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Make Money Selling Postcards

Updated on November 6, 2013

Postcards

Back in the day postcards were the ultimate way to send greetings. Everyone had them; posted to their walls, in an album or forgotten somewhere in a drawer.

Postcards were always sent and received on birthdays, Valentines, Day, Christmas, Easter, you name it; even just to say thank you.

Nowadays more and more e-cards are being sent but still people prefer to sent or receive a real postcard; one that you can touch and hold and show to others.

There are postcards on endless subjects.

Of course there are the touristic views. Usually these are not worth much as most of the time these show places that collectors are not interested in. Another reason why these are hardly collected is they are are often printed in bulk.

The most interesting postcards are those on a specific subject, like animals, trains, historical views, ships, flowers, planes, military etc.

Pierce Arrow Hotel, Placerville, Ca, US, 1920, sold on Ebay for $.425.77
Pierce Arrow Hotel, Placerville, Ca, US, 1920, sold on Ebay for $.425.77

Vintage Postcards

Postcards are widely collected by people all over the world.

The majority of these collectors are after vintage or antique postcards from a certain location: where they were born, grew up or lived.

Nowadays these postards are often scarce as most of them have been throwed away; just think of it ... how many did you throw away yourself over the years??

This is good though for those of us that want to sell these postcards to collectors.
When you have the right vintage postcards you can make a good deal of money.

Read more on what vintage postcards to sell and how to find them by reading his article:

Make Money Selling Vintage Postcards

Cat Holding Doll, Real Photo Postcard, 1905, sold for $ 12.95
Cat Holding Doll, Real Photo Postcard, 1905, sold for $ 12.95

Animals

Over the years lots of postcards were made showing animals; all kinds of them like: cats, dogs, monkeys, elephants, birds, butterflies, fishes and the list goes on.

These cards can be very interesting to sell.
For example, someone that collects everything about cats or just a specific breed might love to add postcards about cats or this specific breed to his of her collection.

Again, the vintage cards are the most valuable ones, but even more recent postcards might be worth to look for.

They usually do not sell very expensive, but if you can buy them for, say 10 cents and can sell them 2 or 3 for a dollar it makes sense, right?


Western Pacific Railroad, 2010, sold for $2.75
Western Pacific Railroad, 2010, sold for $2.75
Steam Engine Accident, Withernsea Railway Station, England, sold for $61.29
Steam Engine Accident, Withernsea Railway Station, England, sold for $61.29

Trains

There are lot of train collectors out there, and they are all over the world.
Many of them collect toy trains, railway signs, books etc. But a large number of them are also very keen on postcards.
Again, the vintage cards are the most sought after but more recent one can also sell pretty well.
Also keep in mind that some collectors are interested in modern trains while others are just looking for classic trains, like steam locomotives.

If you come across a postcard with 'action' on it, it is even better. Like a trian on a railway station that also show working people. Or the rare postcards showing a railway accident years and years ago.
These are not easy to find, but definitely worth searching for.



Vintage Postcard Rain In The Face - Sioux , sold for $228.05
Vintage Postcard Rain In The Face - Sioux , sold for $228.05

Indians

Indians, often also called Native Americans, are also a widely collected subject. Not only in the US but all over the world. Lots of people literally collect everything about Indians, decorate their house with it or even adapt a Native American lifestyle.

Postcards showing Native Americans are not very common; especially the vintage ones are scarce ... and thus ... valuable. They typically fetch a really pretty penny when sold on Ebay.

Keep looking for them .. it is worth the effort !!

Where to get the postcards to sell?

You should get the picture by now and understand what kind of postcards you need to sell.
The only problem left is 'How do I get the right postcards to sell?'.

There are several ways to find the right postcards to sell at high profits.

  • start searching in your own house and see if you have any suitable postcards once sent to you by family or friends. Don't forget to ask your family and friends for their postcards. There might be some hidden gems there.
    NOTE: Old people might have old postcards !!
  • hunt for old postcards at yard sales, flea markets etc.
  • visit online auctions, like Ebay. Many postcard-lots or old photo albums are being sold on Ebay. Buying them in bulk and sell them one by one is a great way to make some money.

So, enjoy the hunt. Good luck !!

Example of a RPPC (Idaho)
Example of a RPPC (Idaho)
Example of a PPC (Chicago)
Example of a PPC (Chicago)

Important things you need to know when hunting for postcards to resell

Now that you have an idea of what subjects you can sell to collectors it is time to move on to the different types of postcards.


RPPC - Real Photo PostCards are by far the most sought after especially when it concerns vintage postcards.
RPPC are basically photographs, usually glossy, at the size of a postcard with a regular postcard printing on the back. Because of these being real photographs there usually is just a small number made of them making them scarce and thus much sought after by collectors.

PPC - Picture PostCards are more common. These are postcards that are printed in bulk even in the early years. Often they are reprints of photographs and they are easy to distinguish from RPPC.
Sometimes these cards are even colored.
Because they were printed in bulk, more survived throughout the years and hence their value is much lower.
It is obvious that the scarcer a postcard the more more expensive it gets.

The value of a postcard also depends on whether card have been mailed or not, especially regarding vintage postcards. A card that have been mailed, with stamped stamps and an address will fetch more money than a mint card.

Another important factor is the condition of a postcard. The less wear a postcard has, the higher its value. This also counts for vintage postcards !!
However, there are exceptions: if you manage to find a very rare postcard but in less good condition people will buy it from you anyway.

Where to sell postcards

You can sell your postcards in many ways.

In some countries there are collectors-clubs with regular meetings or small fairs. If there is one in your area you might join it and attend such meetings, either to learn more about postcards or to sell some.
In general you will just meet local people at these meetings.

Flea-markets and large collector shows are another way to sell postcards. You probably will have to rent a table in order to sell your cards. Good thing about these shows or markets is the number of visitors as a result of intensive advertising done by the organizers.
You will meet people from all over the country of state.

If you have really good postcards you could consider selling them on an auction. Auctions attract the most enthusiastic collectors willing to pay high prices for cards they are interested in.
Downside of selling on an auction is the commission you have to pay to the auction house from all your sales. That can add up to 30-40% !!

By far the easiest way to sell your cards is on Ebay.
Not only does attract Ebay lots of visitors but your postcards are exposed to collectors worldwide !! This is especially interesting when you sell postcards of motives, like trains, animals, planes etc.
Ebay also charges seller fees, but not that much. Right now they charge approximately 10% of the selling price.

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