Where to Sell Your Antiques and Collectibles? - Antique HQ (2023)

Last updated: September 4, 2017 by admin

Where to Sell Your Antiques and Collectibles? - Antique HQ (1)

I get asked this question all the time. There are many options when it comes to selling your antiques and collectibles. Choosing an option all comes down to your personal circumstances.

In this article I have covered the mostcommon ways to sell your antiques and collectibles. You can use this information as aguide to helpyou whenmaking the choice of where to sell your items.


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  • 1 Private Sale:
  • 2 Auction:
  • 3 Consignment:
  • 4 Yard Sale/Garage Sale:
  • 5 Online Auction (eBay):
  • 6 Online Antique Stores:

Private Sale:

Private sale is when you negotiate a sell between you and other parties. This can be done by yourself or through a broker. If you choose this option I would suggest using a broker. Brokers usually have a network of buyers and they also know how to negotiate in these situations on your behalf.

What types of antiques and collectibles should you sell this way?
You can sell any type of antique or collectible this way, however this works best rare or high-end antiques and collectibles.


  • You know where your antique or collectible is going. Some people specify that they want an item only to be sold to a collector, museum, or to someone that will not just resell it. This can be controlled in this situation.
  • This option also allows you to take your time and negotiate.


  • You are limiting your items exposure; this can cause less interest in your item resulting in lower values (but not in all cases).
  • You have to put in a lot of time going back and forth trying to make all parties happy in the deal.
  • If you use a broker you will have to pay him a fee. This is usually apercentage of the sale.
  • You will have todeal with shipping and refunds if the other party is not happy.

Other factors to consider:

  • Time: In most cases private sales can take a long time. If you are looking to sell your item fast this is not the option for you (in most cases).

Remember: Even if you use a broker make sure to do your research. As much as I would love to say all brokers are honest, this unfortunately not always the case. The best way to protect yourself against a broker trying to get a good deal for his friend is to arm yourself with knowledge.


I recommend auctions the most. This is a good all around way to sell your antiques and collectibles.

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What type of antiques and collectibles can be sold at auction?
Anything can be sold at auction as long as it is not an illegal item or restricted item (e.g. endangered animal items.).

I would highly suggest using an auction house for any rare, high-end or medium range items. If you need help finding an auction house please read the following two articles.

  • United States
  • Australia


  • Your items are well advertised. This is usually done bycatalogues, flyers or brochures that are mailed to the auction house mailing list. Most auction houses list their items on the internet as well.
  • They have a large buyer base.
  • There are experts there to value your items and help you with any information you may need.
  • They take care of the shipping, handling and any refunds (refunds do not happen very often.).
  • You can set a reserve price.

This option is usually faster then a privet sell but can still take 2-4 weeks minimum. This depends on the auction schedule and if you have to wait for a specialty auction. This can sometimesas long 3 months to 6 months.

  • Your items may go unsold. When thishappens your items areeither returned to you or relisted in the next appropriate auction.
  • There is usually a seller’s fee; the average fee is 10-20%. This fee can go as high as 50%. You can read more about thisin one of my earlier post Finding the Right Auction House to Sell Your Antiques.
  • There can be extra costs such as transportation fees, photograph fees, reserve fees, and buyback fees if the item is unsold because of a reserve.


Consignment is when you put your item up for sale in a store to be sold for you. Many antique stores will take an item on consignment instead of out right buying the item. Once the item is sold you are then paid for the item minus the consignment fees. This fee is usually 10-30%.

What type of antiques and collectibles can be sold this way?
Usually mid to high end antiques and collectibles can be sold on consignment. In some stores they will take lower valueitems, but charge a higher consignment fee.


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  • By having your items in a store setting you are insuring that the customer is a targeted buyer. This means the buyers are there to buy antiques and collectibles.
  • Your help out your local antique store.


  • When an item is consigned itmay take a long time to sell.
  • You are limiting your market to the people that come into the store.
  • You have to pay a consignment fee.

Remember: I can not stress this enough. Make sure to do your research. Even when an item is on consignment you have to put the price on the item. You don’t want to under sell your item or price it too high.

Yard Sale/Garage Sale:

I only have one thing to say about this option DO NOT DO IT. You will not get the value for the item. When I was working in the auction house we would always have people come in and say somthing like: “On my way here I stopped at a garage sale and picked this up for $12.00. Can you tell me what its worth?” In this case it was a Missen stein worth $1200.00.

Online Auction (eBay):

Since the 1990’s eBay has became a popular way to sell items. I tend not to use eBay and do not suggest eBay very often.

What type of antiques and collectibles can be sold here?
All types of antiques and collectibles can be sold here. I would not suggest selling and rare of high-end items on eBay, with these items I would suggestusing anauctions house.


  • You can sell your items fast.
  • You are paid for your items right away.
  • You have a world wide buyer base. More people will see your item here. But this also causes the common market to get flooded, lowering the value of some items.
  • There are many payment options


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  • In most cases items sell for well under value.
  • You have to deal with questions, shipping, refunds and people not paying.
  • Some items are hard to sell because people see them as fakes even if they are not.
  • Everyone is looking for that deal and expect to find it.
  • You have listing fees and have to pay a % of the sell to eBay (last time I checked it was 6%)
  • If your item does not sell and you relist it you have to pay the fee again.

Tip: Research research research. This is the only way to protect yourself.

Online Antique Stores:

An online antique store is a lot like a brick and mortar antique store (consignment). The only difference is you have the whole world as your customer base. I do recommend these types of stores occasionally.

What type of antiques and collectibles can be sold here?
This all depends on the store. If it is a specialty store it will be limited to the type of items they sell. This is a good way to sell things like Hummels, jewelry, and smaller collectibles.


  • By having your items in aonlinestore setting you are insuring that the customer is a targeted buyer. This means the buyers are there to buy antiques and collectibles.
  • Your customer base is world wide.
  • You do not have to take your item to a store. In most cases you just need a good picture of the item, priceand a discription.


  • When an item is consigned itmay take a long time to sell.
  • You are limiting your market to the people that come into the store.
  • You have to pay a consignment fee.

One store I like to recommend is Ruby Lane. I have not personally used them but have heard good things about them.

If you have an online store you would like to recommend or a question feel free to leave a comment below.

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Related posts:

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  2. Finding the right Auction House to sell your Antiques
  3. Where to Sell Your Antiques and Collectibles Online
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