How to Sell Antique Crystal

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The term “antique crystal” covers a multitude of items, from tiny crystal hair charms to massive 18th-century crystal chandeliers. Antique crystal sales will typically include jewelry, stemware, jars, lamps, table accessories and mantel clocks as well as dozens of other functional and decorative items. Sales tactics and requirements may vary depending on the crystal’s age and value.


Selling antique crystal informally online or at an antique show may require little more than digital photography and a good-faith detailed description of the item. Selling antique crystal to collectors or museums typically requires professional appraisal and item ownership history, called "provenance."

Things You'll Need

  • Antique reference books
  • Sales flyers
  • Price labels
  • Digital photographs
  • Magnifying glass
  • Telephone
  • eBay account
  • Craigslist membership
  • Know exactly what your antique crystal item is and about how old it is before listing it for sale. As you plan your sale, examine books on antiques and crystal at your local library.

  • Browse jewelers and retailers where crystal is sold to learn the special vocabulary and types of crystal. Visit antique malls and dealers who specialize in replacing crystal pieces for collections to get a sense of current market prices.

  • Document the history of your antique crystal as far into the past as possible. Begin with the date that you took ownership of the item, and work backwards chronologically. Don’t simply abandon the effort if you encounter an information gap. Make phone calls and check with family and friends to see if you can uncover more information.

  • Specify the manufacturer of the antique crystal you’re selling, and whether it’s lead crystal or cut crystal. Some antique crystal items still retain their paper tags. Use a magnifying glass to study the bottom rim of the item. That’s where crystal manufacturers often imprinted or etched their signatures.

  • Include details collectors want to know about your antique crystal. These details include country of origin, pattern type, color and whether it’s a rare item.

  • Be specific about the condition of your antique crystal. Note whether it in mint shape or if it show signs of wear, like chips, nicks or cracks. Disclose if it has been repaired or had parts replaced. Be prepared to reduce the price significantly for antique crystal items that are not in mint condition.

  • Shoot multiple photographs from a variety of angles of the antique crystal you’re selling. Include close-up views of the pattern and of any marks or indicators that are unique to the item or manufacturer. Take close-ups of any flaws, nicks, cracks or repairs.

  • Set a price for your antique crystal item. Specify whether the price includes any taxes, fees, postage, packaging or handling costs. If you’re selling at a flea market, antique show or antique mall, be prepared to negotiate price with interested buyers.

  • List your antique crystal item for sale in as many locations as you can. Don’t invest more in sales than your item will bring you at sale. Try selling on eBay, Craigslist or on consignment at a local antique mall. Some antique dealers will allow you to leave flyers advertising your item in their shops in exchange for a small fee or percentage of the sale.

References

  • Photo Credit Hemera Technologies/AbleStock.com/Getty Images
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