5 Online Auctions That Sell Vintage Toys Or Old Toys (besides eBay)
- Annual vintage toy shows for the serious toy collector
If you're serious about building your collection you'll want to attend one of these events.
I am always looking for more online sources for the toys I collect. Even though I still use eBay, I am finding there are a whole lot of other sites out there with quality vintage toys. Here are five Web sites that I think rival, if not surpass, eBay for content, price and ease of navigation and shopping.
Good luck collecting!
You may be surprised at the deals you can find on this site. I've had mixed success in their brick and mortar stores -- it seems like location is everything. The quality of the finds differ greatly between stores and geographical area. The online store removes that obstacle.
I collect Tonka toys and right now as I write this, here are a few of the Tonkas up for sale. There is an original 1947 Tonka Steam Shovel (current bid $81), a 10x22 inch Tonka Winnebago (current bid $46) and multiple construction Tonkas, like graders, backhoes, etc.
There are several toy categories -- so whether you collect board games, Barbies or something in between, you'll most likely find something of interest.
The site is easy to navigate and has a nice search function. My only complaint is shipping -- the options seem to be limited by individual stores. Some offer multiple shippers, some only one.
Online auction sites
Site has a surprising selection of vintage games and toys.
- Ruby Lane
Buy Antiques & Vintage Collectibles from thousands of shops.
Browse a huge selection of vintage items, collectibles and toys.
- eBid Online Auctions
Buy just about anything on this auction and fixed price site.
Discover vintage toys, collectibles and more at Bonanza
This site specializes in Antiques & Art, Vintage Collectibles and Jewelry. Most of the items I looked up were definitely retail price, but everything I found was really neat -- and in very nice shape. Site has easy to use search feature and even displays okay on a mobile device.
Some of the unique vintage toys I found included an ABC TV control room with camera and man. This vehicle was made by Dinky between 1962-1969.
The site accepts the expected methods of payments, PayPal, credit card, etc. Some stores also accepts bank wires, checks -- and some even offer layaway. The site also offers several useful newsletters with content ranging from articles to latest finds and deals on the site.
- Antique Toy site
Although not technically an auction site, this site is a great resource for 'retail' priced toys from 1850s to 1960s.
Etsy is a well know site with a very clean layout and easy to use site. The listings are filled with images and all the item and seller information is readily available on one page. The site is also a treasure trove of vintage toys.
My search for 'Tonka" yielded nearly 800 items and unlike some sites, most of these are bonafide vintage and/or collectible toys. For example, on the first page of search returns I found a 50s/60s dump truck, several unique firetrucks of various sizes, a 1960s earth mover and my favorite a 1960s car carrier.
Bargains may be a little harder to find on this site since most sellers seem to know the value of what they have. But if you are looking to complete a collection or need to find a certain item, this is definitely one of the first sites you should try.
They also have a huge selection of board games --more than 7,000 at the time of this writing.
When you visit the site, be sure to check out the blog, community forums and apps page.
This site is definitely trying to compete with eBay -- it has more than 12,000 categories and more than 6 million listings. I have bought items from the site and it is a very similar process to eBay, so there is no really learning curve here. There are no fees to buy on the site, but sellers pay a subscription to place items (which seems to be considerably cheaper than eBay's pricing).
The search function is very easy to find and use. Lke many online auction sites, eBid has stores, which can simplify the shopping process once you find a seller you like. When I did a search for "Tonka" it returned nearly 200 items. For whatever reason, this site seems to have a lot of the plastic McDonald Tonks -- but it does have rare ones as well -- like a vintage Marshall Field & Co. semi-truck (price $449) and a Goodrich Race Team Truck Set $90).
If you are looking for a lot of product this is probably the best site for that, but just like eBay, there may be a lot of stuff to browse through before you discover that unique find.
When you visit the homepage of this site, you would not presume it had any vintage toys of interest. The landing page makes the site seem more like a modern discounted clothing site, but if you enter a search term -- or scroll to the bottom of the page for categories -- you will see there is a lot of items of interest. I did a search for "Tonka" on this site, and it returned more than 300 items (the toy category is considerably larger overall). Most of the Tonkas were from the 1980s or newer, but there were some older ones like a six wheels Ruff Rider and a garbage truck from the 60s. The was also a vintage Tonka TWA Airlines boxed set that was really cool.
The layout of the site is great. Once you enter a term to search, the items all have a 'quick look' option which allows you to 'pop' open the items. Everything you want to know about the item is immediately available, from photos, price, shipping to payment options and seller information. I think the item's detail page is actually much cleaner looking and more user friendly than eBay's by a long shot.
The site says it has 4 million items and 25,000 sellers. Another big plus, I think, is no login is required to buy on the site. So if you see something you want, you can quickly go through the checkout system.
- How much are your collectible toys worth?
This article reviews some books and online sources to help you determine the value of your vintage or antique toys. Article also includes a video of the Brooklyn Toy Museum.
Even though this is a online search of current auctions, this site is an excellent ways to learn about auctions in your local -- or close by -- that have toys or collectibles you may be interested in. The site also has a toy auction page which lists current auctions featuring toys from throughout the country. As the name suggests, you search for auctions based on their zip code.