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Money Making Ideas with your Antiques and Collectibles

Updated on October 12, 2016
money making ideas with your collectibles
money making ideas with your collectibles | Source

Marketing your treasures correctly

How can anyone make money in the antiques and collectibles market? Smart ways to sell collectibles and antiques has always been online. Selling them online on sites such as Ebay, Craigslist, Etsy, Artfire and at brick and mortar shops are traditional ideas but you have to think outside the box. Learning how to sell your valuable vintage items is key to making a profit or staying in business.

Hot items can be found online if you check out the world's largest auction sites. What's hot in one part of the country is not in another. The same holds true in different parts of the world. I once sold an old character doll from the sixties to a Japanese collector for $1250! It would never have gotten that price where I live so Ebay helped in the case.

Have you ever bought some items at garage sales or online because it was so hot at the time? You soon found out that it was not. Some collectibles are either too unique, too expensive or lost their appeal.

What do pickers do with their unwanted stuff? Not everything is an instant success. A television program may show a picker buying an old rusted bike with parts missing because they think a collector will pay top dollar for it. That doesn't always happen in real life. Many of us “junkaholics” simply buy things because we really wanted it. Some of us bought things because someone else wanted it or we really thought it was going to be the next big hit.

Is the antique market dead?

It would appear to some that the antiques and collectibles market has died. At least in some regions of the country.

There are many people who collect items that they thought would make them money but now are stuck with it. A jar of glass marbles or the Beanie Baby crab that drapes the top of the lamp are just sitting there, collecting dust instead of dollars.

Everyone who buys and sells knows that there are times when you made a mistake or didn't sell fast enough. Trends and fads come and go, sometimes within a few weeks.

How about that great deal on the china cabinet that was 9 feet tall and had 15 coats of paint?

It may have taken 6 men to haul it into the barn and two years to finally finish stripping the old paint off. But now the market has cooled off and no one is looking for a giant piece of furniture.

I recently acquired an antique 1938 Zenith floor console radio. It has a beautiful wood cabinet and the radio still works. Some people have decided to just use the outside wood cabinet as a decorative piece. The vintage look is definitely in style right now so if it isn't working, and no one wants to pay what you want, just use it as decoration. This would make a great conversation starter for sure!

This is a specialized niche field for radio buffs but I'll have to wait for the right buyer. Anyway, I may be able to rent this out for movies and such. Here's a link for more information on this model and the antique radio collectors.

Pimms antique bottles
Pimms antique bottles | Source

The best ways to market antiques and collectibles

I have thought of three ways to make money thinking creatively.

They are:

  • charge a fee to look at your stuff

  • renting or leasing your stuff

  • re-purpose your stuff

If you can't sell some items because they are too unique, ugly, expensive or weird, then why not try to charge a fee to look at it?

You either need to be located in a large town or city and have a lot of stuff to dig through or have some very unusual museum quality items. Also very weird and unusual items will be an attraction.

I've read about people who have collected almost every item of a cartoon character; let's say and then set up their collection in glass cabinets and charged people to see them. Of course, everything has a price for the right customer. Simply set up the garage to showcase your things. Depending on your location,you may need some permits and inspections before becoming a legitimate business.

You can view the video and read up on setting up a museum also helps to visit some places that are doing this first. Joe Ley's Antiques In Louisville, Kentucky charges to view their enormous inventory. It's worth the charge and time and you are refunded when you buy something.

Rent furnishings for staging a home or business

Contact real estate agents or interior decorators for leads. If you are a professional real estate rehabber and or ordinary person looking for ways attract buyers then you need to stage the home. I watch the real estate programs that usually rent a house full of furniture to stage their newly rehabbed home. Contact local Realtors to see if they can use any furniture . It would be cheaper for them to rent your belongings than to buy them in a store.

And with many empty stores and restaurants on the market, furnishing them would be a little more inviting for prospective buyers as well.

Be sure to have a contract in place and consult a lawyer before doing any business.

Rent or lease out your stuff.

The second idea is renting items to movie and television programs. Casting directors and props departments need to set up scenes with true period pieces at times so limited budgets won't allow them to outright buy props. The large cabinet that has sat in the garage for years may be the right piece of furniture for a scene.

Watch this video about some unusual collections of some Brits. It may astonish you!

Movie and television shows need props for their sets on a regular basis. If you have unique and hard to find furniture and era pieces, you may be able to make some money. Renting short term for one episode or leasing items for a movie is smart budget move. Your large Victorian furniture may be perfect for a movie set.

Hand painted end table by Stacie L
Hand painted end table by Stacie L | Source
Painted scene on old piano stool
Painted scene on old piano stool | Source

Re-purpose your stuff

Another way to be creative and make some money is by repurposing the items. Many people have changed the look of an old ugly dresser or end table by painting them with hand painted designs.

I did this one (white with grape leaves) myself many years ago and my mom won't part with it!

Another painted scene is depicted on an old piano stool is on this page.

Still another artist made a clever art piece with drawers. Abstract art is my favorite form. I wrote about using an old dresser draw to make a pet bed a while ago.

Some items are better used for other purposes. The cats love sleeping in dresser draws. Dogs love to sleep on sofas. Cover the old sofa cushions, with a washable material and give it to the dog.

There are many artisans that create “Steampunk” jewelry items with old parts. It's better than sitting in a drawer or box, so be creative and make some money too!

re purposed drawers made into abstract art piece
re purposed drawers made into abstract art piece | Source

Summary of creative ways to market antique collectibles

Well, there are some creative ideas to make money with your unwanted collectibles. Charge a fee to show off your unusual items or exceptionally large collection.

Lease or rent out your pieces to movie sets or television programs or re-purpose them into an art piece or jewelry. Be creative and think outside the box.

I only touched upon the ideas one could use to make some money from unsalable collectibles. There are more resources for the movie and television industry I didn't list. Hopefully, these ideas will help get your creative juices flowing.

I recently sold the vintage Zenith radio shown on this Hub on Craigslist. It was free and I made a new contact. Don't sit home wondering how you'll sell something. Try thinking in another way; think outside the box.

So here are three ideas to help you make some money on your mistakes. Admit it; we all have them hidden away. They sit year after year, mocking us until we cover them up and can't go into the room and face them.

Get creative and try some of these. Maybe you have another idea you can share in the comments box below.


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