1.02 – Time to Shop for old clocks! Where to begin?

Last Update: 09-23-2023 @ 05:48

Shopping for Old Clocks

Are you ready to shop for old clocks? Here is some advice:

Clocks for sale in an Antique Mall.
(Image: All rights reserved, Bordloub)
(Image: All rights reserved, Bordloub)

1.02.1 – eBay

eBay offers many old clocks but remember that you must pay shipping and sale taxes. If you’re buying from a seller outside your country, you will also need to pay an import tax based on the value of the clock and the complex import-export rules various shippers and customs offices abide by.

There are three ways to buy on eBay: bet on an auction, buy at a stated price or make an offer. The seller will decide which he or she prefers.


The highest bet at the end of the auction wins. End times are clearly indicated, and you can bet right up to the last second. If you engage in automatic betting, you set your first bet and the maximum you are willing to pay. When someone exceeds your current bet, eBay will automatically place a new higher bet for you, up to your maximum. You can always increase your maximum if the current bet exceeds it, but make sure to account for shipping and taxes, as your new maximum is a commitment to pay. If you’re lucky, you’ll get your clock below your maximum. Sometimes you’ll lose a clock you want, but rest assured, another clock will always present itself …

Buy It Now

In Buy It Now, you know exactly what you must pay and whether the price suits you. It is the easiest method to buy on eBay.

Make An Offer

Some sellers agree to accept offers. They have 48 hours to respond, but most answer quickly. If they agree, then you have already committed to paying that price. On the other hand, they may refuse your offer or make a counteroffer that you can either accept or refuse.


For a long time, PayPal was the preferred method of payment on eBay, but that changed, and it is now possible – at least in North America – to use any credit or debit card, Apple Pay, Google Pay, or PayBright by Affirm (Canada only), if the seller accepts it. Note the icons for accepted methods and read the eBay Money Back Guarantee Policy carefully to ensure your chosen method is covered.


eBay allows you to rate your seller. So do take the trouble to do it soon after receiving your clock. The seller may also rate you as a buyer. So, paying as you complete your purchase is a perfect way to get good ratings and develop a stellar reputation as a buyer. ⬆️

1.02.2 – Online Antiques Sites

You can buy old clocks online on sites other than eBay. Most often, these sites sell only antique or/and vintage items. Serious antique dealers prefer these specialized sites. Although I have bought clocks from two of these sites, I will not name them because my experience is limited and inconclusive. Such sites also commonly fail to report shipping and import costs accurately.

You might skip a purchase if you’re unfamiliar with the shipping and customs clearance costs and procedures involved. In some cases, you will have to deal with these yourself. Realize that your clock won’t arrive anytime soon unless you are willing to pay exorbitant shipping fees. Also, keep in mind that these additional costs may jack up your expenses way beyond the actual value of the clock–at least in the short term. The same goes for eBay. ⬆️

1.02.3 – Classified Ads

In the US, Craiglist is extremely popular. In Canada, Kijiji or Les Pacs are comparable sites. But the most popular worldwide is undoubtedly Marketplace on Facebook. Search “old or antique or vintage clocks.” Since their search engine is not very sophisticated and some sellers neglect to list accurate criteria, they will have other items mixed in with the clocks. Another drawback to these popular sites is that sellers do not provide as much information or pictures as you can find on eBay. Please exercise caution on these sites since transactions are typically completed at the seller’s home, and you have no real recourse other than negotiation. ⬆️

1.02.4 – Garage sales

Sometimes, it is possible to find old clocks in garage sales. Give it a try if your an amateur of such sales.

1.02.5 – Antique Fairs and Flea Markets

Frequenting antique fairs is an interesting, fun, and worthwhile activity. You won’t necessarily find the clock of your dreams, but you can often make good deals. Many antique dealers have flyers about upcoming antique fairs, and you can also find out about them on the web. Most sellers at fairs do not accept credit cards, so make sure to take plenty of cash. Never pay the asking price. Make negotiating fun, and don’t insult the seller by offering a meager price unless you feel that he wants to get rid of a clock. In that case, however, you may find that your purchase is only good for parts. ⬆️

1.02.6 – Antique Shops

One of the side benefits of frequenting antique shops and flea markets is that you will have the opportunity to meet people whose passion for ancient artifacts matches your own. Again, never pay the advertised price; negotiate with respect. In contrast to fairs and flea markets, most antique shops accept credit cards. ⬆️

1.02.7 – Auctions and Estate Sales

Lastly, you can often make good deals at auctions or estate sales in person and online. The only drawback is the time it takes to locate them. 

If you have strong nerves and deep pockets, you can go the famous auction houses like Sotheby’s and Christie’s. This is where to find the most beautiful clocks with a quality guarantee, but they are usually costly. If you’re making long-term investments, these are the places to go. Typically, these are for high-end collectors who have the means to pay specialists to restore and maintain their clocks. ⬆️

Next: 1.03 – How to Inspect an Old Clock

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