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Terry and Tony in South Africa. Two South Africans working from home in East London in South Africa since early 2008.

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Make Money with Old Photographs

Make money with old photographs. Yes, it’s possible to make money with old photographs if you put in the time and effort, and at not much cost to you! Most people will have a shoe box or two of old photographs lurking around somewhere collecting dust.

If you’re one of the unfortunates who don’t have old photographs, don’t despair. Just mention to a few people that you’re looking for old photos, and pretty soon all the oldies that get to hear of your need for old photographs will be sorting through their shoe boxes, to give you the photos that they don’t need or want.

Or attend some auctions or go to antique and second hand shops where you may get an entire box of old photo albums or photos quite cheaply.

The type of photograph you don’t really want is of people. The seller may be asked about ancestry, or the buyer may be asked about ancestry, and be embarrassed to have to admit to buying ancestors!
On second thoughts, why not?
However, photos of scenery, buildings, vehicles etc are ideal.

Preparing the photographs for sale as old photographs

Preparing the photographs for sale as old photographs is really simple.

Most old photographs are post-card size, which is ideal. You will want to present the old photographs individually, so, for starters, get as much A4 card as you can. Get a lightweight and a heavier card.

If you can find them, photo corners are next. Using photo corners will sped up your work quite a lot, so do make some effort to find them. Most specialist photographic outlets do stock photo corners.

Before putting the old photos onto the card, age the lightweight card. Take a few sheets and bang them on their ends and edges. Give the a bit of a fold near one or two corners.

Now make some tea. Fairly strong tea. 2, or even 3 tea-bags to a cup. When the tea has drawn, pour it into a baking tray, and then lay the card in it. Leave it for five to ten minutes, take the card out, and leave it somewhere to dry. If it’s not too windy, hanging the card on the wash line is good.

Now. If you have photo corners, put one photo onto a sheet of the aged card, and glue the aged card to the heavy card. Weight it down if you want to.

If you don’t have photo corners, use strips of tear ribbon. Go for plain colours such as cream, ivory, brown or black. Position the photo on the card, and make little slits next to the photo, about a centimetre from the corner. Each corner will have two slits. The slits are there to pass the ribbon through, to create a corner.

Turn the card over, and glue the ribbon down onto the back of the aged card. Now glue the aged card to the heavy card.

When all are done, wrap the photos in plastic, with the adhesive tape on the back. Do not use clingwrap, as it can damage the photograph.

A number of old photographs prepared in this way and stacked on a table are sure to draw many people looking for that “perfect photo” for a particular purpose.

The costs are minimal, and the returns can be great.

Just remember, to be a success you need to be persistent. Many people won’t buy the first time they see you or your old photographs for sale, but they may come looking for you in a few months’ time…

© Copyright Tony Flanigan 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018

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