Buying and Selling Antiques| Antique Dealer with 25 years experience reveals insider secrets of buying and selling antiques and collectibles

Selling Antiques


In this article we will be discussing the many ways of selling antiques. There will be things for the newbie who is considering becoming an antique dealer. We will also discuss ways to make you more successful if you are already in the trade. Here is a brief history of our experience in the antiques business. We went to an antiques auction to buy a bedroom suite for my daughter. We had such a good time we went a few more times and started buying things we really didn’t need, but we thought they were good deals. So we decided to have a garage sale. And to our surprise, we made some pretty good money on the antiques we sold. I asked the guy that helped us load our things at the auction, where these antique dealers that you saw at every auction were selling their things. He gave us a few places which were basically weekend flea markets. This was before the antiques mall concept was popular.

From there we rented a tiny shop in a suburb of Dallas where we lived. Then antique malls started popping up and we took space in one of them. From there we started setting up at the First Monday Trade Days in Canton, Texas. We then rented a larger space where we refinished furniture in the back and sold furniture in the back. Later we shared a 10,000 square feet building with another dealer, and eventually took over the entire building after we started going to England in 1991 and importing our own containers. This was our home for many years. We had a workshop where we repaired and refinished furniture both for ourselves and others. We started hosting buying trips to England. During this time we had been in several antique malls and also did many antiques shows. This was a full time job for us and we had employees as well.Selling Antiques

We finally moved to our dream store in a high end neighborhood of Dallas (see the article on Selling Antiques In Your Own Antique Store). A few of our friends who went on our trips shared the store with us, so it was a small mall. We counted among our customers, two former First Ladies, Rosalynn Carter, and Laura Bush. The Bushes new home in Dallas was about a mile from our store. We had a few other celebrities and were mentioned in the cookbook of Darren McGrady, former chef for the Queen and the last four years the personal chef of Princess Diana. So we have done about everything you can do including selling antiques online through several sites.

From these twenty five plus years of experience, I will tell you which ways I consider the best ways to sell antiques and why. Although honestly, all of the methods can work and be successful. Most people who sell antiques don’t do it as a full time income. We will cover how you can best do it part time as well as how to be a full time antiques dealer. In another section of this site I have discussed the many places to buy and shop for antiques and which ones I think are the best sources.

Finally I will be listing and discussing a wide assortment of antiques and collectibles. This list could go on forever, but I will cover some of the ones I had the most success selling. For example, when I discuss English transferware, I will give the description and history, as well as what sells the best as far as colors and patterns. Admittedly this will be from my point of view, and it varies in different parts of the country. In Dallas and Houston, European antiques are much more preferred than American antiques. In Alabama, where we have moved for semi retirement, American antiques are much more popular. I hope you will take the time to look at the different methods of selling antiques and you might discover something you haven’t considered before. My hope is this information will help your time selling antiques to be more enjoyable as well as more profitable.

47 Responses to “Selling Antiques”

  1. Ricardo says:

    I have 24miniture shakespeare books. Great condition published by knickerbocker leather & novelty co. 1900s

  2. Danielle says:

    I have an antique egg carton jig for sale

  3. Rachel says:

    I have a 1887 Penn Ruby Cast Iron Wood Heater. Good condition. Needs to be restored. Asking for $1500 but will try and make a deal but no less than $1000. Any questions or would like to see it call me or text me 803-220-9985. Thanks

  4. hugh says:

    I have 2 antique phones, tonka trucks, and an antique firefighter thing that they use to use to put out fires with, can send pics to email. if interested make an offer

  5. leah says:

    I have an antique engraver I want to sell how do I go about doing so and how much are they worth ?

  6. mark says:

    How old does an item need to be before it is classed as an antique, and how do u know how much it is worth.

    • Chuck says:

      An item needs to be 100 years old to be LEGALLY considered an antique. But you will find things not near that old in many shops and antique shows. How much something is worth is determined by many different things, but mainly supply and demand. No matter how old something is, if no one wants it, then it is worth very little.

  7. Gina says:

    Hello. I have inherited many items that I believe are antiques along with original art, china, political items, including several autographed pictures, rare buttons etc. I don’t know where to begin. I live in west texas and I am having a hard time finding someone who is experienced in the items I have. Where do I begin?

  8. Kathy says:

    I have come across an old frame that I wanted to use, but it had these weird looking iron brackets in the corners. I took a second look at the brackets as I was removing them, and noticed that they dated back to 1883-1885. I would like to know more about them and what they are worth.

  9. NIv says:

    I have a Hunt and rusk ell late storr decanter which was a gift from my grandmother but I have no idea about its age and price and I need to sell it . Would you help me please ? I can send also some pictures

  10. Pamela says:

    I have 2 cola coolers fiberglass insulated that I am looking to sell

  11. Richard travis says:

    I have a bottle of terry’s brandy from 1950. Still in original string wrapping, officially valued at £70 but i want to get rid of it for £50 if anyone is interested?

  12. hi , im tunisian , i have somthings to sell , somthings aged 2600 years old , i have mosaique (romanian) i’ve alooot of very old things , i found it , and friends founds it too , under the surface , the problem is , it’s illegal to sell it here in tunisia , coz it’s very rare , and cost too much … thnx

  13. Ved says:

    Antique and elegant wooden chest which is almost 100 pounds of solid wood with 5 drawers.
    Height is almost 4.5 feets and length is more than 3 feets and breadth is 1.5 feets. It has heavy copper drawer handles which looks very elegant.

    Made from the year 1875, YES! absolutely great condition. A true antique collection!

  14. Andrea Chapman says:

    I have a antique stove need to have some restoring but sell a best price also a mirror that is also antique and a grundig stereo willing to sell all of this items for a very good price willsend pictures.

  15. Douw says:

    I have a antique framed Gelofte van Bloedrivier of Desember 16 1838 for a very good price. There is only a few made.

  16. Michelle Overstreet says:

    I have some things I need to sell, like a 1941 Philco console radio still works and looks great, a1940 48 piece sterling silverware set service of 8 Joan of Arc pattern in original case, lots of 100+ year old chests, trunks and furniture. Need to sell quickly.

  17. rahul basista says:

    I have a heavy black egypt pharoh face antique dont know if its junk or valuable any help please

  18. Bridgette Williams says:

    hi this is Bridget I have a good amount of different unique antiques and collectibles and very worth looking at I can send pictures if you want me to

  19. joan says:

    I have a five foot by eight foot folding wooden mirror I am trying to find out how much to sell it for. it looks to be atleast thirty years or more older I guess.

  20. joan says:

    it has very thick mirror and is in perfect condition

  21. Pushkar Sinha says:

    I have a antique vintage camera AGFA Box camera, Model-b2.
    Interested please contact me on psinha22@hotmail.com

  22. Shannon Wright says:

    I have an antique rocker I believe is from Payne furniture which is no longer made, a victoria high back chair, and a straw seat sewing rocker. I also have a victorian curved glass chine closet, and several other pieces. I am in a bad situation financially right now and need to raise money. I never really thought to sell them but now I must. How do I do it. Is there any places in Indianapolis or surrounding area that purchase antiques.

  23. Haiman says:

    Hi , i have Book of the Old Testament with hand writing from 1870 in a very good condition. contact me on piphunter10@yahoo.com

  24. Gregory Corley says:

    I have several pairs of Tura Vintage eyeglasses and I would like to get rid of them. I have seen several of the same ones that I have on eBay and other sites selling for 75 and up. Contact me for pictures and any other information you want.

  25. Amord says:

    Hi i have an antique Regent sewing machine i know little about this item so if anyone could please help me out it would helpful.

  26. Robertas says:

    hi i have stainer violin for sale it is around 100 years old..

  27. Jeremy Prime says:

    I have a old Blaupunkt Stockholm radio that is in good working order and very few blemishes in cosmetic appearance. It’s a Typ 22 250 with all bells and whistles. Would like to appraise and find out more about it. It has many tuning codes for long range multi country tuning. Can anyone help me research and appraise this unit.

  28. Rudra Rajput says:

    Hi guys ihave a 200 old years belgium made mirror with wooden frame it’s almost 3feets looks so good iwant to sell it!

  29. Danny says:

    What is the average profit margin on the antique items you purchased in England ?

    • Chuck says:

      We usually priced our items six times the pound price we paid. So if we paid 10 pounds, we priced it @ $60. Of course we usually had to discount the item.

  30. Javetta says:

    Does anyone on here know who might be interested in 1940s and 50″s comic books? Also lots of original packaging albums and old baseball cards? Oh….and about 50 collectible barbie dolls. We have just inherited these things and not sure what to do with them. We have no desire to be collectors! Lol. Thank you all in advance for any help or guidance you can offer. We are not expecting to get rich but we do want to sell them all.

  31. Tiffany Ostrom says:

    I’m moving and over the years I went to alot of estate sale’s yard sales, flea markets. I have a huge collection of a little of everything. Old books old glass of all different items. Old Hummel’s stuff, old milk glass. Records,atrakes, oil lamps, old medicine bottles, old Avon and many many more of other stuff. I want to sell it all. Something for everyone if interested and would like any information call (989)522-3878

  32. Harold says:

    Hello, I have an apartment full of beautiful early 1900, French antique furniture and fine porcelain figurines, chandeliers, and a silk rug that I inherited recently. Unfortunately, it all has to go, but I’m not sure how to handle it. Could anyone please help??

    • Chuck says:

      I would search for an auction house with a good reputation in your area and have them look at your things and give some estimates for you.

  33. David Hiester says:

    Have an antique (late 18th century) wooden English hooded cradle. Any suggestions as to how to proceed selling it?

    • Chuck says:

      I would try posting it on a local FB group or on Craig’s list. If you just want to get rid of it, you can call a couple of auction houses in the area and ask if they would accept it or just end them an email with photos attached.

  34. David Hiester says:

    Forgot to say : in the Dallas area.

  35. An old Traditional Medicine container which has been made an Ox horn.
    A glory of Ayurveda is emphasized through this equipment.
    It is believed that this container has been used by a king of Sri Lanka over 500 years ago.
    By keeping the traditional medicines in the ox horn the remedial effect is enhanced.

    Dimension as follows,
    Length – 40cm
    Inner diameter – 21cm
    Deep – 18cm

    The breed of these animals has become extinct since 500 years ago. At the edge of this horn a picture of a cobra has been carved.
    In accordance with recipe of Ayurveda , prepared medicines kept for 90 days inside the horn for seasoning. It is believed that the medicine kept in such a manner inside the horn will derive the strength of a horn bull.

    • The manuscript of the recipe is accompanying the Ola leaf scripture.
    • Presently the subject material are exhibited in my only Ayurveda museum in Sri Lanka. (www.withasmahal.com)

  36. Becky Mendez says:

    I have an antique secretary desk I would like to sell. In good condition.

  37. helen says:

    I have a kerosene antique lamp more than 100 years old was my great grandmothers and was wondering what it is worth

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