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The word antique comes from the Latin word “antiquus” meaning ancient. Antiques are decorative arts made with high craftsmanship with attention to detail. Examples of popular antiques include furniture, jewelry, clocks, kitchenware, and automobiles. In most cases, antiques are objects at least 100 years old. However, the term is also used to describe old classic items.
The main reasons people prefer collecting antiques include aesthetics, age, rarity, condition, utility, or emotional connection. They remind collectors of notable eras or periods. You can buy antiques from shops, and auction houses, online, or inherit them from a loved one. In this guide, we share with you how to sell antiques online in just 5 steps.
Want to Sell Antiques and Collectibles Online: How to Sell Antiques Online In Just 5 Steps
1. Source Your Antiques
The first step in selling antiques online is sourcing products with demand. Finding antiques is not easy and it takes time. It’s advisable to pick a niche and build your collection slowly. The niche you pick should be interesting to you and coveted by others. Online stores like eBay are good places to start.
Once you identify your niche, the next step is to learn to differentiate authentic antiques from fake ones. Some antiques have authenticating marks; examine them to make sure the item is original before purchase. Other great places to source antiques include:
Many antique dealers frequent auctions because they’re a good place to find high-value items. You can resell them online for a handsome profit. However, before bidding on an item, you should know the real and intrinsic value. This prevents you from engaging in bidding wars and overpaying. It’s difficult to make a profit on your antique if you overpaid for it. Moreover, you should only go for items you’re able to resell.
The main advantage of sourcing antiques from flea markets is bargains. In addition, these markets are less time-consuming than discount stores and yard sales. You can get older products in these markets but sellers are aware of the value. So, don’t bargain too much.
Yard Sales & Thrift Stores:
Yard sales and thrift stores offer excellent opportunities to find affordable antiques. Owners of this store are interested in selling as many items as possible and are more open to negotiations. They also know the trade well and may offer you valuable advice and great deals. Nevertheless, shopping in these stores means you’ll have to spare some time to look around.
Knowing exactly what you’re looking for can save you some valuable time by enabling you to separate the junk from valuable items. It’s also important to know the price because some merchants may overvalue products.
Buy From Other Antique Dealers:
Sourcing antiques from other dealers is the least profitable compared to other methods. Sellers in this category have advanced knowledge of antiques and prices. They’re less likely to give you a decent margin for you to make a profit. Nevertheless, antique dealers are a great source if you specialize in specific items. For instance, if you specialize in antique furniture, then you are more likely to get good quality from dealers.
2. Decide a Place to Sell Your Antiques Online
eBay is one of the most preferred online markets for antique dealers in the last ten years. The reason merchants prefer this platform is that it allows thousands of clients to view their wares. It’s one of the most popular e-commerce platforms with lots of traffic. However, the competition on this platform is high. You can beat the competition with creativity, niching, and auctioning.
Surveys have shown that rare antiques sell well on the platform at high prices. Selling on the platform means you’ll have to pay high commissions of up to 13% or more. The advantages of selling on this online market include:
· High traffic
· Popularity and a strong brand name
· An easy signing-up process.
The disadvantages are:
· You have to pay a listing fee to publish your antiques or collectibles
· If your products are found to be defective, they can be removed
· The platform has a complicated fee structure.
The International Antique Shop
TIAS deals with different types of antiques and enables sellers to create accounts and list items under a brand name. You can also sell antiques under classified ads. Since its inception in 1995, the platform has grown to attract more than 700,000 visitors per month. Many potential buyers can view your products if you decide to sell them on this online shop.
The platform offers new sellers a 60-day free trial and charges a 10% commission on all sales. One of the shortcomings of this platform is that the user interface looks a little bit outdated. The pros include:
· They don’t charge a listing fee per item
· High-traffic and high-end clients
· You can open a business page on the platform.
The major drawbacks of TIAS are:
· The search function is not well targeted
· They charge a 10% commission fee on all sales
· The user interface looks a little bit outdated.
This site was founded in the 1990s and merchants don’t have to pay a commission to sell. However, they charge a monthly subscription fee. The site allows you to list different types of antiques that range from firearms to kitchenware. You have the option of listing your products on the featured page for free to enable you to get more views and customers.
The advantages of this platform include:
· No commission fees
· The option to list antiques at higher prices
· Featuring items on the homepage for free.
The shortcomings of selling on the site include:
· Lack of information to help you get started
· The number of items you can list is limited. You have to pay for more listings.
This site allows sellers to list up to 15 items without incurring a monthly fee. The website specializes in high-quality antiques. It’s best suited for selling unique items with high craftsmanship or rare antiques. To succeed on the site, you have to write detailed product descriptions that attract buyers. Consequently, the listing process is detailed and takes time. You also have to incur a 9.9% service fee on all sales.
The advantages of the website include:
· An easy-to-use user interface
· Effective for selling high-end antiques
· The platform has excellent customer service.
This online platform specializes in selling unique items that cannot be bought from regular shops and stores. It’s a great place to sell antiques because the site requires sellers to only list items that are vintage, crafted, or handmade. Most buyers on the site are looking for unique, beautiful items that are not mass-produced.
Some popular items on this platform include jewelry, especially rings and earrings. Home décor, for example, rugs, unique furniture, and kitchenware. You can also sell art such as decorative wall clocks and vintage botanicals. Vintage clothing can also be bought from the site.
Personal Online Store
Selling antiques through a personal online store gives you control over marketing and enables you to reach out to customers directly. Platforms like Shopify allow you to create your store and customize based on the type of items you’re selling. You can differentiate yourself from your competitors by creating a unique store that reflects your taste and preferences.
Having your store also enables you to employ various marketing tactics, including emails, newsletters, branding, and SEO techniques. An effective SEO strategy allows you to rank higher on Google and other search engines. This can translate to more visitors and sales when people search for your targeted keywords.
If you decide to have your online store, you need to have a solid marketing strategy to drive potential customers to your store. You may also need to have a budget to market your products on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Tiktok, and Twitter. The pros of having your online store include:
· Online store builders like Shopify makes it easy to build and launch a store
· You can add several products
· A featured collection to promote your most valuable antiques.
· You can add detailed product descriptions to convey the value of your antiques.
Some of the cons of having an online store include:
· You’re responsible for your marketing and customer acquisition
· You may need to hire a developer to create the store if you don’t have the skills
· A monthly subscription fee to keep your store running.
Some good options to start would be Shopify, and Bubble.
3. Price Your Antiques and Collectibles Fairly
The amount you choose to charge for your antiques should match the real and intrinsic value of the item. Pricing your antiques fairly enables you to sell quickly and in a large volume if you have many items to dispose of. Overpricing drives away customers and make them look for better deals elsewhere. It’s advisable to source your antiques from dealers with a fair deal so that you don’t have to overcharge your customers.
4. Find a Good Courier
A good courier delivers quickly and makes sure your products are safe in transit. Late deliveries and damaged goods can cost you because customers may ask for refunds. Furthermore, it might dent the image of your business by earning you a bad reputation. Consequently, before choosing a company to partner with do some research focusing on delivery time, guarantees, and the fees they charge.
5. Create A Brand People Will Recognize
A brand includes your logo, the image, the text, the colors, and the value you’re providing. Branding is essential because it separates you from your competitors. You need to have a consistent brand for people to recognize it. This means that your logo and all other branding material should have a common theme. For example, the color of your logo should match the color of your store and images. The text or content you publish on your online store should convey the same value and not send contradictory messages to potential buyers.
FAQs about How to Sell Antiques Online
What is the best-selling platform for vintage items?
eBay is the most preferred online selling platform for antique dealers for the last ten years. The site has high traffic with over 100 million visitors per month.
How do I find the value of antiques?
Using the services of a local antique appraiser is one of the best options for finding the value of the item. The appraiser will research the market and provide you with a written report on the value.
How do I price antiques?
You should price your antiques fairly without overcharging customers. It’s important if you want to sell quickly in large volumes.
Why sell antiques online?
Selling antiques online is advantageous because you can reach many customers in different geographic locations.
What Old Antiques Are Worth Money?
The most sought antiques include furniture, jewelry, clocks, kitchenware, and automobiles. This list is not exhaustive.
How do I know if my antiques are worth money?
Some of the things you can look for to tell whether your antiques are worth selling include aesthetics, age, rarity, condition, utility, or emotional connection.
Is selling antiques online profitable?
Yes, selling antiques online is profitable especially if you go for items that are rare, attractive, and in demand.
Why do collectibles sell well on eBay?
Collectibles are rare items that are difficult to find. Online marketplaces provide a platform where people can view and purchase them without leaving the comfort of their homes.
What collectibles sell best?
Some of the collectibles that sell best include baseball and basketball cards and vintage toys.
Where to sell antiques online for free?
Most established antique online store charge commissions and fees. However, you can find emerging online antique stores that are free.
Do vintage items sell well on Etsy?
Etsy is one of the best online marketplaces for selling vintage items as long as you have clear images and add a personal touch to your store.
Can I sell antiques on Shopify?
Yes, you can sell antiques on Shopify. You’ll need to create an online store and market to potential customers to get started.