Whether you have a pair of antique chairs you’re ready to part with or an entire garage full of things you’ve collected over time, there are a number of options for clearing out that clutter. Not all methods work for every individual, and it also depends on the type of item you have and whether you want to ship or sell locally. If you are in possession of a valuable painting or authentic artwork, it is advisable to sell them through online art gallery auctions.
Consider these ideas for selling your antiques:
There are a number of different options for selling online these days. Some people still swear by selling on eBay knowing that the built-in customer base is huge. If you’re selling really common items, it can be hard to get noticed amongst the sea of offers, but rare and unusual items always work well, whether via auctions or fixed price offers (Buy It Now). The main drawback is the high fee structure, although there are options that provide free listings so you only pay after an item is sold. You also have to be prepared to accept returns, because even if you say you won’t accept them, eBay can force you to accept returns if they agree with a customer’s complaint.
Others turn to sites like Ruby Lane and Etsy for an online shopping centre experience or set up their own website. All have associated expenses, although they may not be as high as eBay. There are sometimes restrictions on the types of items you can sell or the age of items that are acceptable in online malls. Be sure to investigate all potential pitfalls before committing yourself.
Also, keep in mind that those who do well usually spend time cultivating a customer base and participating in social media to generate traffic. You should also be prepared to spend time photographing, writing lists and processing orders for shipment.
Starting an antiques business
If you have a ton of stuff to sell and still enjoy the thrill of the hunt, this could be your best bet. It will take work, but for retirees looking for part-time income or weekend flea market warriors, it can indeed be fun to buy, sell and trade.
You will probably need to obtain a tax-exempt resale certificate from the state in which you reside to set up a commercial antiques space or sell at antiques shows. This also requires having the space to store your inventory and keep it safe. Many dealers combine shop or show sales with Internet sales to maximize their exposure and keep inventory moving. They know that they will have to hold many items for months or even years to find the right customer willing to pay top dollar.
If you don’t really want to start a shop, look for small local flea markets in your area that can rent out tables on a day-to-day basis without a long-term commitment.