All About Old Radios: Helpful Advice for Buyers and Sellers

Are you looking to buy an old radio?

Or to sell an antique radio you have in possession?

If so, you have come to the right place. This article will provide all the information that prospective buyers need. We’ll cover what types of radios are available and how much they cost.

For those who want to sell their own old radios, we will offer tips on where to advertise your products and how much you might be able to get in return for them.

There’s never been a better time than now – with modern technology being what it is – to invest in a radio that can do multiple things for your daily life, but with a nice vintage design.

Vintage radios are sought by many buyers and sellers alike because of their beauty and uniqueness.  They come in a range of styles, sizes, and colors to suit any taste or preference. There is something for everyone when it comes to these items!

Why buy an old radio?

There are a few reasons why antique radios have become more popular in recent years.

  • First, they’re not difficult to make and can be done at home with minimal skills.
  • Second, the design of an antique radio is perfect for people who want something that’s simple but still looks nice or vintage-looking.
  • Thirdly, price-wise. You will get some good deals because some of these old radios will be priced lower than a newer ones.

What to look for when buying such vintage devices 

There are also some things you should consider before buying an older kind of radio and that you need to avoid.

  • First of all, they’re old and don’t always work great or have many features (despite that being understandable).
  • Second, if the radio wasn’t made by an expert there could be some parts that aren’t in the right place or screws that are missing.
  • If you want to get a vintage radio for your own house, make sure there’s no damage to it before buying it because this is not something you can fix easily once it has been bought and brought home with you.
  • In addition, if you’re going to buy one online check previous reviews of that seller or brand
  • If you can’t find any, buy from someone who has a good reputation.
  • It’s always best to be safe than sorry when it comes to old radios because in some cases they don’t come cheap and if something goes wrong with them that money is gone for good.

How to find the best deal on older radios

The first thing you can do is to search on your own and see what’s out there in marketplaces like Etsy, eBay, or Amazon. However, these are not always the best options because they will charge some sort of fee for their services which may lead to higher costs in what you are buying.

If that doesn’t work, use the internet to check some specific websites that are within that sector, namely music online stores or websites that sell antique or collection items.

Another option could be to search on Facebook groups specialized in antique or collection items, where sometimes you can find the best deals on these kinds of old devices.

There are also some antique stores and shops that sell them, but they often have a higher price than online retailers.

How to choose which wooden radio is right for you?

The first thing you should consider while shopping for one of these radios is your purpose: will it be used as decoration? or will you use it regularly?

If you plan to use it regularly just for listening to the radio, then an AM and FM antenna incorporated will do it. But if you are willing to use it as one more media device to listen to music, consider Bluetooth, slots for SD cards, media inputs, as well as an alarm. In fact, you can have more features incorporated, but it will really depend on what you are looking for.

If not, if the wooden radio will be just used for decoration purposes in your living room or office, then buy one that has only an on/off switch: these have smaller dimensions than the ones with antennas.

A good idea when idealizing what you are willing to have in an old radio is to take a look at the wooden radios that are already available for sale online. That way you will have an idea of what to expect and be able to find one that suits your needs right away.

How to sell your older radios 

Are you looking to sell an old radio instead? First, know that such items are getting more and more popular these days and it is not difficult to get a good price for your old wooden radio.

If you are going to sell it online, be sure that the photographs of the item look stunning: show all its details in order to make people want it and buy it as soon as possible. If you intend on selling locally, there may be some places where they will be worth more than others. For example, antique radio stores will always be interested in wooden radios.

Where to find antique and vintage radios in good condition 

The antique and vintage radios market is growing. There are many places to find them, but the most popular currently can be considered eBay, Etsy, Amazon, or Craigslist.

If instead, you are looking to buy it locally, check your closer antique shop or more specifically antique radio stores.

As an inside tip, check local charity shops which sell items for a very low price in order to raise money for their cause. Be sure to also go online because there are plenty of other sites where you will find such types of charity shops raising money for certain causes in a certain period.

Tips for restoring an old or damaged old radio back into working order

– Do not use water and soap to clean your wooden radio.  Only use a dry cloth or damp sponge for the surface of the wooden body, dials, knobs, etc.  Do not submerge it into any liquid as this will damage the wood more than just using some mild soap on its surface.

– To restore some of its parts that might not work anymore, you can use a simple solution that will remove corrosion and bring back the shine of metal.

– For wooden radios with dials made from glass or plastic, it is recommended to make sure no spills get into their workings as this will render them useless very quickly.

– If the problem looks more electronic or with the antenna, and you aren’t sure or too technical about it, then take it to an antique shop or an expert in radios/media devices.

In order to keep it in good shape and maintain it for as many years as possible, do not let children play around or with it. Instead, engage them in telling some old facts and stories about it or just explain how such devices completely changes the world several decades ago.

Why would someone want to sell an old radio?

Who knows, there are so many reasons actually. Maybe they want to make space in their living room or need some extra money for a certain causality. Maybe they were never into radios, especially older ones, and don’t listen to them at all.

One of them might have been your father’s radio and you think it is time to hand over this old treasure to someone else that can actually value it better.

How much do old radios cost?

The price of an antique radio depends on a number of factors which you should consider before buying one:

– the condition, since some might be more valuable than others depending on how well they are preserved;

– the model and year it was made in. Generally speaking, radios from certain periods and decades could cost you more as they are now seen as collection items and are becoming scarcer. For example, radios from the 1920s and 1930s are now rare finds;

– its provenance which you should always double-check before buying. This is not a sales pitch but it is important to know that some old wooden radios might have been stolen or smuggled out of their country of origin during WWII.

You will also need to consider how well preserved, are they? Older wooden radios are often found in a less than perfect condition and parts may be missing. This is especially true for those models that were not originally made by the manufacturer of your wooden radio, such as when this type of antique was taken out of other countries to America during WWII.

Some vintage wooden radios might have some significant damage or broken pieces; sometimes, to restore them is just an almost impossible scenario, or it is at the expense of authenticity.

It might be better to buy a newer wooden radio if you are looking for one that will not need repair or restoration later on, and it should also come with an authentic manufacturer’s warranty.


Do your homework before buying: this article contains plenty of information about how to do so. We hope it helps and that could serve you on the quest to buying or selling your unique antique piece.


Check previous supported projects on wooden radios, with environmental and social benefits behind: