Have you ever found a really great item at auction or garage sale, but been unable to find much information about it, more specifically, its value?
But, over the years I’ve found some great internet resources that I turn to when looking for the history, value, and other info about a piece.
In this article I’ll be sharing 10 free internet resources for antique dealers that are worth their weight in gold.
Canva is one of my all-time favorite tools for antique dealers. You can accomplish so many tasks with this easy-to-use graphics resource, including:
- Making attractive sale signs or email sign ups for your booth
- Editing photos for online selling, including background removal (paid version)
- Creating graphics for your Etsy shop storefront (header and logo)
- Making pins for Pinterest
- Making ads for social media (Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, etc.)
2. Google Reverse Image Search
You can quickly use Google’s reverse image function to help identify and value items that you want to get more info about. You can use while out shopping for vintage in the “wild” or in the comfort of your own home(!).
I wrote an article providing the scoop on how to use the Google reverse image search that should help you get started. It’s as simple as uploading a photo and then Google searches the internet for items that look like yours.
3. Collector’s Weekly Website
The Collector’s Weekly website contains fascinating articles about history and culture, in addition to an almost endless array of vintage and antique articles.
It’s hard not to go down rabbit trails on this site.
At the top of the home page, to the right of the search box, you can click on “Browse All Categories” and up pops a very long list of antique categories. Keep scrolling down and you find subcategories under each of these categories–literally hundreds of pages of antique reading!
Click on any category and it will take you to a page filled with info and photographs on that topic, with a left side-bar of opportunities to refine your search. Above you’ll notice the “Christmas Collectibles” page and get an idea of the great info found on this site.
On the right, you can see current eBay listings for Christmas decorations. This helps sellers identify and value similar items.
And at the bottom of the page, you would find a “Best of the Web” set of links to other sources, followed by a list collector’s groups.
4. Ebay and Etsy Sold Search
Did you know you can search for sold prices on eBay? It’s super simple and I teach how to do it in a couple simple steps. Just click the link above.
It’s also possible to discover some of the sold prices on Etsy, though it’s not quite as straight-forward. I explain how to do that in a few steps. Just click the link above.
5. Book Finder
Designed for book buyers, sellers can nonetheless get useful information. Users are prompted to enter the name of any book, and are then served a list of online book sellers offering that book and the prices they’re asking. These prices can guide you in your pricing of your copy.
6. A Lightbox
So this resource isn’t FREE exactly, but it’s a set of free instructions on how to create super-simple and easy lightboxes, for cheap. Just click the link to get the details.
Most online sellers take terrible photos of their merchandise. Really. It’s a fact. But with a cheap lightbox (I bet you have the materials on hand already), you can bring your photos to the next level. And it’s worth it. I promise.
Your photos are your strongest selling point for your merchandise; therefore, it’s the area of your antique biz that you want to give special time and attention to.
8. Facebook Groups
Facebook provides a pretty amazing bunch of groups on a myriad of antique topics. I belong to a couple of interesting ones:
- White Ironstone China Association Group
- McCoy Pottery Buy, Sell, Trade Group
- Sarah Coventry & Emmons Jewelry Identification & History
- Flower Frogs
I’ve heard good things about Antique Tools: Buy, Sell Trade where you can either sell something via auction, listing, or trade, as well as ask for help with identification.
Here are a few I found simply by entering a specific collectible in the search bar on Facebook:
- Antique & Vintage Furniture Identification, Estimated Values & Share
- Fenton Art Glass Buy & Sell
- Mason & Fruit Jar Collectors
And not to toot my own horn, but I have what I consider a wonderful private Facebook group called Your Vintage Headquarters that’s filled with over 5000 vintage and antique lovers. We help each other with identification, pricing, and business tips.
You should definitely join.
7. Live Auctioneers
I’m a member but haven’t used it nearly as much as I should. I’ve had particularly good luck finding prices for artwork.
YouTube is loaded with vintage and antique sellers sharing their knowledge and expertise. Lots of people enjoy Dr. Lori, but I’ve found her estimates to be rather high. I should note that some people think mine are rather low, LOL.
Here are a few YouTubers who I think have something valuable to say:
I also share recent thrift hauls and often focus on specific areas, like sewing notions and farmhouse goods. Most are between 10 and 15 minutes long and you’ll learn a bit about the items, including what I paid for each and what I think each is worth.
I’d LOVE it if you’d subscribe to my channel and leave me some feedback 🙂
10. My Website
Okay, so number 10 is a little very self-serving; however, I have SO many unique and helpful resources for you here on my website that I want to make sure you know about.
First, you can find gobs of articles about fascinating vintage and antiques: from ironstone to art, canning jars to flower power jewelry, and Wade figurines to Valentines. In each I dive deep into history and load you up with all kinds of helpful photographs.
[Note: “Gobs” is the technical term for “about 70.”}
Honorable Mentions (not free)
The Savvy Antique Seller Price Guide is a unique guide I put together that contains three years worth of actual sales. Covering over 35 categories of antiques, it contains full-color photos, sold prices, marks, and more.
One of my favorite resources, WorthPoint, is unfortunately not free, but it has so much to offer us antique sellers. Not only do they provide sold listings on thousands of items, but they have hundreds of collecting/price guides, and all kinds of helpful info about marks.
I hope you find one or more these of these resources helpful, whether you collect antiques for yourself or buy and sell them for profit.
I would love it if you left the names of resources you LOVE in a comment. Then I can add them to my list to make it more complete.
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