Dealing with Antiques and Vintage Items

12 posts / 0 new
Last post
Dealing with Antiques and Vintage Items

Jordan and I have just moved into his late grandmother's house. Part of our reason for living here is to try and minimize her belongings. Does anyone have any advice for selling/pricing/knowing about antiques? She has quite a lot of old books and a big china collection. We don't even know where to start looking to see if any of it is worth anything.

Befriend the local antique mall owners! smiley I don't know what area you're in, but are there appraisers nearby?

Ebay may be the easiest place to start.
You don't have to sell everything there but it will give you a good idea of the bottom prices of items.
My grandparents owned an antique store for 20+ years and sold the business in the early 2000's.
My Grandma says it's the smartest thing she ever did because the advent of ebay increased the supply of all collectibles.
It made everything so much easier to find.

Another idea is to contact an auctioneer or estate sale company.
They will come in and give you an appraisal on the entire estate.
They will take a decent cut of the sales, but it will be the fastest and easiest way for you to sell everything.

I'm not sure how helpful the antique mall owners will be because they make their $$ by renting booth space in their shop.
Even if you have items that they're interested in they're going to want to buy them for the least amount possible so that they make money when they resell.

Thanks for the tips. Jordan has lots of experience selling electronics on eBay, so hopefully he can use some of that knowledge. I was looking at Etsy and they also have a "vintage" section which I think could work well for a lot of the random artwork and knick knacks in the house. Anyone have any experience buying/selling on etsy?

I've bought quite a few things on Etsy and at one point thought of selling things but never did. I definitely think you should check out Etsy for selling, it's a great site in general!

I havent bought or sold anything from etsy but ive heard good things about the site. Good luck!

Etsy & Ebay both good options! We had to do something similar with my late MIL's house. We hired some estate sorters because we couldn't do it full-time and we didn't know enough about antique furniture (of which she had quite a collection). The people we hired actually used ebay for smaller, unique, ship-able items. I was often surprised by what sold, since it wasn't something I would have thought to search for. But then, I don't collect antiques!

Good to know! It seems that on the internet you can always find someone to buy something.

I would definitely put bigger items on craigslist as well. That way you don't have to worry about freight.

the biggest difference between ebay and etsy is that since ebay is auction based all you have to do is set the bottom price you're willing to accept for an item and let the bidding begin. But, it's only a limited time thing. You can also list fixed price items on ebay for longer periods of time, but my experience is that format isn't as popular. people on ebay want to haggle and aren't as willing to buy something outright unless they deem it a "good deal".

on etsy you are setting the market price. then you have to hope someone is willing to pay that price. it may take a lot more time.
also, since etsy seems to be a market for more artistic people the vintage items may be more "kitchy" than collectible. i guess you also have to know your target audience.

are you trying to make more $$ than you would with a good old-fashioned yard sale? that's a pretty easy way to get rid of a lot of stuff too smiley

I have a small booth in an antique mall and I've sold a few vintage things on ebay and Etsy. I generally will look up an item to see what other people have priced it at and then look to see if it's selling. Ebay will show you completed sales so you know if an item really sold and what it sold for. As for the books, I'd probably talk to a book dealer. I sell books but mostly just price them randomly-not very strategic. Even at my shop, I price below retail because people aren't always willing to part with money in this economy. Everyone loves a bargain. There are also dealers who will consign or buy your stuff outright, though you get less than selling yourself. I wish I lived closer-I'd offer to come over and help, and of course, look for treasures myself.

Thanks ladies!

@Lou Anne: I'd love to have you stop by smiley

I sell both on eBay and Etsy, but I sell mostly craft supplies and digital items (only on Etsy.) Anything you sell for a high price on eBay be sure to get tracking and insurance. You can sell using auctions and buy it now or one or the other. I like selling on both for different reasons. Etsy is more of a community and eBay has a larger audience. smiley