Sell Your Antiques: Vintage and antique goods can often bring you money if you’re selling the right items. But where should you sell your antiques for the most cash?
Selling vintage and antiques can be fun, rewarding, tiring, frustrating, and profitable. Sometimes all at once.
Thanks to the extraordinary times we’re in, you might be thinking of ways you could earn some extra income. Perhaps you have some antiques collecting dust that you’re considering selling.
Or maybe you’ve thought about turning that hobby you’ve mastered during shelter-in-place orders into a way to earn some extra income. The ideas here can help you take the next step.
Rare antiques can bring in thousands—even millions—of dollars. Take, for instance, a 1909–1911 “Jumbo” T206 Honus Wagner baseball card, which sold for $3.2 million in 2016 or the 18th-century Florentine ebony chest that went for $36.7 million at a London auction house in 2004.
In most cases, a professional appraisal is your first step to knowing what might be valuable—especially if you have a roomful of antiques.
Best Places to Sell Antiques
The websites and stores listed below will help you sell your antiques and get cash. With these options, you can sell either online or locally, depending on which option works best for you.
Etsy only allows people to sell items that are handcrafted, custom-made, unique, or vintage. If you’re selling antiques, you fit under the “vintage” category.
Several types of items qualify as vintage on Etsy, including:
Books, movies, and music
Home decor items
Jewelry and accessories
Toys and games
The Bonanza website says it sells “everything but the ordinary.” When you sell your antiques on Bonanza, you won’t pay any listing or setup fees.
But when you sell, you’ll pay a fee of 3.5%. If you choose to have your antique advertised on Google ads, you’ll pay an additional 5.5% fee when you sell.
OfferUp works kind of like Craigslist. The site is made for people wishing to buy and sell locally.
One nice thing about OfferUp is that there are no listing or selling fees. In addition, there is a special section on the site geared toward selling antiques.
4. Ruby Lane
Ruby Lane specializes in helping people sell vintage items. However, it’s geared toward sellers who want to sell antiques regularly.
In fact, the site’s listing rules state that you must have a minimum of at least 10 items for sale at all times. There are no listing fees when you open a Ruby Lane shop.
However, you will pay $69 a month for your shop and a one-time set-up fee of $100. If you list more than 80 items, you will pay 1–10 cents in maintenance fees on each item every month.
ArtFire sells handmade goods, craft supplies, and vintage (antique) items. You have to open a shop to sell on ArtFire. Shop fees are as follows:
Standard Shop: $4.95 per month, 23 cent listing fee per item, 12.75% final valuation fee
Popular Shop: $20 per month, no listing fees, 4.5% final valuation fee
Featured Shop: $40 per month, no listing fees, 4.5% final valuation fee
Final valuation fees are based on the final selling price. With the Standard Shop, you can list up to 250 items for sale. The Popular and Featured shops let you list up to 1,000 items and 2,500 items for sale, respectively.
It’s more than 177 million shoppers (according to the eBay website) mean exposure for antiques you want to sell is massive.
Craigslist is nice for selling antiques because there are no listing or selling fees. In addition, most of your buyer market for the items you sell will likely be local to where you live.
This means you don’t have to ship your antiques and can meet your buyers in person instead.
The market for selling antiques on Craigslist may vary depending on the area where you live.
8. Flea Markets
Another option for selling your antiques could be to offer them at flea markets. There are several ways to make money at a flea market.
You could even join in the traveling market as it goes from town to town. Selling your antiques at a flea market would likely be best if you have many antiques to sell.
Or, you could sell at a flea market if you have antiques and other non-antique items you want to sell, too. Most flea markets charge some sort of rent for the booth or table you use to display your items.
Facebook is fast becoming one of my favorite places to buy and sell. One reason for this is that selling on Facebook Marketplace is free. There are two ways you can sell.
First, you have the option to sell your item by simply posting it and sharing it with your Facebook followers. This can be a nice option to choose because you’re typically only dealing with people you know.
Second, you can post your antique items for sale on Facebook Marketplace. Facebook Marketplace is a section within Facebook where you can post items for sale.
eBid works very similarly to eBay. However, there’s one major difference: lower fees than eBay. In fact, eBid promises you’ll never pay more than 3% to sell your antiques and other items there.
eBid isn’t a new site; it’s been around since 1999. And the website says they currently have over 3 million items for sale. This means you can be sure you’ll reach a wide audience if you list on the site.
If you want to sell on the site, you just need to hit the “Start Selling” button. The site will direct you from there.
You can sell all types of antiques on eBid, including:
Furniture and home decor items
Jewelry and accessories.
eBid can be a great site to use if you want to reach a global audience. With their “zero listing fees” policy and a maximum of 3% selling fees, you can reach a large audience without paying exorbitant fees.
Once the item sells, you split the sell money with the store
Consignment stores usually work on commission. Depending on store policy, they’ll take 20%, 30%, 40%, or more of what your antique item sells for.
12. Yard Sales
You could also try selling your antiques by having a yard sale. In order to get the most shoppers, consider having your yard sale during citywide or neighborhood-wide sales.
By doing so, you’ll help ensure there will be an abundance of people shopping.
Another tip is to combine your sale with those of other families or neighbors. Multi-family sales can entice shoppers, as they expect to find more items for sale.
13. Pawn Shops
Local pawnshops might be another place you can sell your antiques. While pawn shops do allow you to sell your stuff to borrow money, they also allow you to sell it permanently and keep the cash.
Search online for pawn shops near you and bring your items into the shop to ask what they might give you for the items.
Make it clear that you won’t want the item back, and that it is theirs to sell if you agree upon a sale price.
14. Local Antique Shops
I talked a bit about how selling at antique shops may not bring you as much cash as you’d get at other places. While this is true, you could make money if you have a lot of antiques to sell.
How? By renting space at an antique shop. The dealer — or renter — displays their items priced as they wish. Customers come in and buy the items.
You could even have a continuous stream of items to sell and make a business out of it. Dealers get the antiques they sell at a variety of places, such as:
They look for great deals on antiques and then resell them at antique stores where they rent space.
15. Auction Houses
An auction house is another place you might consider if you have a large number of antiques.
In addition, if you have highly valuable antiques such as automobiles, using an auction house to sell might serve you well.
Auction houses will sell your antiques at an auction and then take a percentage of the profit. The auction will be advertised in order to gain a larger audience.
Next on the list, we have 5miles. Like Craigslist and OfferUp, 5miles allows you to list stuff for sale locally.
You can sell art, automobiles, and everything in between.
The best part about 5miles is that you can list stuff for sale for free on there.
Best for: Avoiding fees and selling for a profit locally.
17. Apfelbaum, Inc.
Have some vintage stamps to sell? If so, then I would recommend that you check out Apfelbaum, Inc. The company has been buying and selling stamps since 1910, making it a highly established place to sell through.
What’s good about selling stamps to Apfelbaum, Inc. is that you can get an immediate cash payment.
Best for: Selling stamps nearby
18. West Coast Stamp Company
If you have some stamps to sell, another company to consider is the West Coast Stamp Company. It purchases stamp collections of all sizes and from every country.
The best part is that the company offers a free stamp collection appraisal!
Best for: Selling stamps locally
Next on the list, we have TIAS, which is an acronym for The Internet Antique Shop. The website features more than half a million vintage, antique, and collectibles for sale!
There are tons of different categories available on there, like:
China and Dinnerware
Coins and Currency
Limited Edition Plates
Porcelain and Pottery
If you have just one or a few items to sell, then you can place a classified ad on the site. Or if you have multiple items to sell, you can open an online shop.
Why it’s good: Targeted towards antiques specifically
Sotheby’s is an auction house where you could sell your antiques.
It’s a super well-known company having been founded in 1744!
Sotheby’s, which handles both auctions and private sales, is one of the world’s largest brokers of fine and decorative art, jewelry, real estate, and collectibles.
Why it’s good: Incredibly reputable and you can sell a variety of antiques
What Type of Antiques is Worth Money?
It depends on lots of factors, but a few valuable antiques include:
Vintage comic books
First edition books
Milton Bradley board games
Art deco clocks
Ozark tourist pottery
Cast iron doorstops
Know the marketplace.
Before you sell, know the marketplace.
Fendelman says that you want to not only know the market value of your antique but also the fees and other charges that the marketplace will take out of the sale of your item.
“It’s usually a good idea to hire someone who can guide you and negotiate for you at the auction house,” she recommends. “If an antique is valued high enough, for example, you might not even have to pay a commission fee or for repairs to the item.”