations. However, it is on my list of things to do. The more knowledge we have, the better off we are. This is a harder business than most realize. I’ve been mulling over several more blog posts about selling. January, and February so far, have been… well… busy and messy.

      The biggest piece of advice I can give you is research. Research, research, research. Choose a category you’re interested in. One that you feel you can find at cheap prices in your local haunts. It might be kitchenware, small appliances, mid century modern items (I always like that one), old video games, books, records… something that other pickers in your area pass up and/or that the sellers don’t realize have value. Go to eBay, find that category and go to sold items. Then choose to see highest priced first. See what’s selling. You’ll be surprised at the things you (we) pass up all the time that have value. Alternately, using Chrome browser with the Etsy selling price add-on installed, choose a shop with a lot of sales or one that specializes in something you’re interested in. Look at their sold items. That Chrome add-on will show you the selling price. Then you can do a little extra research to see if it consistently sells well or if it was a one time fluke. There is always something to learn. I’ve been selling since 1997 and learn bookoodles when I research!

      Remember, the money is made when we purchase the item. A good rule of thumb too, is to buy what you love and buy what you hate. Everything else is mediocre. We can also add “and anything for a quarter.” LOL You never know when that quarter will hit the jackpot, but you could soon find yourself having to have a yard sale with a whole slew of quarter items.

      Good luck! The business is hard, but oh, so rewarding.

  4. I work for an antiques dealer, have for approximately six years now. THANK YOU for the honest advice given regarding selling your items to a dealer with their own shop. So many times people walk in the door with crazy expectations of what we’ll buy an item for. Items purchased sometimes sit for YEARS before a buyer takes it off our hands. If you want top dollar, then you must find a buyer that will pay it. The item they feel is worth $100 isn’t worth a dime until they have a buyer.

    Great read! Good luck to you!

    • I know! I had a shop for a couple of years. I never understood why people thought I could pay so much. They’d also try to sell me things with top dollar, 1980s prices in their heads, thinking they’d be worth more now. Ha! Those things have fallen out of favor and are a dime a dozen now. Anyone going the route of selling to a dealer needs to do their research first and realize the expenses the dealer has to pay. If someone needs money, selling to a dealer should be one of the last resorts.

      Thanks for the comment!

      Wanda

  5. I pinned your post because I have become a self-taught avid collector of vintage and antique items, all smalls. I’m a teacher, so researching them is fine for me. I find many of my items at various places – estate sales, tag sales and at my local Super Store Goodwill. It’s amazing, the more you collect and listen to other collectors, the more savvy you become in spotting a good find. I’ve sold to a new antique store, a new store selling only vintage items and a great consignment store. The owner has come to value the information I share with him about my items. Thank you so much for your article. I’ve been considering Etsy for a while, instead of Ebay. I’d rather set a reasonable price and hope it sells. I recently had a very bad experience with auctioning some of my items, and I didn’t know enough to set a reserve on my lots. I made more money at a two day tag sale at our condo (the first one allowed), since we’ve lived here. So I think I’d like to have more control over the process. I really have some nice items, but I need to downsize – due to lack of space. I need to pare down what I collect. I feel you have any suggestions, I would appreciate them. But your article was so helpful! Thank you, and I’ll be sure to follow you.
    Deb Homola

    • Hey Deb. You really should give Etsy a try. Their fees are sooo much lower than eBay. eBay seems to be a race to the bottom. Things get cheaper and cheaper, but Etsy is more like a boutique where quality and effort is rewarded.

  6. I HAVE ALWAYS LIKED VINTAGE AND ANTIQUES AND HAVE ALOT OF THINGS TO SELL NOW. BUT DO NOT KNOW HOW TO SELL AT LITTLE EXPENSE. I HAVE TRIED TO GET A BOOTH AT SEVERAL ANTIQUE SHOPS HAVE LEFT MY INFO, BUT NEVER ANY LUCK IN GETTING A BOOTH, ANY IDEAS ? THANK YOU

    • It can be hard to get into antique malls. They all say they have a waiting list and in most cases that’s the absolute truth. Thing is, most malls will offer a newly opened booth to the vendors already there. Give them the chance to expand or move.

      Sometimes it’s all about who you know. If you knew someone who already has a booth, you could get them to put in a good word for you. Another way is to get in with a mall just opening up. Of course that doesn’t happen often.

      It would be a good idea to gather up a lot of the things you’d be selling and take a picture to show the mall owner or manager. That way they’ll be more comfortable renting to you.

      Go in every month and ask if anything came open yet. Stay on their radar. Try to buy things, too. That always makes someone more memorable.

      In the meantime, you might sell online. Then when you approach the mall manager, you can point them to your online store. That way they know what you sell and that you’re serious.

      Good luck!

  7. Searched storage unit auctions for about 6 years just recently bought a unit that contained a 65 pcs set of noritake China from the 1930’s valued between. $900. to $1100. do not want to list on eBay nor ship looking for buyer local or someone to handle. Willing to sale at a price below retail.

    • Awesome! I would think your best bets would be Craig’s list, Facebook buy/sell/trade boards, and/or a local want ads publication. Good luck!

  8. Wanda, I just have 1 item to sell, what would be a good site. It’s a vintage telephone table. It’s in good condition. Needs to be refurbished.

    • Carol, I think Craig’s List or local Facebook buy/sell/trade groups, or a local want ads publication would be best.

      Good luck!

  9. Hello Wanda…. really enjoyed your information. Since I was young I have always had a good eye for neat antiques, and now I have discovered the Goodwill Outlet next to my house. I am always finding great treasures that people overlook. My problem is that I can get online and search the item, possibly find it and what someone else is selling it for, but…. what I really want to know is a more actual value of the item. I often find things that are very different prices. Right now I have some vintage Jello advertisements. I found the full set on ebay for $299, but in another place I found one individual piece had sold for $180. How do I find the right price so that I am making money but also offering a good deal? I don’t want to sell something worth $200 for only $20. Do you have any resource ideas for me or advice?

    • Hi Christene. Great find! I definitely understand. A little too well. The internet, and eBay in particular, changed the vintage and antique world in a more drastic way than anything I’ve ever seen or heard of. What was once rare is now a dime a dozen and actual sold prices are all over the place.

      Bottom line is that something is only worth what someone is willing to pay. Our problem is with just a few taps on the keyboard, seeing where someone paid a lot and someone else got a deal. Then there are sellers trying to sell for what I like to call “hoped for” or “wishful thinking” prices. What I generally do is choose an amount somewhere in between actual sold prices (if I can find any) that I’m happy with. I like to start with a higher price — just in case. You can always lower the price if it sits too long. Auctions are risky. You have to be willing to sell the item at the listing price, because sometimes it sells with only one bid. I’ve chosen what I thought was a tad on the high side for a fixed price because I couldn’t fathom that someone would pay any more, only to have it sell almost immediately. That’s when the second guessing comes in. Could it have brought significantly more money?

      When we research sold prices, we have to take into consideration the venue. Was it an eBay auction where two people were duking it out? Was it a fixed price there or another online venue? How long might it have sat there? Can you let it sit until it sells? Was it an in house auction? Prices can get pretty high with them. How many others are out there waiting to be sold? It’s all so complicated!

      I’m sure I wasn’t much help, but just know we’re all in the same boat. Pricing is the single hardest thing for me and a lot of people I know.

  10. Fantastic web site. Plenty of helpful info here. I’m sending it to several friends ans also sharing in delicious.
    And certainly, thanks for your effort!
    e-commerces recently posted…e-commercesMy Profile

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