You inherited a shaker collection that you don’t want or have space to keep. You’ve enjoyed collecting shakers over the years but now you need to downsize and move on. Either way you are faced with the same dilemma.  What do you do? What are they worth? How do you find a new home for your shakers?  You would like to find someone who will enjoy them as much as you or the original collector did.

Hopefully, this article will help you sell your collection.

Determining Value

Once the decision has been made to sell a collection a major problem is always assessing the value.

Since eBay the value of shakers has declined. You can no longer use the many reference books that are out there to determine a price.  eBay is a good tool to find what sets are currently selling for. Be sure to check what sets have sold for, not the listing price.

You may find that some of your shakers have value, but be careful.  If you let someone come in and pick through for the best ones, you may be left with lots of shakers you can hardly give away.  There is a term for this – cherry picking.

See Shaker Tips, Hints & Ideas for more information.


Sell Individual Sets vs. Selling Whole Collection

If your collection has a lot of valuable sets you may make more money selling individually or in small groups. But keep in mind it’s a lot of work, very time consuming, you’ll make many trips to the post office and you will still be left with shakers you can’t sell.

The easiest way to get rid of all of the shakers is to sell the collection as a whole.  The “pro” is the buyer will take everything – the great sets, the many common sets, broken, mended, chipped sets and the undesirable sets (every collection has them). The “con” is you must accept a lot less for your collection and there are few people who can afford to buy an entire collection.

Typically people who buy entire collections are collectors themselves who purchase because they see a few sets to add to their personal collections and lots of sets to resell. They look for the higher grades of shakers for resale value knowing there will also be lots of common sets that have a much lower profit margin. They are willing to put in the time because they are passionate about their shaker hobby.


Preparing to Sell

Camera and film salt and pepper shakers

Here’s a few suggestions to get your collection ready to sell.

  • The sets should be clean to show well but there is an art to cleaning old shakers. See Shaker Tips, Hints & Ideas for suggestions.
  • Take good photos of the sets in small groups and any cabinets that may go with them. Be sure to include close-ups to show quality shakers as a collector will only be interested if they see higher grades of shakers.
  • Count the number of complete sets for sale. Typically a buyer will offer so much per set.
  • Pricing – see Shaker Tips, Hints & Ideas for suggestions.

Options for Selling

Vintage plastic cash register salt and pepper shakers

There are various outlets available to sell your collection.

  • We have a “Collections for Sale” page on this website. You need to be a member to see it and to advertise. The cost to run an ad is complimentary for our members. It’s easy to join online and yearly membership dues start at $20. If you would like to place an ad here it will be up and ready to be seen by buyers in a very short time. See Advertising Information” for more info.
  • You can place an ad in our quarterly newsletter that goes out to members around the world. The deadlines are February 1st for the March issue, May 1st for the June issue, August 1st for the September issue and November 1st for the December issue. There is a $35 advertising fee. Email our Newsletter Editor, Ken Parisot for more information.
  • You can contact a Chapter Representative in your area and see if they know anyone who might be interested or who might be able to value it for you. Click here to find someone in your area.
  • You could invite shaker collectors to come and pick selected sets from the collection and possibly get more money for a few sets, then take the rest to a good swap meet and sell them at $2-$5 per set. That’s a lot of work but you would probably move the majority of them that way.
  • You can sell them on Facebook. There are many groups where you can sell shakers. Our Club has a private Facebook group where members can post the info. Here's a link to a list of Facebook groups started by our members. 
  • You can sell them on eBay, but that is a tremendous amount of work and some fees involved.
  • You can contact an antique dealer at an antique mall or an auction/estate sales company in your area and see what they would offer you. They probably won’t know shaker values anymore than you do. They will offer a low amount to cover all the sets they won’t be able to sell, but you might be able to move the entire collection this way.


You’ve been given a lot of information to absorb. Good luck in whatever decision you make. If you decide to place an ad on our website, please use the Contact Form to contact Pat Yedlin, Webmaster. She will be happy to help you.