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How do I Go About Selling Antiques?

By Amy Hunter
Updated May 16, 2024
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Some people that are interested in selling antiques want to clean out a basement or attic, while others make a nice side income by buying antiques and reselling them. No matter where you get your antiques, selling them properly can ensure that you get the most money for your belongings. There are several ways to sell antiques, and each has advantages and disadvantages.

Many people use online sites to sell their items. These online sites provide you with an easy format to list your antique for sell. There is generally a template that allows you to enter the information about your product, keywords that will help attract others to your listing and even an easy way to upload photographs of the antique.

Using online sites when selling antiques allows you to have a larger market for your collectibles than if you were selling locally. This is particularly nice if the item you are selling is a niche item. With an online listing you are sure to find others interested in your product.

The drawback of using an online site is that your pieces will have more competition. When selling locally, you may have the only particular item in the area. Selling on the Internet means that it is very likely that there will be many others that have something similar.

If you choose an Internet site to sell your items, you can make your collectibles stand out by including photographs with your listing. Make sure that the lighting is good, and any fine details are clearly visible. Take your time writing the product description. Be as thorough as possible and run your listing through spell check before submitting.

Internet sites typically charge you a percentage of the amount you make from selling the piece. The price of the listing is often less than advertising in your local paper or selling with a local dealer. The additional charge for adding photographs will pay for itself with the more serious customers that you will attract.

Another method of selling antiques is to use an antique dealer. This is typically a local transaction. While the fees charged by a professional antique dealer are often higher than the costs of listing an antique online, the price you get for your collectible is typically higher as well.

Antique dealers know their business, and can instantly recognize the quality of your product. They can tell you how much you should expect for a certain item, and may even have a particular buyer in mind. Using an antique dealer allows you to get the best possible price for your items.

When selling antiques, the choice between online sites and a local antique dealer may be difficult. Antique dealers may only work in specific areas, and may be more selective in what they choose to sell. Internet sites allow you to list anything you have available. If you have a particular item that you know is rare or exceptional, a local antique dealer may make the most sense. If you have a great deal of miscellaneous collectibles to sell, Internet listings are the smarter choice.

HomeQuestionsAnswered is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
By anon991575 — On Jul 01, 2015

I have an antique coin of 6th king George (British). Which was ceylon's 50 cents in 1951. I want to sell it.

By anon955291 — On Jun 06, 2014

I have an old Charles Chaplin painting. It's the picture with the kid. I wonder how much it would cost and where can I get it appraised. I live in South America.

By anon948075 — On Apr 28, 2014

I have a book about people in Borneo from 1956 written by Malcolm MacDonald. How much is it worth?

By anon354882 — On Nov 12, 2013

I have two antique heads of the Greek philosophers Plato and Aristotle. I want to sell them.

By anon342106 — On Jul 17, 2013

I have an antique West End watch clock, 25 jewel, mechanical wrest clock. I want to sell it.

By anon254770 — On Mar 14, 2012

Remember to be specific when you are describing something. Compare it to selling your car.

I will use an example of what I read on on the board:

"I have an antique clarinet to sell" is the equivalent of "I have an old car to sell."

How about the maker,(Dodge) the model,(Caravan SE) the color, (Blue) the year,(1999) the condition? (never been in an accidents, minor dings from shopping carriages) Anything unusual or interesting about it? (leather seats, CD player, A/C). See the difference?

By anon212586 — On Sep 07, 2011

I have a copper plate and could be as old as 1667, embossed with Repuliek of Suriname. If I were to sell it, how much would it be worth?

By chas08 — On Aug 18, 2011

Another good reason to sell antiques online is you can reach audiences in other parts of the country that are more interested in what you are selling. For example, I now live in Alabama, and English and French antiques are not very popular here. So you can sometimes buy them very inexpensively and then sell them online for a decent profit.

By anon186006 — On Jun 14, 2011

I have a poster from 1902: "THE BARNUM & BAILEY (the circus who is still doing shows)... Les chevaux dans les exercices de haute-ecole et dans les courses d'obstacles" original.

Size: 2'38 feet x six feet, or 72 cms x 192 centimeters.

By anon157384 — On Mar 02, 2011

My parents in NB have a whole house full of antiques (worth fortunes) but because the population is so small they can not sell any of it. Are there any traveling antique buyers that I can find and if they are ever in the area or have connections there can go look and buy anything they might want? They have everything from toys, dishes, small furniture and even pump organ. Lots of great stuff. They want to downsize and everything has been appraised and is ready to go.

By CellMania — On Jan 12, 2011

@anon105776: It really depends on what kind of clarinet it is, what condition it is in, and the year that it was made. I have a Normandy wood clarinet that was passed down to me from my grandmother. I had it looked at by an antique dealer who also deals a lot with musical instruments. He informed me that it was made in 1931 and was valued at around $600.

You can probably take it to a local music shop that could provide you with more information.

By anon105776 — On Aug 22, 2010

I have an antique clarinet to sell and am wondering what it would be worth.

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