Has The Market for Postcards Tanked? - Antiques with Gary Stover

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How to Sell a Postcard Collection

Picture postcards are a specific mail item with an image on one side and a space for an address and a message on the reverse. Postcards have been sent via the postal service since 1840 and are often collected as souvenirs, family mementos or historical records. Postcards are sold regularly in vintage markets and online; the market is "soft" which means that there are usually more sellers than buyers. Although high prices are rare, a postcard collection can be sold to willing collectors by learning about the market. Postcards vary based on subject matter, physical condition and rarity. Read further to find out how to sell a postcard collection.


  1. Place your postcards in plastic sleeves, if they are not kept in them already.If you have just bought or inherited a postcard collection and you don't know its worth, you want to keep them protected in the meantime. Avoid rubber bands, paper clips or string.
  2. Invest in a postcard collecting book, and learn the market.J.L. Mashburn publishes new editions of "The Postcard Price Guide" regularly. He also publishes guides for "topicals," or postcards featuring a specific subject, such as sports, Americana, fantasy and more.
  3. Assess the postcard collection.The following things will affect the sale and the marketing of your postcards:
    • If the postcard collection is filled with topicals, it may need to be sold together to get a higher price. This means that the postcard collector is dedicated to 1 kind of card, which may include rare cards. If the collection is region specific, such as the New York skyscrapers, you may want to sell them in or around New York.
    • If any postcards originate before World War II, they will be more valuable. Set those postcards aside from modern versions and sell them individually.
    • If the postcards are in poor condition, but originate after World War II, you will likely want to sell them together, in bulk. Buyers may want them for reuse in art or other projects.
  4. Visit vintage outlets, flea markets and eBay to study the market.Gather information about how much similar postcards are going for on the resale market. In general, you will be offered 10 to 50 percent of this price.
    • Pay attention to the selling prices, rather than the asking prices on sites like eBay. There are usually discrepancies, which can help you calculate a good price.
  5. Create a seller's eBay account to sell your postcards.This is a common way to sell entire collections or individual postcards because it reaches a wide base of customers and it is a fairly secure place to sell. Make sure you enter the photographer, publisher and series number of the postcard if it is listed before posting the card for sale.
    • It is a good idea to pay the extra money to post 2 pictures if you are selling individual postcards. The buyers will want to see the condition of the front and the back. List any messages, stamps or postmarks on the back side of the card. Be honest with the condition, or you may find your postcards returned from the buyer.
    • Place a short description of the image in the title of your auction post. Your post may say "Empire State Building Postcard 1933." This will lead people who invest in topical cards straight to your auction.
  6. Create a seller's account on Etsy.This craft website also boasts a "vintage" section. You can sell a whole postcard collection as vintage ephemera, or specific cards. Some sellers frame vintage postcards and display them as art.
  7. Sell your cards through an auction house.You can either consign your cards to a particular auction house, where they will take a percentage of the profits, or you can sell to them directly. This may be the best option if your collection is worth more than 0.
    • If you consign your cards to an auction house, you will sign an agreement with them, then ship the cards securely. Upon receipt, they will describe the cards and tell you the lot in which they will be auctioned off. They are likely to split the collection into valuable cards to be sold singly and less valuable that will be sold with other cards in bulk. An auction house will often ask for 30 percent of the profits.
    • If you sell your cards to the auction house outright, they will ask you to ship them the cards. They will offer you what they feel is a fair price after perusing the collection. If you accept, you will be paid. If you do not, you will likely be asked to pay for postage.
  8. Create your own website, if you want to deal postcards as a long-term business.Many sellers run low-cost websites that list their postcards in detail. The website should have a contact form and accept payments through PayPal, in order to appear as a trusted seller.
    • When creating your website, pay special attention to meta tags and meta descriptions. A meta tag lists words that people will use to search for postcards. A meta description is what appears when the search results are listed.
  9. Report your earnings from selling postcard collections in your tax return.This is a form of income, and unless you did the transaction in cash, it is already recorded somewhere in your financial data.

Community Q&A

  • Question
    Do we need to pay any fee if we sell our postcard or photograph online, is it also possible to make any profit?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    To calculate any possible profit, you need to be aware that an auction site will take about 10% of whatever price you sell them for. In addition, if you use PayPal to receive payment from your buyers, they will take a further 3.5% of the total transaction when you transfer money to your account.
Unanswered Questions
  • I how can I find the value of my 1912 stamps and post cards?
  • Where is the best place to get an approximate value of this collection?
  • Where can I sell postcards near me?
  • Where do I go to get an appraisal on my postcard and stamp collection
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  • Large cities often hold print and vintage paper fairs. This is a good place to scout prices, sell a large postcard collection at a booth, or scout for potential buyers. Search for a paper fair in your town.
  • Many postcard sales now take place online. If you are not computer literate, you may want to ask someone to post them for sale online for you, in order to get the best price.
  • Try to be fair with pricing your postcard collection. Most postcard collectors are very discerning with their purchases. If you sell the collection in bulk, each postcard may only be worth a few cents.

Video: Selling postcards on ebay - Making money on ebay - Selling vintage postcards

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Date: 09.12.2018, 17:40 / Views: 53465