The amazing worldwide interweb supernet info data highway is chock full of places for you to sell vintage stuff. For the purpose of this post, we’re leaving out sell vintage methods where you list an item and wait for a buyer, such as eBay. We’re concentrating on buyback, which is really all about a quick sale to a waiting buyer.
The fact that no two vintage items are exactly alike, together with the relative low quantity of available items, makes an instant offer system to sell vintage items unlikely.
First off, when it comes to vintage, try to find a buyer in your area. Of course, this may not always be possible with every vintage specialty. Choosing to ship your item to a buyer in another area is generally riskier than meeting a buyer in-person for the transaction, mainly because the item has now left your possession and is in the hands of a shipper. Of course, there are many prudent steps one can take to make dealing with a reputable dealer over a long distance to sell vintage items succeed (see below).
If you’re looking for a buyer close to home who you can meet in person, consider starting your research at:
- International Fine Print Dealer's Association
- International Autograph Dealer's Alliance
- The Antique Stove Association
- Professional Numismatists Guild
- American Stamp Dealer's Association
- The Civil War Dealers & Collectors Association
- The International Federation of Postcard Dealers
- International Vintage Poster Dealers Association
- National Antique & Art Dealer’s Association
- Antique Dealers Association.
These professional organizations often include more established dealers and professional standards & ethics requirements.
In selling a vintage item on the web, you are probably contacting a specialist dealer. A great many buyers of antique items are small dealers with unique specialties. This makes them entirely different from larger well-capitalized buyback companies making automatic data-driven offers on nearly new items.
You may find that your item(s) need the personal attention of a specialty dealer and that this is actually an advantage. Small dealers have their own unique approaches to customers. Hopefully, you’ll find one you like.
In any case, investigate all buyers and their offers thoroughly before proceeding. BlueRectangle.com accepts no responsibility for your experience selling any item. The organizations above are meant as a starting point for your own investigation.
Here are some generally helpful hints for selling to vintage dealers online:
- Educate yourself about the value of your item before trying to sell it. Consider selling to a local buyer who you can deal with in-person.
- Offer to email photos of your items, including views from all sides, revealing all details, including imperfections, damage or wear.
- Find out if the buyer is a member in good standing with any professional organizations.
- Ask the buyer for any references of other sellers s/he has bought from.
- Look into their Better Business Bureau history and rating.
- In addition to email, consider phoning to get a feel for the person you’re dealing with.
- Wrap your items for shipment twice as securely as you think necessary.
- Include your full contact information inside the package with the item.
- Ship your items using a method that includes full value insurance and an actual signature on the receiving end. If possible and by prior arrangement, send your item c.o.d.
- If shipping your item to another city/state, do you have a friend in that area who can handle the transaction for you in-person?
- Read any terms or conditions of the sale very carefully.
- Never give out banking information.
- Use common sense and realize that you are the only person who can take responsibility for your own online transaction experience.
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