Tips for selling vintage items on various sites

I spend a lot of time buying and selling vintage items. While I prefer to buy my items in person so I can see any faults or weirdnesses items might have, I do sometimes pick stuff up online. Selling online is easier than ever these days thanks to easy sites like Facebook marketplace, Craigslist, Poshmark, and Mercari, which simplify the process that Ebay and Etsy have honed with fewer fees and easier account set up. So it’s handy to see your unwanted items without having to sit outside at a yard sale.

At this point, I’m assuming you’ve picked your platform to sell on, but if you haven’t, I have an ebook available on Amazon on KU that can guide you start to finish. You can get it here!

  1. Take lots of pictures on a neutral background in as natural light as you can. Show any flaws in the pictures, and always,, ALWAYS show the bottom of smaller items. Especially glass, china, and jewelry. We want to see the mark, paper label and or condition, and we want to see if the clasp or pin back or what have you is in working order.
  2. Include all information about condition. Don’t try to hide chips, cracks or flaws. Let us decide if your item is worth the money you want plus shipping. Most of us vintage buyers know the difference between old damage and something that happens in shipping. When I list something with flaws, I actually try to make it sound a little worse because people don’t read descriptions fully, so I want to make sure they know it’s not perfect.
  3. if you charge shipping, make sure you weigh your item AND calculate how much more a box and packaging will weigh. I swear, y’all, I have screwed myself out of profit more than a few times by miscalculating shipping. It’s no fun at all.
  4. Try to include measurements. I’m terrible about this one. I am. But you’ll spend a lot less time fielding questions if you take a picture or two with a ruler next to the item or just add a few measurements at the get go in the description.
  5. Overpack. If you’re shipping something breakable, use a bigger box than you really need and overpack. No shipping service cares if they break your stuff. Really.
  6. Shipping international is a losing proposition. Shipping has gone up immensely, stuff gets stolen in customs all the time, and things break. A lot. Think very carefully about it before you agree to do it. I tell buyers to PM me if they want something and give them a shipping quote first. That usually ends up being a deal breaker and it saves me a lot of trouble.
  7. Don’t make false claims. I saw a “Victorian chamber pot” on the FB marketplace the other day that was clearly marked on the bottom as yes, English Ironstone, but as a reproduction from a modern factory. That would be a Victorian style or reproduction Victorian chamber pot. Misrepresenting anything, even by accident, will get you, at best, bad reviews, and at worst, sanctioned or banned by a site.

I’m sure I have dozens more, but this post was brought to you by half a dozen listings that didn’t show the bottoms and I was frustrated.

Always show the bottoms.



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