How to Sell Vintage Items for Use as Home Decor

You may well have something stuffed away in your garage, basement or under your bed that’s worth good money as someone else’s home decor. If not on your turf, there are probably multiple items at your parents’ or grandparents’ house.

Spend a few minutes on HGTV or Pinterest and you’ll see that old is in. Wooden tennis rackets, metal fans, Mason jars of marbles, Viewmasters and plank-doors-turned-tables adorn gorgeous homes and hip restaurants.

Thousands of interior decorators buy these things on home decor sites such as Chairish.com or AptDeco.com as well as eBay. Architectural salvage stores are also a big source. Individuals can sell one or hundreds of items on these sites. Local salvage stores are always buying in person as well.

How Much Can You Get Selling Old Stuff for Vintage Home Decor?

Based on interviews with salvage sellers and online home decor sites, here’s what you might fetch for some of your old “junk.”

  • Avocado green 1960s Corningware: $75 apiece
  • Wooden ladder: $20 to $40
  • 1980s push-button phone: $50
  • Metal galvanized washtub: $20
  • 1970s wooden tennis racket: $60
  • Wooden crates: $5 to $50
  • 1970s Smith Corona electric typewriter: $250
  • Two feet of green plank fencing: $10
  • Seven vintage books in the same hue: $100

Decor opens up new opportunities to sell things you think nobody wants. A slightly rusted outboard motor isn’t going to sell at a marina, but a salvage store owner with interior decorators as customers wants it. The motor will sell because of its look mounted on the wall of a beach house, not to power a boat.

Another example: Designers and decorators care more about color than content. A copy of “Reader’s Digest Condensed Books” goes for about $6 on Abebooks.coma leading seller of used books. But a group of seven vintage books, including several copies of “Reader’s Digest Condensed Books” in an array of shades of blue, sells for more than $125 on Chairish.com.

Vintage Decor Is in…



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