Author Topic: Best site for selling vintage items online? And how to value?  (Read 3940 times)

wardkf

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Best site for selling vintage items online? And how to value?
« on: October 26, 2014, 07:02:36 PM »
Long story short, my MIL passed away last year, and FIL now wants to clean their house of the vintage tins, crocks, bowls, mason jars, baskets and similar items she spent years collecting.  Some are quite valuable--several hundred dollars or more.  So as to not let the local antique guy come in and offer a few hundred bucks and make a several thousand percent profit (or more), we intend to sell the items we're not keeping ourselves.  Any good options besides eBay and Etsy for such items?  I've googled a bit, and haven't found any that look promising.

And many of these pieces have little to no identifying information, or appear to be unique.  I'm not eager to find and pay for a knowledgeable appraiser, but some web searches do indicate that some of the pieces could be of substantial (and surprising) value.  That sort of leads me back to eBay, as I'd hate to leave cash on the table...but, again, is that a place people go for these sorts of items?  Etsy certainly seems like that kind of website, but the pricing then becomes a crapshoot.

Any thoughts?

southern granny

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Re: Best site for selling vintage items online? And how to value?
« Reply #1 on: October 26, 2014, 07:57:36 PM »
If there is a good quantity of these, you might want to consider having an auction house to conduct an estate auction.  I have been to a lot of these and if done properly (advertising, websites with pictures, etc) they will get the collectors there and the items will bring in good prices and everything will be done in one afternoon.  Of course you will be paying a higher percentage than ebay, but I think it would be worth it. I remember one auction where an automobile went for several hundred dollars over blue book price.  The dealers that started out bidding dropped out of the bidding and were amazed at what the car went for.   But of course with an auction, anything can happen.  It just depends on who shows up to bid.

geekette

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Re: Best site for selling vintage items online? And how to value?
« Reply #2 on: October 26, 2014, 08:45:15 PM »
Yeah, we had an estate auction for my FIL's old car collection (Model T, A, and tons of tools and parts).  If you have a large enough collection, and the right auctioneer, he can bring in the right crowd. 

They took 20% (I hear it's quite variable depending on your items), but they did all the advertising, set up, auction, and clean up.  Worked well for us, but you have to have volume to get them to come to you.  If you don't have a whole lot, there are auction houses that have regular dates as well.  They'll pick up, photograph, and auction. 

wardkf

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Re: Best site for selling vintage items online? And how to value?
« Reply #3 on: October 27, 2014, 07:39:11 PM »
An estate auction is not ideal, largely because we're not in a particularly densely populated area.  That's the advantage of online selling--you maximize your market.  The downside, of course, is the hassle of shipping supplies, trips to the Post Office, etc.

Anyway, any thoughts on any websites that would be particularly good for such sales?

Siobhan

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Re: Best site for selling vintage items online? And how to value?
« Reply #4 on: October 29, 2014, 07:42:01 AM »
If you have things that could be of a decent value check out the ValueMyStuff website.  It's around 10 bucks per appraisal.  I buy and sell a lot of antiques and the things that I don't know about, I go to them for, they've been pretty accurate so far.  One thing they do tend to be off on is original Americana as most of the appraisers are British.  They appraised a federal painted chair from 1780 for around 500 bucks, I sold it for 3k a week later.  Art, jewelry, ceramics etc they have all been spot on with. 

It's honestly going to depend on what it is you have to sell.  Old Americana you can go to one of the big auction houses to consign, heavy stuff you can take a trip into a larger city and set up at a flea market, small stuff, ebay is still the way to go. 

If you post some pictures I may be able to tell you what would be of value.  The crocks, if they are bean pots, you'll have a hard time selling despite the prices you see online.  If they are salt glazed stoneware you can probably sell them fairly easy.  The more ornate the blue decorations on them the more expensive they are usually (barring damage of course).

Some of the hot things that are selling now, that I've seen a lot of competition for lately...Antique Halloween decorations, original americana (think painted boxes, chairs, chests, weathervanes, whirlygigs, signs etc), vintage recipe books with good graphics, high end costume jewelry, and vintage posters with good graphics.

La Bibliotecaria Feroz

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Re: Best site for selling vintage items online? And how to value?
« Reply #5 on: October 29, 2014, 10:16:37 AM »
Many public libraries have sets of books that give values for antiques, collectibles, and so forth that are updated every year. And free to read!

LibrarIan

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Re: Best site for selling vintage items online? And how to value?
« Reply #6 on: October 29, 2014, 10:21:56 AM »
Many public libraries have sets of books that give values for antiques, collectibles, and so forth that are updated every year. And free to read!

LibrarIan approves of this post.

Siobhan

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Re: Best site for selling vintage items online? And how to value?
« Reply #7 on: October 30, 2014, 08:29:51 AM »
Yes, those books show "values", generally an insurance value, but not the values people actually pay in todays market...many are years out of date.

CHOPAG

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Re: Best site for selling vintage items online? And how to value?
« Reply #8 on: October 30, 2014, 06:20:16 PM »

Some of the hot things that are selling now, that I've seen a lot of competition for lately...Antique Halloween decorations, original americana (think painted boxes, chairs, chests, weathervanes, whirlygigs, signs etc), vintage recipe books with good graphics, high end costume jewelry, and vintage posters with good graphics.
I have a group of travel posters--including a couple of vintage TWA posters--I've been trying to figure out how to sell. Would you suggest eBay or somewhere else?

Siobhan

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Re: Best site for selling vintage items online? And how to value?
« Reply #9 on: November 04, 2014, 12:52:24 PM »
Ebay or Etsy.  Etsy if you want to matt and frame them and try to sell them for more.  Ebay if you just want to roll them in a tube and let someone else do the work.  Be sure to take pictures of any damage and good luck!