How to sell vintage tablecloths

Written by susan ward
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Vintage tablecloths are old enough to be interesting and collectable but not yet 100 years old, which qualifies them as antiques. Included in this definition are tablecloths from the early to mid-20th century. They might be quietly decorated with a tiny, white, lace border, or boldly bright with colourful cross-stitch designs. To collect and sell vintage or antique tablecloths, you must clean, identify, price and market them.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Vintage tablecloths
  • Mild soap and water
  • Iron

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  1. 1

    Wash textiles gently using a mild soap. Hand washing is preferable to machine washing.

  2. 2

    Rinse an extra time to remove all soap residue.

  3. 3

    Air-dry your vintage tablecloths.

  4. 4

    Iron your vintage or antique tablecloths using the coolest temperature on your iron that will smooth the wrinkles.

  1. 1

    Look carefully at each of your vintage tablecloths. Note the basic type of fabric. Additionally, observe the colours, design motifs and decorative edges.

  2. 2

    Use books and websites to compare your vintage textiles to items already on sale. You may not find pieces that are identical, but look for as many similarities in one piece as you can find.

  3. 3

    Visit antique stores and flea markets to compare prices.

  1. 1

    Price your vintage tablecloths according to the prices you found.

  2. 2

    Consider condition when pricing. For example, if your tablecloth is in pristine condition, price it higher than a similar tablecloth you found in an antiques price guide.

  3. 3

    Think about provenance when determining your prices. For example, if your tablecloth has an interesting, documented history proving that it was used by the mayor of your town, the value increases.

  1. 1

    Decide where you want to sell your antique tablecloths among several options. At an antique mall, you rent space and pay a percentage of your sales in return for the mall providing sales staff that covers your booth. An online antique, collectable or textile mall provides you with an online storefront. A local antique dealer may be interested in purchasing your vintage tablecloths; you will make less money but will not need to spend time and money for shipping.

  2. 2

    Consider the cost, convenience and time involved for each sales option. Ask yourself if you are doing this to make money, to get rid of things you do not want or for the experience.

  3. 3

    Provide excellent customer service. If you sell online, be prompt with putting your tablecloths in the mail. If you sell at an antique mall, keep your booth clean and fresh looking.

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