Buying and Selling Antiques| Antique Dealer with 25 years experience reveals insider secrets of buying and selling antiques and collectibles

The Best Place to Sell Antiques Online

If you asked ten different antique dealers to name the best place to sell antiques online, you might get ten different answers. Unfortunately, I don’t think there is one right answer for this one. A major factor is deciding what your main objective is in wanting to sell your antiques online.

Sell Antiques Online Quickly

If you need to sell antiques online quickly, you probably should consider selling them on an online antiques auction. Of course the one that comes to mind for most is EBay. In an auction format, unless you set a reserve, you are almost guaranteed a sale, as long as at least one person is willing to meet the starting price. If you are totally unfamiliar with auctions, a reserve price is a price set before the auction, that must be met for the sale to take place. If you set a reserve on the antique oak table of $100 and it only brings $75, it will not sell. But you still will be charged a fee whether the item sells or not. The same holds true if you, or the auction, set a starting bid and no one is willing to pay that much, then again it will not sell.

But EBay is by no means the only online auction. There are many local auction houses that sell online as well as at their auction location. But, unless you have something that is really unusual and in high demand, auctions typically will only bring wholesale prices. But if you need to move the items quickly, this is definitely one way to do it.

My Favorite Place to Sell Antiques Online

As I mentioned before, many antiques dealers have their favorite place to sell antiques online. But since I am writing this article, I will tell you my favorite and why it is my favorite. I will also give you some hints on selling antique online successfully.Sell Antiques Online

My very favorite place to sell antiques online is Ruby Lane. I have sold things online at Ruby Lane for many years. They have great customer service and attract a large amount of traffic. Traffic is the key to selling anything online. So the more sought after your items are, the more likely you are to sell those items. Ruby Lane has hundreds of dealers and many thousands of items. And Ruby Lane, although one of the biggest online antiques sites, is just one of many. So it is a very competitive market. I want to make sure you understand this before I go too much farther in the discussion.

Too many people think they can list ten or fifteen items and sell three or four of them the first month. It would be like setting up a booth in an antique mall and thinking you were going to sell a fourth of your inventory the first month. The more items you have on a site, the better chance you have of selling those items. So if you need to sell your items quickly, reread the first part of this article.

I like Ruby Lane because they set guidelines and stick with them. Before you are even allowed to open your online store, you are required to send them your first ten items all set up correctly and ready to sell. They want to make sure know how to:

Take good photos

Write good, accurate descriptions

List the item in proper category

Point out any faults an item might have

List the shipping correctly

All of the above things help keep the quality and integrity of the site at a high level. This gives the customers who shop on Ruby Lane, confidence to know they will be getting what is listed and described. They don’t want to get a piece of pottery that has a hairline crack that wasn’t shown in the photos and not mentioned in the description.

Everyone usually want to know how much does it cost to sell on Ruby Lane. At the time of this writing, there is a $20 per month advertising fee for every dealer, no matter if you have ten items are two thousand items. And there are dealers with that many items on Ruby Lane. There is a one time setup charge of $75 which will be refunded if you are not approved. Then there is a thirty cent listing fee per item. After an item is listed, starting with the next month on, there is a thirty cent maintenance fee for each item for the first 150 items, then it drops to twenty cents per item for items 151-1000. So if you have 100 items listed in your store, your monthly fee would be $30 for maintenance and $20 for advertising for a total of $50. Ruby Lane does not charge a commission for sales. You must keep a positive balance in your account to list new items. You can check their web site for more details.

I love all of the data that you get from your site. You get the number of visitors to your site, what items were looked at the most, how long the average visitor stayed on your site and how many pages did they see. Even where they lived is shown. I pay the most attention to the number of item views. This helps me to see the kind of items are being seen the most and to try to list more of those kind of items. If a particular item is getting lots of views, but is not selling, I need to make sure the photos and descriptions are clear and the item is priced competitively. Remember a picture is worth a thousand words, so great photos with proper lighting will help you sell more. The same for good descriptions. Look at the dealers that are the most visited. See how they do it and see if you can do it too. Look under “Relax” at the top of the page and then the “Top 50” and it will show the top visited shops in each category. Also look at the last pages of their shops and see what kinds of items they are selling. Be sure to focus on what is selling and what it sold for, rather than just seeing how much something was listed for. Something is only worth what someone is willing to pay. Ruby Lane or no other site can sell something that no one wants or is priced higher than anyone is willing to pay.

One more selling hint. It is better to list 3-5 items a day than to list 15-20 items once a week. Many people tend to look at what is listed new today. If you only list new things once a week, those people will only see your new things once a week rather than possibly seeing them every day. I found this out through trial and error. Once they see your new things, if they see something they like, most likely they will look at more things on your site. I found that you need at least 50 items listed to increase you chances for making sales. And again, the more the better. Like I said there are dealers with over 2,000 items on Ruby Lane. It must be working or they wouldn’t be doing all that work and paying those fees.

I hope I have given you enough information to help you determine the best place to sell antiques online.

61 Responses to “The Best Place to Sell Antiques Online”

  1. Probably not enough information to reach a final determination, but this is certainly useful and pointing me in the right direction. Your overview of Ruby Lane is more informative than the hours I’ve spent staring and stumbling around their web site.

    Now if I could just find a similar synopsis of Tia’s, GoAntiques and Etsy. And are there others I should be watching for? And then there’s CraigsList, right? A whole different kind of animal.

    Thanks for the tips and the benefit of your experience.

    • Chuck says:

      Hi Sherry,
      RThanks for the comments. I was also a member of GoAntiques for some time. Ieven was going to try both at the same time, but just too much work for me. Different people will like different sites. I will just say that if you are not willing to constantly update with new items, it will not work. I am not active right now because I am concentraing on Internet Marketing and was not adding new products. Tried to teach my wife, but she really didn’t enoy it. I think any of the sites will work if you are willing to study and put in the time. Study the people that are being successful abd try to learn why their sites are successful. As I mentioned in the article, Ruby Lane has a section on “Top 50″ in each category. You can learn a lot by studying the most successful sites.

  2. Julie says:

    I wonder if you still have the same opinion after the fee increase last year and the upcoming 30% listing fee increase? Thanks! (I’m looking around for someplace else.)

  3. elcoco says:

    Much too expensive,they charge for advertisemeni but do nothing for that. overcharged, otherwise nice design and reliable. Most help is as video and not in text, I think theey mean their customers are illiterate…

  4. Jennifer says:

    Hi there- Thank you for your website and great insight and information. I tried to sell on Ruby Lane but they declined me and gave me my money back and deleted my store. I was a pretty disappointed ): I was never told any specific reasons why they did not accept me… Which would have been nice to know. I have been selling Antq/Vtg items on eBay now for almost 3 years and over the years have paid probably thousands of dollars of eBay fees. I am thinking of creating my own website- and will continue to peruse your website here for more suggestions and info. God Bless you and your work~>

  5. Jeanine says:

    I am trying to sell antiques for a lady who has been doing this for years. She is elderly and has many storage building filled with antiques. She is getting to old to work in a shop and ask me to sell for her online. I have managed at buisness before but I do not know anything about selling online or antiques. Lucky me huh. I am giving it my all trying to learn for many sites. I thought about Ruby lane but read a lot of negative comments. She is supplying the antiques and I get half of what I sell. But I am thinking I have to pay for the fees myself. Ebay would be easier to fix prices into product but I don’t want to sell it too low as we neither would make money but with Ruby lane I have to come up with all the fees myself which if I didn’t sell anything I would be working for free. Ouch! So its 2 years later and Chuck I was wondering what you guys are doing now and what you have found to be the best way to sell in this economy. Thanks for your reply.

    • Chuck says:

      Sent you an email

      • Tony says:

        Jeanine, many people will give you opinions, but it really depends on the types of antiques you are trying to sell? Are they easily shipped? The value set of antiques is constantly changing and different sites are useful for certain types of collectibles but not all antiques are good to sell online. Sort of chaotic but my primary job as a consignment agent is to direct customers to certain venues, to obtain fair prices for their antiques. If you need further direction, feel free to drop me a email at Heartwine_Online at yahoo.

  6. Jeanine says:

    I am trying to sell antiques for a lady who has been doing this for years. She is elderly and has many storage building filled with antiques. She is getting to old to work in a shop and ask me to sell for her online. I have managed at buisness before but I do not know anything about selling online or antiques. Lucky me huh. I am giving it my all trying to learn for many sites. I thought about Ruby lane but read a lot of negative comments. She is supplying the antiques and I get half of what I sell. But I am thinking I have to pay for the fees myself. Ebay would be easier to fix prices into product but I don’t want to sell it too low as we neither would make money but with Ruby lane I have to come up with all the fees myself which if I didn’t sell anything I would be working for free. Ouch! So its 2 years later and Chuck I was wondering what you guys are doing now and what you have found to be the best way to sell in this economy? Thanks for your reply.

    • Tracey says:

      How is the business working for you now?

      I just started a week ago and would love to share some feedback! I have been doing Marketing and Sales for almost 20 years…

      Looking forward to hearing from you!


  7. I like doing it myself. Too many scammers on lots of the auction sites. See how I am doing it at

  8. Ruby Lane is a beautifully designed and well maintained website, but I found sales to be very sluggish and costs per sale very expensive. A more accurate name for the Company should be Ruby Drain as money flows away from your accounts quite easily! While I would love to see serious competition to eBay, which has become the bully of the digital age, it is still the most active market.

    • Chuck says:

      Everyone has a different success rate. Much of it depends on inventory, pricing and many other things. It is time consuming and takes constantly adding new inventory and building up a following. We had several people who bought multiples things from us.

  9. MICHAEL says:

    I finally broke away from eBay,am trying to go on my own.How do I get started as to where people will find me and look at my stuff.I have had several people say I need to link up with different sites,but it seems like no one wants to do that with you unless you have a super big name.Any help you can give me would really, really be appreciated.

    • Chuck says:

      With your specialized inventory of records, tapes, movie items, and similar things, you will need a selected audience. Since I have never sold these type of items I am not much help. I would just try researching the internet and see if there are other places besides eBay to reach that audience. Why are you trying to break away from eBay? I would think that is still the best place to sell your items. Try promoting them with Pinterest.

      • MICHAEL says:

        Ebay used to be a class site, fair to all buyers and sellers. Now they just installed the requirement that if I sell you a record,say $10 plus $4 postage, and you get it and don’t want it I must refund you all your original money (which I don’t mind) PLUS I must pay for your return postage. Now I have a $4 loser. Where is that fair? You realize how many people are going to make a career out of that? I have been in the music memorabilia business since 1977, I know how goofy people can be. I also own a franchise restaurant and I see goofy people every day. Ebay is trying to control every seller they have. A lot of the big sellers have left them and went on their own, and I know others who are looking into what I am doing. Also eBay has decided to remove Pay Pal from it’s main holding company and make it a separate company AGAIN, and you know what that will mean, a bigger cut for them. Just tired of them and their disliking of the people who go out and dig all the stuff up and take hours to list it to be partners with them and they dump all over you.NO MORE EBAY! Wish someone else had the moxie to open up against them. Thank you for answering my question, I’ll keep working the internet and check the site you gave me. Best, Mike

  10. Emilie says:

    Michael – I SO agree with you about eBay! Some investors are surely missing the boat not starting up an online selling site to compete with eBay. Not only is eBay overstocked – eBay makes their money off the seller but continues to penalize the seller with fees and favoritism to the buyer.

    But – in answer to the question on where to sell antiques online (which is how I found this discussion!) I have found Facebook to be a wonderful outlet to buy and sell antiques! There are so many boards in your own area and throughout the country where people are posting. For instance, in my area there are auction pages, antique pages, antique jewelry pages – and if you can’t find what you like – you can start your own page or board – fee free! Just type in the ‘search’ line what you are looking for – and all kinds of results will appear. Then after you join a few, Facebook will start to list different groups on the right hand side of the page for you to consider joining. Everything is free except for the cost of your item – which is the Seller! It’s the new way to buy and sell and I believe in time, hopefully will give eBay a run for it’s money! Good luck – I’m always looking to buy!

  11. Keyvan says:

    I have an unique antique for selling , anyone like to buy it ?

  12. jayson says:

    Hii. Do you want to buy an authentic Ming dynasty porcelain with markings on at the bottom. If your interested just email us

  13. pramod k dobhal says:

    I wants to sell my antique stamps collection of Commonwealth countries nd some antique stamps of Indian states I.e Jaipur,Gwalior Bhilwara nd other states

  14. rose rivera says:

    I want to sell my 1842 brass bell,i found it very expensive need help and advise tnx

  15. Martin Woolman says:

    Hi Keyvan,

    What is the antique that you are trying to sell ? I’m always interested in buying

    • Reyes says:


      I am an antique dealer from Spain, I inherit the pofesion of my grandfather, and my father. I don’t have a fisical shop at the moment, we allways had. Now I am restructuring the bussines. I am selling online, trying to expand the market internationally. I just found this interesting webside. I have many for sale. Just if someone is interesting can contact me. Thank you

    • Isaac White says:

      barber chair

  16. Sarah says:

    I am trying to sell a full set of 1700s antique British silver – forks, knives, spoons, serving pieces, etc. in an antique wooden silverware chest with 4 drawers to hold it all. What would be the best site to use to sell, and should each piece be sold individually?
    Would really appreciate your feedback!

    • Sheryle says:

      Hi sara, I’d be interested in buying your set. My aunt was holding my grandmother’s for me and it got stolen. How much are you asking? I am not a dealer, was just looking here because we moved to a smaller place and I have some furniture and things to sell.
      Thank you!
      Sheryle Tamagini

  17. Sibilla says:

    Hi,thank s for All the helpful information .could you be more specific in how to use pinterest as a way to promote items? I sell antique s and i line in Italy

    • Chuck says:

      There are guides on how to do this properly. Also check YouTube videos for help. A more complicated answer than I do justice trying to answer here,

  18. harsh singh says:

    i have one rupee note indian currency having signature of secretary of finance montek singh alhuwalia.
    i have 10 1 rupee note with serial number new currency.
    if any body wants to purchase it call email me on . minimum cost price 1 lakh rupee.

  19. LeAnne says:

    We are selling a set of 8 pressed back chairs, all captain chairs. Came out of a firehouse in Pennsylvania. Not sure what flavor of wood was used but they are not reproductions. One had a crack in the seat that has been repaired. No other damage has been noted. Any thoughts, since it is a one time deal, where the best place would be to post outside of ebay? In no hurry to sell.

    • Chuck says:

      I would try Craigslist for your area. Also check to see if there are any local Facebook groups in your area that might offer things to sell, like Yard (or Garage) sales in (your city). Depending on the size of town or city where you live, check the classifieds section of local paper and see if they have an “antiques” section. Finally, you could contact some local auction houses and see what they think you could get for them.

      Good Luck

  20. Manoj says:

    I wnt to sell 1904 indian one rupee coins whitch are issued by British gov. Any body intrested plz contect me on

  21. Selvaraj k says:

    I want to sell my Antique clocks like HES,Wehrle 3 in 1 clock,first table fan ect…all these are in good working condition.any one interested contact me on

  22. Lacy duBois says:

    I have a antique satinwood chaise lounge with original cane back and on the side arm and at the bottom foot scroll. I have only seen one like it. contact me

  23. Deborah Hartman says:

    interested in opinions on selling on ebay vs. easy vs. chairist…thanks

    • Chuck says:

      I have only sold on eBay and Ruby Lane in the last few years. I have friends who have had luck selling on Facebook also. I may list some things on different FB groups. For example, if you have Coke items to sell, there are FB groups dedicated to collecting Coke items. But it doesn’t hurt to try different places to sell.

    • Treva says:

      I just started selling on Chairish and sold my first item in a month. I really like it

  24. saiba says:

    hey I have learned from this site. I want to sell 2 coins of 1818. its really cool!! anyone want to buy? I don’t have any kind of experience about this dealing! so need everyones help and co-operation, thanku

  25. Adie says:

    I’m a collector of antique swords, daggers, I also have an antique phone an old gun and some antique wooden cabinet chair.
    I also have some old precision scales.
    I’m interested in selling.
    Please ring for more details if no answer please leave a voicemail and I’ll get back to you.


  26. Etsy Sales are Very Slow says:

    I have had an Etsy shop for a year and I have only had two sales during the year. Sales are so slow I am looking for another place that is as cheap as Etsy but has more activity.

    • Chuck says:

      Are other shops with your type of merchandise selling? Check other sites and look in the sold area to see if they are selling. Check eBay.

  27. Antonio Albarracin says:

    Very interesting article, thanks for the information! Let me add one more tip of advise: Bonavendi. It’s a very handy, easy to use price comparison website. I am sure they won’t have everything in there but it is worth a try and you should get most of your stuff sold at the best price there .

  28. saeed says:

    I am from iran and i want to sell antique persian rugs but some sites like ebay are not available in my country to register.if anyone can contribute in selling antique persian rygs please contact me at:

  29. Sarah says:

    I just came across a new site in New Zealand they have no listing fees and take only 3% of sale. They still building their site, while the site is live no Odets can be taken yet as they are still working on their site. The site is not for antiques only but anything pre-owned, an interesting niche. While the site is in New Zealand it is world wide. Made for people to sell to their locals from anywhere in the world. I will give it a go once they done.

    I’m looking for a cheap place to sell any other ideas would be appreciated. I’m looking for a place that take international sellers.

    Thank you

  30. askh says:

    i have a long-range camera antique for sale, anybudy is buyer contact to email

  31. walid says:

    Hello I have a thousand coins French in 1820 for sale for anyone who wants to contact
    And number phone:+213561149757

  32. zurita says:

    I would like to sell an antique punch bowl. The bowl is very large and heavy. I was told that is was hand painted but I have not been able to find a signature of artist on it thus far. However, I have seen many bowls similar to the one I currently have, they are LIMOGES type. If anyone would like to see pictures and give me a quoted value I would greatly appreciate the help. I could use the cash asap for bills. I also have a silver dollar dated 1894 if anyone is interested in old money.

  33. Isaac White says:

    Antique Hydrolic (broken) Barber Chairs for sale contact:251 432-8952

  34. Isaac White says:

    Antique Coke Machine coin uperated botle dispenser with Drinding water dispenser on the side
    MAKE OFFER : (251) 432-8952

  35. Isaac White says:

    Antique Coke Machine coin uperated botle dispenser with Drinking water dispenser on the side
    MAKE OFFER : (251) 432-8952

  36. vladimir gleboff says:

    I have several antiques to sell, such as a 1700´dutch cabinet, a french brass 1870 ceiling lamp, a 1700´handcrafted trunk, etc.
    Photos available.
    I live in Chile, and can send anything all over the world.
    Best regards

    • Chuck says:

      I would try contacting auction houses directly.

  37. Angie says:

    Thank you for writing this article and thanks to everyone that has posted comments. It has been very helpful for someone like myself that is just getting started with antiques. My husband and I recently purchased the inventory of an antique store. I’ve been looking/comparing things online and We have several items that I can not find anything on or if I do it’s not exactly the same as the one we have. For example, I have a Souter Johnny figure with no markings of the maker. It’s different than the ones I see online. Is there a place online that I can send pictures to and they can tell me more about the items? Or does anyone that has posted a comment know anything about Souter Johnny? Thanks for the help.

  38. Melinda Genitempo-Dobbs says:

    I would like to sell an exquisite circa 1950 French settee. Please let me know if anyone is interested.

  39. mk995 says:

    for selling grand piano, in 2017 it will be already 200 years old, Ivory keyboard, gold and silver strings,three countries’ joint work, not repaired in very good condition.

  40. Janet Oxford says:

    Are you familiar with Mercari?

  41. Arvin says:

    Halo there, I just want to ask you something about antique stuff, In Indonesia we said that staff samurai roll, are you know about that?….I’m interested about history from that antique sword….I hope you can give me information….thanx

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