How to sell war medals – a guide

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If you’ve inherited some war medals, are decluttering or decided to finally do something about the medals you’ve been meaning to sell, it can be very tough to know exactly what to do. Once you’ve decided that it makes sense to sell them – and that you are legally allowed to – then you will probably have some questions, like: “Where can I sell military medals?”, “What types of medals can I sell?” or “what is the process of selling medals?”.

Our guide is designed to answer some of the questions you have about how to sell medals and explores the various options available to you.

Selling Medals Online

Selling medals online - Vintage Cash Cow

Can You Sell Military Medals on eBay?

The short answer is “yes” – but there are pros and cons to selling on eBay.

There are a few different places you can sell medals online. Not all of them are free and some ways of selling will take longer than others. There’s no denying that selling medals on eBay is one of the most popular ways.

If you are selling your medals on eBay it’s important that you have a good understanding of what your medals are. You’ll also need to read eBay’s extensive terms and conditions.

There are many types of medal you can sell on eBay but some are prohibited. For instance, you can’t sell Purple Heart Medals on eBay.

There’s also a long list of Nazi medals and memorabilia that you can’t sell.

Collectors will often trawl eBay looking for a bargain. If you aren’t sure what you’re selling, you could easily end up getting less money than your medal is worth.

Remember there may also be fees for listing and selling your items. Make sure you do plenty of research before you decide to sell in this way. eBay allows you to sell up to 1,000 items a month with no listing fee, but they take 10% of the final sale price, capped at £250.

eBay isn’t the only online auction platform, but similar rules apply. Always read the terms and conditions and research any associated fees.

How to Sell War Medals in Person

Some people still prefer to do their business face-to-face, and there are ways to sell military medals in person. The main ones are discussed below.

Selling war medals at auction (Intermediate)

How to sell war medals - Vintage Cash Cow

If you’re wondering where to sell medals in person, an auction is one such option. Most experts would advise you not to sell medals at auction unless you have a large collection or you know your medals are very valuable. Remember, it can take a long time to go through an auction, so this isn’t the best method if you are hoping for a quick sale.

If you’ve sold through an auction house before, you’ll have a good understanding of how it works and what to look out for, but if you are new to the auction scene it can be a bit confusing.

Generally, you’ll want to get your medals valued first. This will give you a good idea of what the starting price should be at auction. Getting your medals valued may come with a cost. Prices vary for different types of valuation and across different types of companies. You would expect to pay for an insurance, probate or family division valuation. Sale valuations are usually free. In rare instances, like at auction houses, you may be charged for them.

If you’re new to auctions, spend some time researching what to expect. Different auction houses have different rules and services. Some don’t offer valuations. Some don’t offer specialist auctions. Always do your homework to get the best price for your medals.

Selling war medals to a medal dealer (Intermediate)

There are many medal dealers who advertise online. Usually, they buy and sell medals. If you are a collector, these can be great places to pick up new pieces for your collection. While this is one of the easier ways to sell, you’ll still need to do some leg work to make sure you’re getting the best price. Here’s a quick checklist of things you should look out for:

  • Postage – if you are selling to someone online, how will you get your medals to them? Will you be expected to pay for postage and returns or are these free?
  • Insurance – if you have a lot of medals you may want to make sure they’re covered by postal insurance – which some companies offer for free. In cases where free postal insurance isn’t offered, you may want to pay for some of your own.
  • Obligation – check if you have an obligation to sell. On some sites, you can enter details for your medal and get a price before sending it off. With some of these sites, you will be expected to sell the medal on its arrival. With systems like this, the price you’re given online may be different to the price you end up being paid. Once the buyer sees the medal, they may notice issues with its quality and reduce the price they’ll pay.
  • Payment – make sure you know how you’ll get paid for the sale. Some companies only deal with cheques. This means you’ll have to wait a few days for the cheque to arrive and a few more days for it to clear. Other companies pay out via PayPal or directly to your bank account. Either way, make sure you know how you’ll be paid and when.
  • Credentials – does the company you are selling to have good credentials? How long have they been trading? Are they a medal specialist? Do they have useful information on their website? If you choose to sell to Vintage Cash Cow, you can rest assured of the years of experience our medal specialists offer, and our trustworthy and secure, with strict protocols protecting your stuff. Don’t take our word for it, find out what people are saying about us on Trustpilot.
  • Reviews – finally, check the reviews for that company. If there are any problems with payments or processes these will be mentioned in the reviews. Make sure the reviews are on a genuine review site so you know they are independent and unbiased. Once you’ve done all the necessary research, you should be able to identify a great medal collector and get the best possible price for your medals. Many people end up not selling their medals because the process is too lengthy, expensive and complicated. This is one of the reasons we started Vintage Cash Cow.

Selling war medals to Vintage Cash Cow (the easy way!)

We created Vintage Cash Cow to give people a fast, free and easy way to sell old trophies and medals. We buy all sorts of fascinating old things from people all over the UK. At Vintage Cash Cow, our expert appraisers have years and years of experience with vintage and antique items – we even have a dedicated medal and militaria specialist called Steve.

Steve Childs - medal and militaria specialist
Steve Childs, our medals and militaria specialist

We can easily identify your medals and give you an immediate cash payment when you decide to sell. Our free service was established to help people be savvier about what they are selling.

Our service is also set up to be super simple. Here’s how it works:

Sign up to receive an info pack – this includes all sorts of extra information as well as some handy Freepost stickers.

Send off the items you’d like to turn into nice little piles of cash.

Our team of experts will value your items and then make you an offer for the lot.

If you like our offer (and we think you will!), you can be paid that day via bank transfer or in a few days by cheque.

Don’t like our offer? No problem, we’ll simply send your stuff back (for free, of course).

The Selling Military Medals Checklist

The following steps should always be taken when you are looking to sell your military medals.

  • Do your research. Try and work out exactly what medal you are selling and where the most appropriate place to sell it may be out of the options above.
  • Check you can sell it. Certain medals cannot be sold on some platforms, such as Nazi memorabilia on eBay, but we’ll gladly accept any medal.
  • Get a valuation from a trusted dealer. Find the right dealer to give you a price for what your medal is worth. Remember that some dealers might be out to short change you, so second opinions are worthwhile. You can also look at closed auctions online to see what other similar medals have fetched. We’ll value your medals as standard for free – if you don’t like our valuation, we simply send your items back.
  • Set reserves. This can be done on both online auctions and brick and mortar auctions, and protects your item to make sure it isn’t sold for a fraction of its worth.
  • Check to see if there are any fees where you want to sell war medals. You may have to pay commission or listing fees. It may be worth selling for a flat fee to a dealer so that you don’t get stung with added costs.

What’s the best way to sell war medals? This depends on a number of factors. Your personal preference, how much you know about the medal and the value and condition of the medal itself can all play a part.

If you’re in doubt at all or simply want to speak to someone about selling your medals, get in touch with us today!

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