Hi there! I’m welcoming in the new year with a list of 21 vintage and antique items that I anticipate buyers will be looking for throughout 2023. I’m thrilled to be sharing my take on Vintage & Antique Trends in the coming year.
These are the items that I’ll be searching for to sell over and over again because so many collectors and decorators want them. They have a proven track record that I expect to see continue well into the year ahead, and probably beyond.
Note: This post contains affiliate links for research materials and products related to this article. This is both for your convenience as well as to support my website, since I receive a small compensation whenever you click on a link and make any sort of purchase, for which I thank you 🙂 See my full disclosure here.
I’ve been buying and selling antiques for over twenty-five years, so I’ve brought all that knowledge and experience to bear on this list. (Click HERE to find out more about my background.)
Today’s list contains items I’ve personally had experience selling, with confirmation based on extensive reading and feedback from my thousands of followers.
Many of those followers are also members of my private Facebook group–Your Vintage Headquarters. If you’re not a member yet, you should be!!
Before we jump into the 21 categories that will trend in 2023, I want to mention two decorating styles that promise to continue in popularity: farmhouse and Mid-Century Modern (MCM).
Some style forecasters have reported that farmhouse style is on the decline. While that may be true in highly urban areas, I find it continues to sell well for me in upstate New York, especially from my antique booth.
MCM’s popularity remains strong and I project that will grow throughout this second decade of the 21st century. It’s clean, spare lines remain wildly attractive to many decorators, particularly the younger generations.
Finally, I want to mention a relatively new decorating style that the home decor is giving a lot of attention: coastal grandma. I’m not sure if it’s a fad, rather than a trend, but I did include it in my list below since some may be unfamiliar with this particular “look.”
1. Ironstone China
Once my ironstone cupboard could no longer hold anymore, I began selling the pieces I bought out in the wild on Etsy and from my antique booth.
I sell larger serving pieces from my antique booth and smaller examples on Etsy. Over the past two years, I’ve sold over 40 pieces on Etsy, including this Wm. Adams & Sons milk pitcher (with a small hairline crack) for $57.
White ironstone provides the perfect blank canvas for decorating since it allows more colorful antiques to really stand out when placed near them.
Look for signed English pieces since buyers prefer them and will pay more, but unsigned American pieces and some restaurantware sells well too.
Condition matters less with this collectible than with others. In fact, pieces with all-over browning are preferred by some collectors(!).
- Ironstone Guide
- Ironstone Price Guide
- Ironstone Cleaning Guide
- Selling Ironstone on Etsy
- Find some for sale in my Etsy shop
2. Costume Jewelry
Quality costume jewelry continues to be an excellent seller from three platforms: Etsy, eBay, and antique booths. In particular, I’ve found that high end designer jewelry sells especially well on eBay.
In addition, last year I experimented with selling Trifari jewelry on eBay and continue to have surprisingly good results. Look for perfect condition, signed pieces of costume jewelry to secure the highest prices.
The beautiful Trifari pendant above sold on eBay for $25.
3. Native American Baskets
(New 2023) I purchased my first [Northeastern Woodlands] Native American basket about four years ago, and have been fascinated with them ever since.
I’ve discovered that there’s a strong market for them on eBay, where I’ve sold quite a number of examples over the past three years, including the one above, which sold in 2022 for $64.
Of exceptional quality, these baskets are primarily woven of ash splint and/or sweet grass. In addition, they are lightweight, tightly woven, and extremely sturdy.
I find them most often at flea markets and underpriced at antique shops where the seller failed to understand their true value.
4. Canning Jars
Canning jars are a perennial good seller for me from my antique booth. I consistently secure values that are equal to eBay’s sold listings–or slightly higher. This saves me time and energy since I don’t have to photograph, list, or carefully ship them.
I always pick up every low-priced jar I come across with the exception of those made of clear glass with common names like Ball, Mason, and Atlas–unless they have some unusual characteristic.
The half gallon Ball Perfect Mason jar, pictured above, would sell from my booth for $25-30.
Don’t let the lack of a lid prevent you from buying a jar. Keep a stash of screw-on zinc lids and glass lids for wired “lightning seals” on hand for easy mixing and matching. They are frequently available for a dollar or less out in the wild.
When I first got into the antique business, I didn’t give tools much thought. But as I began to notice other dealers selling them, and collectors and decorators buying them, my interest began to grow, LOL.
I have a container on a shelf in my booth that holds multiple tools for sale, and I sprinkle others around the booth where appropriate. Folding rulers shaped into stars, for example, accent farmhouse style booths nicely.
I hang levels and other interesting pieces, especially wrought iron ones on the wall. For the plane above, I tucked some succulents tucked inside the opening where the blade would go, and it sold for $28.
Look for tools made of wood or with wooden parts, signed tools, and colorful tools, like those with red handles.
6. Butter Pats
(New 2023) I sold a large number of butter pats in 2022 and expect this trend to continue into 2023. I also get a sizable amount of traffic to the article I wrote about them a few years ago.
The fact that sellers can find them for extremely reasonable prices–sometimes for 25¢ or less–makes them worth dealing in (that and their tiny size). This is true even though they typically retail for just $4-$10 each for most common examples.
Ironstone examples, including those with brown transferware designs like the one above selling for about $30 or more on Etsy for a set of two or three pats.
7. Leather Books
Leather bound books, or leather-spined books like those you see here, feel wonderful in your hand, look handsome in your office, and lightly fill the air with their smoky scent. They elevate the importance of a room in a way that many home decorators are looking for.
These three sold from my antique booth for $15-18 each. Those fully bound in leather might sell for $30-50 or more depending upon their age, condition, and subject matter.
Even older books in rough shape with scrapes and/or chips are worth picking up since they will sell, too.
8. Flower Frogs
Flower frog collectors abound! If you’re not selling them yet, you need to start! Common clear glass and metal pin-types sell briskly from my antique booth.
I always have my business cards stuck in a pin-type to show how it can be used and a pair of scissors or a pen slotted into a glass frog.
Less common examples, including this green hairpin type frog by the Blue Ribbon Flower Holder Co., sell well on Etsy. It sold there for $33.
At estate sales poke around garages, basements, and inside planters to find more common types and in dining rooms and china cupboards for fancier examples.
- Flower Frog Guide
- Flower Frog Video
- Flower Frog Price Guide: Available in my Member Library, which can be accessed when you subscribe to my weekly newsletter HERE.
- Find some for sale in my Etsy shop
9. Toothpick Holders
You may be surprised to learn about the popularity of this small but mighty collectible. I’ve yet to offer a single toothpick holder that hasn’t sold. This likely has something to do with their ease of collecting since they take up little space and the fact that they tend to be relatively low priced.
Unless you get into higher end examples, like those made of sterling silver, you can expect to sell them in the $10-20 range. The amber, pressed glass toothpick you see above, sold from my antique booth for a solid $10.
Look for glass and ceramic examples, as well as those desireable sterling silver ones(!), and check them carefully for chips and cracks as most collectors want pieces in near perfect condition.
10. Regional Books
(New 2023) I find the market for region-specific books, including topics like history, culture, and the arts, to be strong.
For example, anything related to my tri-city area (Albany-Schenectady-Troy) sells very well from my booth and at decent price levels ($10-30). This is a great profit margin on books I typically pay $1 or less for.
Tales of Old Schenectady sold recently for $10, after having been in my booth for just a few weeks.
Doing some quick research on eBay’s sold listings reveals that books like these also sell well there. Some of the more common examples, however, do seem to sell for slightly less than they would from my booth
11. Christmas Decorations
Who doesn’t love Christmas?!! This highly nostalgic holiday means that huge numbers of people–collectors and decorators–are in the market for Christmas antiques that bring back all the good memories.
Christmas decorations sell well on all four platforms–Facebook Marketplace, Etsy, eBay, and antique booths, though I personally have the greatest success on eBay.
Through research and experimentation, I’ve discovered that certain items sell better from one platform than the others. For example, I learned that I can sell mercury glass garlands more easily and for much higher returns on eBay than on Etsy or from my booth.
Newer Santa or Father Christmas tree toppers like the one above have been selling lately for great prices on Etsy. This light-up version sold for $38 in 2022. Had I placed it in my antique booth, I would have expected to make no more than $15-20, if that.
When shopping for Christmas inventory, look for mercury glass garlands, Putz houses, bottle brush trees, Shiny Brites in boxes, Polish and Italian glass ornaments, and anything unusual.
- Christmas Course
- Christmas Decoration Price Guide
- Christmas Decoration Guide
- I often have Christmas items for sale on eBay
12. Farmhouse Furniture
Have you noticed that larger pieces of furniture have been harder to sell for several years now? Because of this, I make sure to stock my booth with multiple small pieces, like this document box above.
Dating to the late 1800’s and held together with square-head nails, it brought in $80 after it sold to a fellow antique seller.
I’ve read a few times now that “farmhouse style is dead,” but not in my area(!). How about yours? It may be true in more highly urban areas where MCM is more popular, but not in my neck of the woods.
If you live in an highly urban location, consider selling farmhouse furniture on Etsy or eBay where it remains popular with many collectors and decorators across the country.
Look for pieces with lovely patina that feel smooth to the touch and have good construction (e.g., tight, dove-tailed, etc.).
I’m pretty new to selling Pyrex, for two reasons: (1) it doesn’t fit in well with my booth’s farmhouse style and (2) I don’t come across it at prices that allow enough room for a good profit.
I’ve included it on my list because I have begun to sell it more regularly and because I hear from my thousands of antique seller followers that it sells extremely well for them.
The Butterprint (or Amish) set in turquoise on white (above) sold for $100 on Facebook Marketplace. It was going for about this same price on eBay and I avoided the hassle of having to ship it. I’ve also begun to sell pieces from my antique booth year after year.
Learn what the popular patterns look like, e.g., Butterprint, Gooseberry, and Friendship, and start scouting them out. Avoid pieces with a lot of damage and too much baked on grime.
That said, with a bit of elbow grease and the right products, you can remove quite a lot of that grime. (Click the link below for guidance.)
- Pyrex Collecting Guide
- Pyrex Price Guide
- Pyrex Cleaning Guide
- Pyrex Video
- Selling on Facebook Marketplace
14. Cook Books
Cook book buyers fall into two categories: collectors and cooks. With so many interested buyers, it makes sense to focus on this area, particularly if you have a booth–that’s where I sell most of mine.
This 1972 edition of the Mastering the Art of French Cooking (above) sold for $30 in 2022, along with over twenty other cook book titles. My experience has been that I achieve higher prices from my booth than on either Etsy or eBay.
An exception to this rule is especially old or rare cook books, which I sell on eBay because I find they sell faster there and for higher prices than my booth.
I recommend picking up vintage examples of all the older, more common cook books, since many people are in the market for “mother’s” cook book.
These include: Joy of Cooking, The Boston Cooking School Cook Book, Betty Crocker’s Cook Book (and Picture Cook Book), Woman’s Home Companion Cook Book, and Mastering the Art of French Cooking.
15. Handwritten Ephemera
I learned in 2021, after writing an article here on my website (link below) about handwritten recipe books, just how popular this type of ephemera is, particularly on Etsy.
After selling three handwritten recipe books, including the one above for $42.99, I began to list other items falling into the same general category to see how they would do.
To my delight, I’ve now sold student notebooks, tin recipe boxes filled with handwritten recipes, sets of antique, handwritten envelopes, vintage planners, and ledgers.
I should note that in addition to these Etsy sales, I’ve also sold several antique autograph books via my antique booth.
You can easily find items from this category of antiques when out vintage shopping because other sellers are unaware of their potential and therefore often pass them by.
(New 2023) Old road and street signs, as well as those advertising businesses, sell extremely well over and over again. Our love affair with graphics continues and men love to collect almost any kind of metal sign.
The cool, Mt View Av sign above sold for $85 from may antique booth a couple of years ago.
This category can be harder to find when out vintage shopping since they are so popular. Don’t be afraid to pick up simple examples, like those that simply say “open” or someone’s name.
In addition, I find that hand-made signs sell quite well from my antique booth.
17. Natural Items
Many decorators have projected that items taken directly from nature, like shells and driftwood, will be trending in 2023. Conch shells like the pretty pink one above sell for $8-10 from my antique booth
I’ve had luck selling natural items like pine cones, lichen, and dried hydrangea, all of which sell consistently in the $8-15 range, depending on their size. For example, two rather large pine cones recently sold for $12, also from my antique booth.
Some items come from my yard (hydrangea) or visits to other family properties (pine cones and lichen). Others I’ve found very cheaply priced at garage sales, though I did buy a bucket of lichen at a flea market once because it was priced very low 🙂
18. Interesting Lighting
(New 2023) Decorators can easily create interest in a room relatively inexpensively with unusual or striking light fixtures.
I scoop up vintage and vintage-looking lighting of all types when they meet this criteria and are also low priced. Furthermore, extra lighting can create a nice ambiance in your antique booth.
The cool looking copper pair pictured above sold on Facebook Marketplace for $40–a great return on my $5 investment.
(New 2023) Antique tins, particularly those with interesting elements like text or chippy paint, make strong sellers.
Not only are they wonderfully decorative, but they can hold other household items. Letters can be tucked in old cash/document tins, cookie cutters in a cake tin, etc…
The striking red tin above with all-over crackle sold recently for $32 from my antique booth. Pieces like this are often overlooked & undervalued because of their shabby appearance, but you and I know their intrinsic value!
I’ve found that vintage tins for cookies and candy, and antique tins for medications, baking supplies, coffee, and the like are much slower sellers.
20. Unique Items
Unusual and unique vintage and antique items selljvery well, there’s no doubt about it. Don’t overlook items that fall a bit on the newer side. If it catches your eye or makes you smile, then it likely will cause the same reaction in someone else.
These terra cotta fish planters did both–caught my eye and made me smile. I really smiled when the owner quoted me her price. $10 for the pair! The set sold very quickly to a lucky buyer for $90.
21. Coastal Grandma
By now, most of us have heard of the “coastal grandma” decorating craze that has taken the decorating world by storm.
Some vintage and antiques that fall into this category, and which buyers will be looking for, include: striped linens, wicker trunks, chunky bread boards, pale aqua glassware, and anything natural or garden-related.
The wicker hamper you see above sold from my antique booth not too long ago for $32. A perfect example of a natural-looking piece in a neutral tone, it would mix and match with all sorts of coastal grandma home decor.
Removed from 2022 List:
- Baskets: Been selling slow lately, but native American baskets are selling well.
- Luggage: Don’t seem to be selling well recently.
- Farmhouse Style Objects: Too broad a category and the style seems to be waning a bit.
I hope you found my list of 21 trending vintage and antiques helpful for your antique business. I’d love to hear your feedback along with any additions you would suggest making to the list!
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