Has anyone had success selling your parents' stuff on Ebay or Etsy?

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Lots of antique china, crystal, silver, knick knacks and collectibles. Is it worth the effort?

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Sometimes it's hard to determine what's a treasure and what's junk. When we cleaned out my parents house my mother said about everything "just don't throw that out - it's a valuable antique"! After doing online research I found out - not so much. Sites like eBay have created a global market and some "valuable antiques" are a dime a dozen - hardly worth the effort. But on the other hand - my parents had a tray they kept on a table by the door, filled with loose coins and all those keys no one had any idea what they went to. Anyhoo - the tray went on two moves and half a dozen family members vulturing "valuables" before I decided to get rid of it. On a whim I took the coins home and looked them up. Guess what? One coin was worth $1,200! Turns out it's pure gold and from King Edwards coronation. I am keeping the coin - my little secret - as no one else took it after plenty of oppertunity. My reward for taking on trying to determine what all those keys went to! Now - what to do with all the China, silver, and all those Christmas ceramic village houses/pieces my mom gave me for Christmas?!!
TRUE STORY! When we cleaned out my folks' home to prepare them to move to an independent living I came across a shoebox full of unused post cards that Mama had purchased from the early 60's to late 70s....we used to travel from TN to CA every other summer (my father is from Los Angeles). MANY of the post cards were from Disneyland (we went there every trip) - and some of the attractions had closed or been changed long ago.

Long story short - I sold them on ebay for a total of $735. YES - $735 for probably 40 post cards!!! I purchased my folks a big flat screen TV AND paid for several months of cable for them for the new place.

After that unbelievable sale - Dad took me aside and showed me some old framed feather pictures from Mexico. He said "Your brother wants these. Are they worth anything on that computer thing like the post cards?" I told him maybe...he handed them to me....LOLOLOL.

So true about the China, silver and crystal being a lost generation thing. I actually bought fine china when I first married - have used it a couple of times in 25 years. Now I have my mothers as well - beautiful and expensive - a long time ago I broke one of her serving bowls and had to go to one of those pattern finder companies to replace it - $200! But worth it to put an end to moms incessant needling. I'm wondering if companies like that might be an avenue for selling china, anyone try that? The silver? Yea, worth it's weight in - silver.
As far as old china and crystal go, there's a really need place in North Carolina called Replacements where people go to complete sets (or sell them). Probably not highly profitable for my mother, but she might like the idea that someone is particularly looking for her patterns. What one of you said about people not using the fine stuff anymore is so true --- I remember choosing my china, crystal and sterling patterns when I married the first time, and now the kids request things from Bed, Bath and Beyond. Much more practical.
Curiously, it's my now-13-year-old grandson who loves the crystal and stuff. One Christmas a couple of years ago he wanted a set of wine glasses for a present! My almost 27-year-old grandson is also showing signs of interest in things like that since he bought his own home.
There is no general answer to that question. It depends on the pattern and condition. Some patterns sell well. Others you can't give away. You have to look to see if there is a market for the thing that you're selling. In general, ceramics (pottery, porcelain, china) do not sell well, but there are many exceptions. The thing that make heavy things harder to sell now online are the shipping costs, which can be staggering. These that don't sell well online may do better in a yard or estate sale.

Vintage collectibles often sell well. Check out sites such as Ruby Lane or Etsy to see what they are selling and what types of prices are being asked. Small collectibles that are popular and jewelry are so much easier to ship than porcelain or glass. Many things have a good market. But to tell the truth, most things people have is usually "junk." There is so much that was made that it doesn't have any real value.

If you do a lot of research, you may find you have some treasures. I wouldn't bother to put the junk online. People won't buy it. Like I mentioned, it goes much easier in a yard sale.
eBay is great for research, too. My motto for that site is "Give it away on eBay." People there like to get things cheap. I understand that. We all like to get things that way.
I am in the process too! I just found a beautiful portrait of a child done in pastels on the shelf of an attic closet. I know who it is and it was a husband of a distant relative, who as far as I can research has no living relatives.....but I found out he has a locally famous cousin who was a writer. I called my local museum and they were delighted to add it to their local history collection! Made me feel so great to give it to somebody who valued it.

But....I have cabinets filled with Fenton glass....each piece retailed for around $20 in the day, but now worth only $4 to $5 on ebay....so have given away most to relatives and friends who knew Mom. Children of WWII rationing and the depression kept EVERYTHING!

Keep us posted on how you do and keep sharing your ideas please!
JessieBelle - I still have all my sterling and turquoise rings from the 60's and 70"s!
I tried to get estate sale people to come to my parents house and only one was interested, and even after he saw what was available, he said it just wasn't enough to bother with.... [sigh]. They tend to look for very up-scale furniture or antiques, a house full.

So I decided the fastest way to get all this stuff out of my house [my family room and dining room were looking like a flea market] was to donate all the items to various charitable outlets. That way my Dad would have a really nice deduction come income tax time :)

Salvation Army will come this Thursday to get what is left of my parents furniture... if I had known how easy it was to go on-line at the Salvation Army and check off what furniture, etc. and to pick a pickup date, I would have done this months ago [slapping forehead].

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