What Are the Best Tips for Selling Antiques?

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  • Written By: Lori Kilchermann
  • Edited By: Lauren Fritsky
  • Last Modified Date: 12 October 2019
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Selling antiques is similar to selling other used items, except that antiques are often a luxury item rather than a necessity. It is important for a seller to know as much about the item as possible, including its value and condition. It is also crucial that a seller determine how much he or she is willing to settle for when selling the item, as most purchasers of used items will haggle. As antiques are old and often used, the purchaser will often have some arguing points regarding price.

Researching the items to be sold is the first step in selling antiques. It is important not to harm an item in order to prepare it to be sold. For example, most experts agree that coins should not be cleaned before being sold. The same is true for refinishing some vintage furniture and cleaning some swords and guns. The value and authenticity often hinges on these items' appearance, so it is important to learn what to do and what not to do.

The process of determining a price for selling antiques varies. Some people whose items have sentimental value may price them above market value. Other people who are not familiar with antiques and received them inexpensively may be satisfied with a small profit. The best tip for setting a price is first determining the target market for the product: Who will want to buy it and what will they be willing to pay.


Similar to selling most other items in the world, supply and demand is key in selling antiques. If an item is plentiful, the price will often be lower than a hard-to-find or one-of-a-kind item. Some tips for valuing an antique's worth involve checking the sale prices of completed online auctions for similar items or visiting antique shops to check the price tags of similar items in like condition. Price guide books are also available for many types of collectibles.

Condition is also key in selling antiques, as an item in like-new or good condition is often an easier sale than one with damage, missing parts or that is non-functioning. Some damaged antiques have value as they can provide parts for a similar item or serve as a display piece. Many collectors are also willing to pay more if an antique has extras, such as its original display box or instructions.

Connecting with buyers is critical in every business, including selling antiques. Online auction and sale sites offer a way to reach a large number of people. Many antique collector specialty websites also host classified ads on their sites, which will enable a seller to reach a wide number of people in a target market. In addition to selling antiques, some antique mall dealers will offer to buy items, but typically at lower prices, as the dealer will want to make a profit on the purchase.



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