Don't Sell Grandma's Jewelry at a Yard Sale...Get More Money


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Have some vintage jewelry? There are several ways you can sell collectible or vintage costume jewelry. How much your vintage jewelry is worth depends on several things. First and foremost, you need to know what you have and the condition it is in. Refer to our first article for helpful tips on old jewelry research. You may consider taking your jewelry to a dealer. If so, first you need to find a dealer, preferably one with experience in old jewelry. Look in your local phone book and get on the phone. Investing time by calling ahead and talking to them will give some idea on who you are dealing with and how comfortable you will be. Don't expect appraisals over the phone, a dealer usually needs to see and touch it. Here are some other things you should know about dealers:


When taking your jewelry to a local dealer, keep in mind there are important considerations about dealers:

1. Be respectful of their time and knowledge.

If you are only interested in information and not planning on selling your vintage jewelry, tell them upfront (ideally on the phone). Offer to pay them for an hour of their time. Some will politely refuse compensation, others will charge you a nominal fee. It depends on the individual. Remember, they have most likely spent years collecting knowledge and expertise. And sadly, too many people expect them to “share" that information openly. Good manners and building relationships will reap far more rewards for you in the long run!

2. Dealers seldom pay more than 30% of market value.

An honest dealer is going to give you a fair appraisal, they are not trying to take advantage of you. Remember, not only do they have business costs but they are taking risks too. It may not sell right away, it may not sell for a long time. It may not sell at all. They are often more willing to give you more if they think it will sell quickly. Retail must “turn" their inventory within certain amounts of time to stay profitable. Consider you own expectations. Know who you are dealing with and the reputation of their shop; if you can't agree on a price, don't sell your vintage jewelry or ask about consignment options. Consignment can be a “win-win" arrangement for all. The dealer limits their risks and you get closer to the price you want.

3. Take notes.

Even if you only bring in one piece of jewelry, you are probably not going to remember everything you learn. It's ok to jot down information and ask questions.

4. Have fun!

Researching old vintage jewelry can be fascinating! You never know what you may find out and it's quite possible you just may be hooked for life!

This is second in a four part series entitled “Don't Sell Grandma's Vintage Jewelry at a Yard Sale". All copyrights are owned by Junky Jewelry at


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