When the postcard was created in the mid-1800s, it represented one of the first pillars of international tourism.
The industry blossomed in the late 19th to early 20th centuries as a popular way to communicate worldwide, visually sharing memories and sentiments.
Although the practice of sending postcards has gone down, people still purchase them as souvenirs or as a way to connect with loved ones while abroad.
Postcard collecting is still very popular, and some old postcards are incredibly valuable depending on the subject, condition, age, and rarity.
So, if you’re wondering where to sell old postcards to make some extra money, you’re in luck.
This post is covering some of the best places to sell postcards so you can turn your collection into cash.
What Are The Most Valuable Types Of Postcards?
Popular vintage postcards cover a wide variety of subjects.
Typically, vintage postcards that are worth more feature historical images like streets in small towns, train stations, or even disaster scenes.
Other popular subjects include:
- Historic events
- Sports (especially baseball)
- Transportation (especially trains and ships)
- Streets, amusement parks, hotels
- Gas stations, diners, storefronts, casinos, tattoo parlors
A real photo postcard is a postcard featuring a photographic image with a continuous tone printed on postcard stock. They’re made by developing a negative onto photo paper with a pre-printed postcard backing.
The father of this invention is George Eastman of Kodak Co.
Eastman saw an opportunity in the picture-postcard fad and in 1902 he released a line of postcard-sized photographic paper on which you could directly print black-and-white pictures easily.
These have become some of the most valuable vintage postcards as they’re rare and don’t have the printed dot pattern.
These postcards were produced in small batches from an original negative by an individual or local store, making them extremely authentic and unique.
Collectors can also verify authenticity by looking for watermarks from the most popular photographic paper used at the time (such as VELOX, SOLIO, CYKO, AZO, and ARGO).
Now that you know how to determine how rare and valuable your antique postcards are, it’s time to decide where to sell old postcards.
Whether you want to sell your old postcards online or instore, there are plenty of options for this side hustle.
Keep reading as we breakdown the best options for selling old postcards.
Where To Sell Postcards (Online Options)
If you’re trying to make money online, you actually have plenty of options.
There are so many online retailers that let you sell your old, vintage, and antique postcards, all from the comfort of your own home.
1. Sell Old Postcards
Sell Old Postcards is one of the best places to sell your pre-1945 postcard collections if you want to keep things simple.
This postcard buyer has over 30 years of experience, and it’s also run by the 2nd Markets Corporation of Tennessee, a full-time business and A+ rated member of the Better Business Bureau.
To sell your postcards, all you have to do is contact them through their easy online form and describe to them what you have to sell.
Sell Old Postcards is mainly interested in purchasing larger collections and rarely buy small lots unless they’re high-quality real photo postcards.
In the Trash or Treasure section of its website, there are lists describing exactly what Sell Old Postcards is and isn’t looking to buy.
The website also includes a pricing guide which can be helpful for those looking to get an idea of what their postcard collection might be worth.
According to its pricing guide, a pre-1920 American baseball real photo postcard can go for hundreds or thousands of dollars.
Sell Old Postcard also states that a rare Babe Ruth photo postcard from 1920 was sold for $60,000 USD.
Just keep in mind: the range in pricing is very wide and knowing the difference between a $1 postcard and a $1000+ postcard requires an expert.
And, one benefit to selling on eBay is the wide audience that the platform brings in.
eBay has millions of active buyers from around the world. And, when you post a listing, the website gives you the option of listing as an auction or at a fixed price.
The auction feature on eBay is especially good for items that are collectible and rare as collectors are likely to bid higher prices for them.
Auctioning postcards also removes the burden of coming up with your selling price and allows the market to determine the value, so all you have to do is set the starting price.
Selling old postcards on eBay does mean you have to do the listing and selling work yourself.
This includes photographing and listing the postcards, as well as corresponding with the buyer after the sale is made and packaging it to be mailed.
Listing on eBay is also free, although you usually pay around 12.55% in selling fees for most categories.
Cardcow buys hundreds of thousands of vintage postcards annually, making it one of the largest online dealers for the hobby.
It’s also an excellent option to sell old postcards for money because it lets you exchange your postcards for cash, sell your collection on the site, or auction it for low consignment fees.
Plus, Cardcow usually offers basic appraisals of postcard collections that are free of charge. For insurance purposes, they also offer detailed official written appraisals for a fee.
Cardcow accepts 10 main categories of postcards and dozens of others like:
- U.S. states and towns
- Amusement parks
- Flowers and plants
You can also sell old postcards under 90 other topics as well, so this is a great option for selling a collection with a lot of variety.
4. Cherryland Postcard Auctions
Another reputable option for selling old postcards is to use Cherryland Postcard Auctions.
Cherryland Auctions has been in the business of selling postcards for over 36 years, so it’s definitely an established website.
Plus, you have two options for selling your postcards: selling at an auction or selling your postcards outright to receive immediate payment.
Additionally, you can call or fill out a form outlining what kind of postcards you have in your collection before sending them to Cherryland Postcard Auctions to get a rough quote on what your collection is worth.
Overall, selling your postcards at auction is a hassle-free way to receive a fair price for your antique postcards.
Cherryland Postcards does all the work for you, including lotting, pricing, and descriptions. This means all you have to do is ship the postcards or have your collection picked up.
And, you also get special treatment for valuable old postcards.
If a postcard is worth more than $15, it’s individually photographed and has a description written by an expert.
From there, the rare postcard appears in the Cherryland Auctions catalog so it’s featured on the website. Cards that are worth less than $15 are placed in groups and sold at auction.
In any case, you can also accept Cherryland’s upfront price if you just want to get your money quickly and don’t have time to wait for auctions.
If you choose instant payments, Cherryland pays you with PayPal money or check. Just note that Cherryland charges you for the return shipping fee if you decline the offer in the end.
When it comes to selling stuff online, Mercari is one of the most popular selling platforms around.
This easy-to-use selling app lets you list almost anything for free to sell to buyers from around the world.
Examples of popular things to sell on Mercari include:
- Video games
However, you can still sell vintage postcards and more modern ones on Mercari.
A simple search for postcards on Mercari brings up over 1,000 listings, with many postcards selling for between $9 and $30.
Overall, the process is similar to selling on eBay. However, Mercari only charges you a 10% fee on final sales, so it’s slightly better in terms of fees than eBay.
6. Regency Antique Books
Another way to sell postcards for money online is to sell through Regency Antique.
Regency Antique is another vintage postcard consignment website that is primarily interested in pre-1930s, real photo postcards.
The company also has an interest in Halloween-themed postcards as well as rare, unusual, and historical postcards. You can find a detailed list of all of their most wanted postcard subjects on their website.
To sell your postcards, you just fill out an online form on its website to provide details about your collection.
If Regency Antique Books wants to buy your postcards, it makes you an offer and you can accept it to get paid through PayPal.
If you’re feeling more creative, you can always try selling postcards on Etsy by creating your own Etsy shop.
There are so many Etsy shops selling postcards, and it’s actually a very lucrative niche because these custom postcards often have a high price-point.
For example, lots of Etsy postcards sell for between $5 to $20 depending on how much custom work went into the cards.
But, you don’t even have to create postcards yourself to start your own Etsy shop.
Printify lets you upload your designs to 100+ products, including postcards. You can then list these products on your Etsy shop with just a few clicks.
Then, when you make a sale, Printify handles all the manufacturing and shipping, so you can focus on your shop and don’t have to worry about logistics.
Printify is just one of many Etsy POD integrations, but it’s our favorite because of the product catalog and ease-of-use.
Overall, selling postcards on Etsy takes more upfront work than other methods because you have to start and grow your own online store.
However, if you want to develop a new passive income stream and establish a brand, Etsy selling is definitely for you.
Where To Sell Postcards For Cash (In Person)
If you don’t want to deal with packing and shipping your postcards or want to be paid faster for your collections, there are plenty of brick and mortar retailers who buy old postcards.
Here’s a list of places to sell old postcards for cash you can try.
8. Flea Markets
It doesn’t matter if you’re selling sports cards, vintage post cards, or some other sort of niche collectible; flea markets are always a viable option.
Vintage markets are a popular place for postcard dealers and collectors. And, although you have to pay for a table as a vendor, it could be worth it if you’re selling a lot of postcards.
Just note that flea markets don’t guarantee sales, which is why this upfront table rental fee is a small risk.
However, if you can sell postcards at a very popular flea market and find some fellow collectors or history buffs, you might be able to sell your collection very quickly.
9. Auction Houses
If you like eBay’s auction model for selling old postcards, using an auction house could be an exciting way to sell your antique postcards.
Cosigning at an auction house provides your cards a high level of exposure to specialist collectors whether they’re bidders in person, over the phone, or online.
Auction houses often help you manage your collection in terms of which cards should be auctioned individually and which ones should sell as a collection.
Some auction houses charge a seller’s fee, so always do your research.
If you feel uncertain about the auction room and would prefer to sell outright, an auction house can take a look at your collection and make an offer based on the current market value.
This is also a way to dodge the fees associated with the auction house as your sale isn’t subject to commission.
10. Antique Stores
Your nearby antique store may sell vintage postcards and also want to buy vintage postcards to expand its inventory.
This is a good option if you just want to get rid of your collection quickly.
Simply call your local antique store and ask if they sell postcards. If they do, they may make a deal with you to sell your postcards and keep a percentage of the profits.
11. Facebook Marketplace
While it might surprise you, there are so many things you can sell on Facebook’s Marketplace, including new and vintage postcards.
A quick search in my area brings up lots of postcard collections selling for anywhere from $5 to $30+ depending on how many postcards are in the collection.
When selling on Facebook’s Marketplace, you usually negotiate with buyers and then agree to meet somewhere for an in-person cash sale.
This means Facebook selling takes a bit more upfront and dealing with customers. However, it helps you find buyers more quickly so you can sell your collection and get some cash.
Just be prepared for some lowball offers since this is the main downside of selling stuff on the Facebook marketplace.
Tips For Selling Old Postcards
Now that you know how to sell postcards to make some extra cash, here are a few selling tips you should keep in mind to make the process as simple as possible.
- Do Your Research: Do some preliminary research so you have a rough idea of how valuable your postcards are before you try to sell them so you don’t get ripped off.
- Value Your Time: Some ways to sell old postcards involve negotiating with buyers or auction houses. These methods often pay the most but require more time. In contrast, you can try selling your postcards in bulk or as a collection on marketplaces like eBay if you just want to get them off your hands.
- Have Realistic Expectations: Most postcards aren’t worth much, even if they’re old. So again, do your research and have some realistic expectations for how much your collection can sell for.
Extra Reading – How To Flip $1,000 Dollars.
At the end of the day, how you sell your vintage postcards is totally up to you.
If you’re looking for an easy way to quickly get them off your hands then selling them outright might be best for you, whether you prefer online, at an auction house, or antique store.
Depending on where you live, selling online may be easiest.
Plus you have access to more retailers and antique postcards experts on the web, so it might be the best way to track down the perfect buyers for your collection.
If you’re more passionate about antique postcards you may enjoy getting into an auction house or a flea market yourself.
This gives you the opportunity to mingle with like-minded people, sell some postcards, and maybe even add some to your collection from other vendors.
Finally, if you’re feeling more entrepreneurial, you can always try Etsy selling and start your own postcard business!
No matter which approach you take, if you have quality vintage postcards, you can likely find a buyer to make some extra money!
Looking for other money-making ideas? Checkout:
- The Best Places To Sell Board Games For Cash.
- How To Sell Disney VHS Tapes.
- The Best Places To Sell Old Stamps.
Selena Fulham knows how valuable having a side hustle can be. She’s a freelance content writer with a focus on SaaS, B2B technology, social media, and the art of making money online. Currently based in Montreal, Quebec, Selena can usually be found either drinking coffee, hiking up a mountain, or snowboarding down it.