Do a quick search online for swords and you’ll find thousands of websites, with pictures and descriptions of various swords. It’s easy to look at the high prices swords are fetching online and think about selling the same products yourself. What you might not realise is the research and time that goes into describing each sword and the time spent advertising those pieces. Even if you sell newer or reproduction swords, you’ll still want to learn more about how the process works.
Pick a place to sell your swords. Many sellers make a profit by offering their swords for sale online through classified ads and auctions, while others prefer selling at a flea market or a store in their area. Offer a clear description of the sword, including whether it's a reproduction or a historical sword.
Find sellers offering swords cheap or wholesalers who specialise in swords. Newer or reproduction swords fall into different categories, including novelty swords and swords based on ones used in movies and on television shows. You may find it helpful to offer a wide range of swords, including new and older or antique ones. The Swordcollector Homepage (angelfire.com/wa/swordcollector) is a good place to start, as the site provides classified ads and links to dealers offering swords for sale.
Research the history of any older or antique swords to determine the type and age of the sword. Certain swords are worth more than others, including those used by the military. Swords that are more rare, such as a ceremonial sword, also fetch a higher price on the secondary market. James Henderson's "Sword Collecting for Amateurs" provides some photos and information on various types of swords. Check with the Internet Sword Collectors Association (internetsword.com) for more books on specific types of swords, including price guides.
Check into the laws of your area that pertain to selling swords. The United Kingdom passed legislation in 2008 that banned the sale of samurai swords, while various states in the United States have laws in place forbidding the sale of sword canes, which allow for hiding a sword inside. If selling through an online auction, read the rules of the website, as well. Check KnifeLawsOnline.com for more information about laws in particular states.
Look for shipping boxes that fit the swords properly and also use bubble wrap and packing peanuts when shipping to out-of-town or out-of-state customers. The boxes should be long, with a small circumference. Both Federal Express and the U.S. Post Office have these boxes available. Wrap the outside of the sword carefully in bubble wrap, slide it into the box, and then fill the box with the packing peanuts.
- Portsmouth City Council: Selling Knives--The Facts
- "Sword Collecting for Amateurs"; James Henderson; 1969