Disclosure: Some of the links in the post below are "affiliate links."
Ways to sell your antiques and collectibles that are not online
- 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.
There are also some inexpertly done videos of the booth on my YouTube Channel
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 are gas, food and lodging expenses 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?
- 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.
- 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.
- 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:
- Local Facebook buy, sell and trade groups
- Local want ads, both newspaper and small publications
- Swap and Shop radio and TV programs
- 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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