Thursday, July 14, 2011

Using Craigslist – Hasn’t Work For Me, Advice Please :)

I have now tried to sell a couple of antique 1930’s radio’s that I have in my collection. We would like to pay down or pay off some debts, plus the RV needs new rear tires, shocks and if possible the Firestone Air-Ride bags for the back axle.

None of this is cheap so I tried to sell a few things on eBay and then Craigslist. I used to always have luck with eBay but not this time and Craigslist just was full of people who wanted the radios for next to nothing.


The 1938 Zenith 12S267 radio console on the left is worth north of $3,500.00 in its current condition and I have seen them go for over $5,000 as well.  I tried to sell it for $2,200 or best offer, the insult emails were many, the realistic offers were nada. The 1938 Zenith 12S267 radio console on the right is worth over $2,500.00 and there were no responses to it either. These are VERY rare consoles and nobody on the planet has 2 of them.

5 years ago these would have sold for more than the prices given here easily, now with the economy the way it is, people want them, but they don’t want to pay for them. The highest offer I received for either was $250.00, honestly, the large tuning knob set in the middle of the radio is worth that price by themselves.

I realize in order to sell them I either need to wait for the market to come back or drastically reduce the price so maybe I’m answering my own question here. I have a lot of 1930’s radios to sell but it seems that not only are houses not selling for nearly what they’re worth, either are items like this.

Am I wrong, am I going about it the wrong way? Any advice would be appreciated.


Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Erik's RV Blog said...


I doubt you're serious considering how you write but if you want, add $3,450 to that number for the first one and it's all yours. ;)

Teri said...

Sometimes Antique magazines available at antique stores or maybe online have ads for people looking for a particular item. You need to find a collector with money that wants that particular radio. Or contact one of those cable TV shows that go out searching to buy stuff.

Sue and Doug said...

most people that use craig's list are looking for a screaming deal..sounds like the radios are not worthy of the 'craig's list dealhunters'...maybe try a pawn or antique shop?
and as for anon?..he needs to get a grip!

Wanderin' said...

The problem with people like anonymous is that there are just too many like them. He doesn't sound super smart either.

I agree that people on Craigslist are looking for a real deal. We've sold a lot on it but only when we were absolutely ready to almost give it away. It's just one step above garage sale.

You might be able to get a little more from a good antique dealer but not near what it's worth since they need to make a good profit too. Unique items are the hardest to sell. There are antique malls around that offer consignment. That's another thought.

Keep us posted and let us know if you finally find a new home for them. Good luck!

Erik's RV Blog said...

Teri - Good points, I have checked out antique stores and even forums designed for these kinds of things and have gotten nowhere. It's like the market is gone for now, people just don't have the disposable income.

Sue and Doug - you're absolutely correct. Radios like these are not something typically sold on Craigslist but I have tried other avenues and I'm not getting anywhere. I have even tried folks I know who would give their left arm for these rare beasts and they just don't have the money, even if I knocked the price down 50% they couldn't do it right now.

Wanderin' - most of the people who contacted me on my ads were like the anonymous but I keep hoping they're the minority but it seems I might be wrong.

I guess for now I'll just have to hold onto them and pray the market improves soon.

I am going to try a garage sale soon and I'll advertise it in the antique radio forums and we'll see if that goes anywhere.

Thanks for the responses folks!

Diana said...

I know nothing!! Nothing I tell you!!
Nothing about Craigslist.
How about an auction house? That is if you live near a big city which I think you do. Now I don't know much about them either but they might be able to hook you up with some possible, interested buyers.
Good Luck Erik. Tires are expensive!!
Love Di ♥

Merikay said...

Set up your own web site. Maybe someone who is interested will find you on Google. Have patience and try to contact as many radio enthusiast clubs as you can find.

Have patience.

Advertise in antique magazines.

Try to get a columnist from a newspaper to write an article about them.

Have patience.

Ignore Anonymous.

Erik's RV Blog said...

Diana and Merikay - Great ideas, I'll check into them and see what comes up. I have contacted the clubs, a few of which I belong to and everybody was interested but none can afford it right now. :(

It's hard to feel sorry for myself, I spent decades wondering how I would ever be able to afford these very radios!

When people walk in the door they always ask what the heck they are and when they hear them, they're blown away! Who ever thought AM could sound so good!

DeanO said...

It's a tough market Erick - You're selling a luxury which will add to your difficulty of selling. Personally, I'd look for a quality antique store that would sell them on consignment.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Janie said...

My great grandmother had a radio like that. Boy that brings back memories...

I think people look for bargains on Craig's list. I also think a lot of Craig's list patrons, are trying to get something for nothing..And they WILL try to talk you down. A real collector would know the worth of it, and depending on if they are honest, may or may not try to tell you it isn't worth all that much..don't believe them.

Have you tried Ebay? I think you might get a better class of people there (ones looking for antiques, rather then bargains...) isn't always about auctions either. You can set your price and if it isn't met within a certain period, you don't have to sell. Who knows, you might even get a price war out of it if more then one is really interested.

Erik's RV Blog said...

DeanO - I have contacted a few and the percentage they want is crazy. I did get an offer to "rent" one for a window display but the sun would ruin it. I bet the display would be excellent though!

Anonymous - If I were rich I wouldn't be selling these radios and I wouldn't have a 12 year old RV payment. But then again it's perspective I suppose, some can't afford any RV. If you can buy these radios for $250 anywhere then feel free to do so, why stop here and be such an obvious jerk? Does it make you feel better or something? If so, you need to get out more.

Janie - I tried eBay first, you get the same people there "how much to end the auction early? will you take $500.00?"

The sad truth is right now they aren't worth what they were when I restored them and people are chomping at the bit hoping to get them for next to nothing.

It's a buyers market for sure. I'm going to contact a few more places but I think I'm going to end up sitting on them.

john said...

Erik I have sold many things on Craigslist, small items, like fishing equipment etc.. Even for items like these I always meet them across from the police station, !!! Never at my home !!!
I hate to judge anyone but that is the way the world is today, If you had anyone come to look at them, The first think I would do is take out insurance on them...
I wish you luck selling them, and hope you receive your asking price...

Sara said...

Hey about deleting the comments from Anonymous and not giving him him the time of day?

Big Matt said...

Still waiting on that PowerBall/MegaMillions win so I can buy it off ya man, I really love the old Zenith radios :). Missed my opportunity on a similar looking 1938 Philco radio that was still running like a champ, just needed the cabinet refinished.

Margie and Roger said...

Probably consignment in an antique store is your best bet. However, that still takes time. We were given a radio (similar in shape and size) from a family member after a death in the family. We gave it to our son (we are full-timers) and the kids pulled the knobs off it and last visit I noticed it was sitting out in the garage. We should have sold it.

Erik's RV Blog said...

Sara - Excellent point! Deleted, not sure why I didn't think of that.

Matt - I love these old radios, if I could I'd never sell them. Considering the market I may have no choice.

Margie - I called a few shops and the money they want for consignment is crazy. Two of them have similar models that have sat there for 2 or more years, not a good sign.