The CB craze of the 1970s is long gone, but amateur (“ham”) radios continue to be
popular with people all over the world. Today, there are approximately 675,000 amateur
radio operators in the United States, and more than 2.5 million around the world.
Both new and vintage radios sell well online.
A typical ham radio is a transmitter and a receiver, usually purchased as a single
unit, called a transceiver. Newer transceiver models often have semi-complicated
controls and menu systems that may require reading the manual to use. The following
websites contain photos and technical information that can help you identify and
describe your item:
If you are looking for a beginner’s guide to becoming a ham radio operator, take
a look at Ham Radio for Dummies or subscribe to CQ: The Radio Amateur’s
Look for these signs of wear and tear:
Age, moisture, temperature and humidity fluctuations can also contribute to deterioration
of delicate parts, so find out how the item was stored and when it was last cleaned
Things to test:
It might not be possible to test whether the system transmits and receives signals;
ask the owner for a demonstration if they know how to operate the equipment. If
not, you can sell the item “as-is” but the final sales price and number of potential
buyers will be lower.
Be careful when testing a transmitter; if it isn’t hooked up properly it can cause
severe burns and other injuries. It’s safe to turn it on and off but don’t test
any other features unless you have a licensed radio operator with you.
It’s helpful to include close-up photos of all controls and panels, as well as logos,
stickers and other markings.
Radios should be stored in a well-ventilated room, away from children, pets and
smoke. Don’t place an item next to heating vents or air conditioners, either, since
temperature/humidity changes can cause damage. Cigarette smoke can damage sensitive
electronics, so ask the owner if the item came from a smoke-free environment.
Consumer electronics should be double-boxed and insured for protection during shipment.
Use the original packaging whenever possible to store and ship a ham radio. If the
original packaging is unavailable, use boxes made of a durable corrugated cardboard
for the outer and inner cartons. You will need to use a cushioning material, on
all six sides, to protect the radio from shock. Foam is best, but if it is not available,
bubble wrap should be used as a substitute. Do not use styrofoam, peanuts, or popcorn
in the inner box since they will not support the radio in all directions during
If shipping more than one radio in a box, ensure that they do not touch, and that
they are each cushioned individually. Remove all accessories, including cables,
wrap them separately and place them in the box away from the radio. Secure the box
using adhesive-backed tape.