Are you interested in selling some of your ephemera? Maybe your collection has become quite large? It might be time to sell some of that ephemera! Being that there is a large number of people that are trying to find ephemera to put in their junk journals, display, and collect, it’s almost a guarantee that you will find buyers.
Now that you’ve spent time looking and collecting vintage ephemera in places high and low you may have built up quite the collection. You might be looking to strike a deal and sell some items! You may have questions along the way, such as how to start, or where to sell.
We will review how to sell ephemera in 4 steps!
How to Sell Ephemera in 4 Steps:
1. Get organized
After years of collecting ephemera, it might be time to declutter. This will give you the opportunity to go through your collection and decide what you will keep and what might be worth selling! You might find this a little difficult to do depending on how big your collection has gotten over time! If you need ideas, check out How to Organize Your Ephemera Collection.
2. Gather information
Once you’ve decided on which items of ephemera you are going to sell, it’s important to gather as much information as possible about each item. If you decide to sell your merchandise online you will want to ensure that your online shoppers have as much information as needed. For example, you will want to mention the dimensions, conditions (including flaws), the history, or the year it was printed. Online shoppers are always skeptical about purchasing merchandise online unless they are guaranteed satisfaction! If a piece of ephemera is an original piece, make sure to mention that in the details! Be honest with your online shoppers! Honesty is the BEST policy and you will reap the benefits of good reviews! And we all know that good reviews lead to more customers!
3. High-quality photos
We’ve all heard that a “picture is worth a thousand words”. This also rings true in the case of selling ephemera. Your high-quality photos will attract more customers if you decide to open a shop online. If your pictures and items appeal aesthetically to your customers, they are more likely to buy! Recently I purchased some cat stamps on Etsy because I thought they were adorable! It’s hard to pass up a purchase when you find it pleasing to the eye!
Be aware of your surroundings and tidy up! It can be easy to overlook the background and surroundings when you are intensely focused on one item (i.e. the item you are trying to photograph). Don’t make the mistake of inadvertently posting a picture with something embarrassing in the background!
Lighting is a key component when trying to take high-quality photos. It can help to produce the desired detail in your photos. If you’re looking to take nice pictures indoors with natural light, make sure to use window light. Since sunlight can only be used from the hours of about 9 am – 2 pm, your time frame is limited. If you aren’t able to snap photos during these times, you can create light with lamps! Techy Jess made a video on how to make your own simple lighting lamps for cheap! You can purchase clamp lamps for pretty cheap online. Check these ones out from Amazon!
If you are experienced in Photoshop, use your skills to remove the background or sharpen the image. Taking a little more time to create high-quality photos will pay off immensely when done right!
If you have access to Photoshop but aren’t quite as experienced as you would like to be, I suggest looking up tutorials on YouTube. YouTube has a ton of free tutorials on how to use Photoshop and is a great way to learn if you are willing to put in the time. Over time, you could be a pro! Thank goodness for those who are willing to share their knowledge! Here is a link if you’re wanting to learn how to remove the background on a photo.
4. Create your shop
There are so many directions you could go when looking to create your shop. Make sure that whichever direction you decide to go is suitable for you and your lifestyle. Maybe you are a stay at home mother and would like the commodity of staying at home to be with the kids. If this is the case, you might want to consider opening up a shop online. On the other hand, maybe you’re the type of person who needs to get out of the house and meet your customers face-to-face! You’ll want to think about the events you will need to attend. Whatever you decide to do, make sure it works for you and your schedule, as attending events can take time and energy.
As mentioned before, you might want to do everything online for ease of access and flexibility. If you decide to create an online shop, don’t forget to use the detailed information you have gathered on each piece of ephemera and take high-quality photos.
As for deciding which platform to use for your shop, truthfully, there are a plethora available for you to use and most of them are free! Here is a list with a few!
Letgo and OfferUp
This would be an easy way to sell your items locally. The only set back is that oftentimes you are at the mercy of the buyer’s schedule and they might not be willing to travel!
Etsy is a really good platform to use, especially if you like to make crafts with your ephemera! Check out TrueNorthByMelinda on Etsy to see the neat products she makes using stamps. Another unique element included on the Etsy website is that they have a vintage tab! This might be a good way to lead your target audience to your shop!
eBay is always a good choice for sellers of all things! When it comes to ephemera there are over ten pages full of items being sold! Why not add your products to the list?
Being interested in ephemera, I’ve noticed that there are a lot of accounts that focus on selling ephemera. Although I have not purchased any ephemera from an Instagram account, I have been lead to Etsy shops through them! You can use Instagram as a link to your Etsy account!
The benefits of having a pop-up shop include being able to answer your customers’ questions right then and there while they are shopping! This can turn out to be quite successful! According to Storefront Magazine,
“About 95% of all purchases are still completed offline. This is your opportunity to take advantage of this retail channel” (Retrieved from https://www.thestorefront.com/mag/what-exactly-is-a-pop-up-shop/)
If you are considering this route be aware that making it to events requires a lot of time and energy. When I say time, I’m not only referring to long hours of sitting through an event while customers come and go, but also travel time. You will have to look into where each event is and make sure you have reliable transportation for your pop-up shop!
There are ephemera events all over! These can be ideal events to sell your ephemera, but you must be on the lookout. In fact, our friends were able to attend one recently! Find out how our friends found an ephemera event right in their city! Get the inside scoop on how to prepare and what to expect!
Other events and locations
You might be able to introduce the idea of ephemera and your products at an event that has nothing to do with old printed paper! You could try flea markets, book fairs, or trade shows. This might be a good way to get other crowds interested in what ephemera has to offer. I came across a website that shows you locations available for you to set up shop! Visit Storefront to find an available pop-up shop location today!
Did you find this information helpful or do have any other ideas or questions? Comment below! Your adventure awaits! Good luck! Let us know of any other tips on selling ephemera!