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

Disclosure: Some of the links in the post below are "affiliate links."

Ways to sell your antiques and collectibles that are not online

  1. Get a booth in an antique mall. There is so much more to this than the previous sentence reflects. Think you can just plop your goodies in a booth and watch them fly out the door? Ah…. nope. Maybe the first month, but if you don’t keep replenishing and moving things around, sales will dry up. The negative side of things to consider is mall traffic, competition, cost of booth, commission fees, only getting paid once or twice a month, sometimes theft… But if you enjoy hunting for things to sell and adding to and staging a booth weekly or at a minimum once a month then go for it! The plus side is that you never have to deal with customers – unless you want to hang around your booth to talk to them – you don’t have to take payments and somebody else tends shop while you get to hit the yard sales and thrift stores. I have a love/hate relationship with my booth. I love certain aspects about having a booth and hate others. Mainly, it annoys me to have to put clothes and make-up on and go to fluff the booth. But once I’m there, I love it. 😉 This subject is a whole blog post in itself and one that I will do in the future.
    Click this link to see some posts of booth pictures.
    You can see a couple of inexpertly done videos of my booth in the sidebar. —>>>
  2. Your own, stand alone, store. If you like having a place to go every day and have plenty of inventory, then this might be a good option for you. It does have a lot of negatives, though. It’s the most expensive way to sell. You have rent, utilities, perhaps insurance and maybe employees. You’re married to the business. If you do not have at least one employee, when will you shop for more merchandise? Being dependent on people and pickers bringing you things to buy for resale isn’t as romantic as it sounds. I know. Been there, done that. Don’t get me wrong. I loved my shop, but prefer my freedom.
  3. Set up at flea markets. This can be a lot of fun. And a lot of work. But if you live near a good flea market, it’s definitely worth a try. If it’s a tube sock kind of place, expect low ballers. Oh, who am I kidding. Expect them anyway. It’s a flea market! People expect to haggle.
  4. Set up at bigger shows. There are so many shows around the US. Round Top and the Country Living Fair are biggies. And expensive to sell at. But there are smaller shows that are pretty great, too. You’ll probably have to travel, so there is gas, food and lodging expense to take into consideration with this. The plus side is that most have a certain demographic of customers coming through. It’s your job to have what they’re looking for, presented in a way they like to see it and at a price they’re willing to pay. Wait. That fits almost everything I’ve listed so far, doesn’t it?
  5. Have your own pop-up sale. Maybe get a few friends to go in with you. Pop-up sales are occasional sales. You pick a spot, set a date and advertise the heck out of it. If you have a popular blog or lots of local social media followers, this can be quite lucrative and who knows? It could develop into one of the smaller, “destination” shows! It’s something I’ve always wanted to do, but lack the promotion gene.
  6. Have a yard sale. Okay. So maybe not the best idea, but, like eBay, it can be quick money if you’re willing to let things go cheap. You might want to read my article, When Is the Best Time To Have A Yard Sale for more tips here.
  7. Craig’s List. If you just need to sell something every now and then, Craig’s List is a great option. I’m sure you already know this, but… Go to craigslist.org, find your area list, take a picture, write a description, add your phone number and/or email and wait for someone interested in your item to get in touch with you.
    Similarly there are:
  8. Local Facebook buy, sell and trade groups
  9. Local want ads, both newspaper and small publications
  10. Swap and Shop radio and TV programs
  11. Another option is to take your item to an antique dealer. Remember you cannot get top dollar with a dealer! They’ve got to resell the item and with all the expenses associated with running an antique business, they’ll need to triple or quadruple the amount they pay you. So don’t be insulted when they offer a small fraction of what you think it’s worth. But a good dealer/picker relationship is a wonderful thing. It’s also rare these days with so many pickers selling in the above venues for the full amount themselves.

I hope you’ve found some little something helpful in this article. I realize there’s nothing earth shattering here, but then there hasn’t been anything earth shattering in the Selling Of Things since eBay. Wonder what will be next?

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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.

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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