We’re all familiar with the saying, “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.” When it comes to selling your old military “junk”, there are many collectors willing to pay top dollar to take that military memorabilia off your hands. The key to getting the best price for your militaria is to know what you have and where to sell it.
Selling on eBay
This DIY, online auction site has been around since 1995 helping people sell their items to the highest bidder from the comfort of their home. Anyone can sign up for an account but selling your military memorabilia does require some know-how.
Because buyers can’t see the item in person, your listing descriptions will need to be as detailed as possible. This means you’ll need to write a description of each item, with as much information on the item as possible.
Include what it is, where it was used and any other cool facts that might attract a buyer. Multiple, clear photos of the item, from different angles, are also a must to garner interest in your auction.
Knowing what category to place your item in is also important. eBay sells millions of items a day and your potential buyers will need to search for, and find, your listings easily. Be descriptive with your listing titles. Searching for similar items, and noting which category they are included in, is a wise move.
You’ll also need to be prepared to answer questions from interested parties who want more information before placing a bid. Don’t forget to set a reserve price for your auction so you don’t end up parting with your treasure for pennies.
Military Collector Websites
The Internet offers several websites specializing in buying and selling old militaria. Typically, someone interested in selling items would contact the online business via phone or email to discuss the items they’re selling. Sending in photos, along with details on the item, helps to better appraise your stuff.
From there, depending on the company, you may have the choice to either sell directly to them for an agreed-upon price, let them sell it via consignment and take a commission, or list them on eBay on your behalf for a fee. The advantage of going with a company like this is you are more likely to be dealing with a person who is an expert in military memorabilia and will know your item’s history, along with its worth.
If an easy sale is what you’re after, selling direct is probably your best bet. Just be sure to do some research and choose a dealer with a good reputation so you know you’re getting a fair offer. Going the eBay or consignment route might get you more exposure for your sale. It also allows you to piggyback off the company’s good reputation, which will likely mean a higher selling price from their regular customers.
Unless you’re well versed in military memorabilia, it can be easy to get taken advantage of. Letting an experienced company sell your items at auction is a hassle-free way to sell, especially if you have a large collection to unload.
Look for a reputable appraiser who knows the history and value of your militaria. If they are close enough to travel to, you can go that route, but many will have you ship the items to them if attending in person is not an option.
Having a professional handle the sale means you don’t have to worry about the details. Their experience will guide what they sell and when, knowing if an item is best offered as a stand alone or as a collection with other pieces. If you have many items to sell, it may take more than one auction to find the right buyer for each item but your patience will be rewarded as you’ll likely see a better return on high-value pieces.
Regardless of which route you take, selling your old military junk can be a very rewarding experience. In the end, you should let your knowledge of the items, and your comfort level with selling on your own, guide you.
Doing some research beforehand, either on your own or via a reputable appraiser, will help you get top dollar for your items. Whether your items have historical value, or are just some cool military gear, there’s probably someone out there who would love to own it and pay you for the privilege.