Where to sell antiques depends on the volume and type of antique you own. Some people have dozens of items whereas others have one piece they want to trade-in for top dollar.
You can either opt to sell antiques online or find an avenue to get rid of the item locally. Either way, your decision on where to sell will factor into how much cash you’ll get.
First, determine what your antique or collectible is worth. Next, decide whether you want to wholesale or retail. Finally, explore all the different ways to turn a profit on antiques and collectibles.
Selling Antiques Online
The internet has changed the way people deal with antiques. It’s easier to find out how much an item is worth, which makes retailing antiques much simpler.
Since you have access to more buyers on the internet, in theory, you’ll be able to get more money. The downside to selling antiques on the internet is that the cash may not be immediate, and there is a slight learning curve.
Here are the top ways to sell antiques and collectibles online:
Selling antiques on eBay has been one of the go-to ways for dealers to put their collections in front of thousands of people for over two decades. You don’t need to have a business to take advantage of this site.
Though Etsy started as a marketplace for handmade items, they branched off to include vintage and antique items as well.
3. Ruby Lane
Ruby Lane is arguably the most popular marketplace dedicated to antiques. Though many dealers have success on Ruby Lane, the site is highly curated, and it’s more challenging to get accepted to sell here than it is on Etsy.
4. Other Online Marketplaces
There are half a dozen other large-scale and lesser-known online marketplaces to consider selling your antiques. A simple Google search will bring up some reputable sites, but keep in mind that your exposure selling on sites like this might be less. Some other sites that allow you to sell antiques and collectibles include:
5. Online Dealers
If you have something particular to sell, it might be worthwhile reaching out to some renowned antique dealers on the internet. Check out their website or shop policies and see what they say about buying wholesale from the public. You may only get wholesale pricing, but you will also save yourself time and listing fees in favor of an immediate sale.
6. Social Media
Facebook has an option to list items for sale on their site. Others take to places like Instagram and Twitter to seek out buyers for specialty items.
7. Specialty Sites
If you have a specialty item to sell, consider finding a specialty marketplace to either list your item or sell to a dealer. Some common sites include:
8. Build a Website
If antiquing has become more of a business than a hobby, consider building a website. Selling on a domain you own is smart if you have already built up a following on social media and other marketplaces like eBay or Etsy.
How to Sell Collectibles Near You
Some collectibles are much easier to sell in person, especially if you aren’t exactly sure what you own. Believe it or not, there are even more avenues to get your items assessed and sold locally.
These are the best ways to sell antiques and collectibles locally:
1. Consignment Shop
A consignment shop differs from a regular antique shop because all the items inside are listed for sale on consignment. You agree on a price; the shop owner puts it in their store for sale. You get paid when the item sells.
2. Directly to a Dealer
Antique dealers who don’t offer consignment prefer to buy things outright. If you walk into an antique shop with an item for sale, they will likely offer to purchase it for a wholesale price if they are interested. They may even recommend you to another dealer who might also be interested in buying the item in question.
3. Newspaper Listing
Sell your antiques and collectibles the old school way by putting an ad in your local newspaper. Most publishers offer free or inexpensive listings that will reach an older audience.
This method uses the internet, but it is one of the most common local and free listing sites around. Be wary if you are listing anything too expensive on Craigslist. You might consider listing items like that on eBay instead, so there’s more protection for the buyer and seller.
5. Flea Market
If you have a lot of lower-end collectibles you want to sell, consider renting a booth at a local flea market. You can sell most things at a flea market, even if they aren’t old. But remember, most buyers here will be looking for a bargain.
6. Garage Sale
Clear out older items that don’t have too much value by setting up a garage sale. Use keywords like “antiques,” “vintage” and “collectibles” in your online listings for the sale, so you attract the right type of buyers.
7. Estate Sale
If you need to clear out an entire house, seek out a reputable estate sale company. Different companies may offer different packages depending on the estimated value of the house contents.
If you have a high-end item you want to sell, consider listing it with a local or national auction house. Auctions that are well advertised are a great way to sell a specialty item. If you are worried your antique won’t sell for market value, you can always put a reserve price. Remember, you will have to pay the auction house a commission on the sale.
9. Antique Show
Many antique dealers opt to do a few antique shows per year above and beyond other selling. This strategy allows sellers to meet other dealers and have exposure to hundreds or thousands of potential customers at one time. Many new and inexperienced antique dealers make their start at antique shows. Start small and work upwards from there.
Visit: AJC’s Antique Show Directory
10. Antique Mall
Antique dealers may also rent spaces inside various antique malls. They might filter different quality items through different booths they have, depending on what is selling where. Though you might get more exposure on the internet, if you want to start an antique business, it’s best to have various avenues to make a sale.
11. Pawn Shops
If you are hard up for cash, a last resort sale option could be at a pawn shop. This type of sale has the benefit of potentially getting the item in question back. For instance, heirloom items that have sentimental value can be held as collateral on a loan for a specific length of time.
12. Craft Fairs
Many local craft fairs allow vintage and antique sellers to get booths, depending on the type of show and how difficult it is to gain entry. The benefit of selling antiques at a craft fair is that there will be less competition as far as other antique dealers are concerned. Some small craft fairs at schools may even have a very affordable setup fee.