How to Sell: Salt & Pepper Shakers

People collect strange things. I have an affinity for skeleton keys that I just can’t explain. What draws us to certain items? Why do we like amethyst carnival glass over rootbeer carnival glass? Or elephant figurines instead of dog figurines? I honestly don’t know.

So, even though it sounds a little strange, just trust me when I say that some people are crazy about salt and pepper shakers. I can sort of see why: they’re tiny and usually pretty inexpensive. They make great gifts to give and receive. And they come in a million sizes and shapes. You can collect these things for your entire life and still not have a complete collection.

I’m going to give you a run down on some of the more interesting types and give you examples of the ones that have passed through our doors. All the information that I’m supplying you here is coming from the Salt & Pepper Novelty Shakers Club. However, I’m not going to relay the information verbatim, and I’m definitely not going to be able to talk about each and every style of shaker that exists out there. If this is something that interests you, I highly suggest you check out that website – they’ve got invaluable information!

First up we need to answer the question: anthropomorphic or figural? As I said in a previous post, the word figural refers to something that is in the shape of a person or an animal. If something is anthropomorphic (that’s a mouthful!) it means that human characteristics were given to other objects that would normally not have a face or body. This can cover a wide array of subjects (including abstract ideas, which I always find interesting), but in shakers the most common anthropomorphic items seem to be…vegetables!

Here’s a pair of shakers that are figural.

Some people collect regular salt and pepper shakers because they like the shapes or simplicity of them.

These are tiny and plain, but they’re also simple and elegant.

These are a beautiful pair of iridescent shakers. Somebody is definitely going to enjoy having these on their table!

The novelty shakers are much more popular, though. Here are two types that we’ve recently run across:


These are really neat because they take two related objects and make them a pair – even if they don’t initially look like they belong together. Some examples the site gives include an ink bottle and typewriter and a kitten and ball of yarn. (You can see our own examples down a bit further.)


These are also fun because they don’t necessarily look like two pieces at first glance. Oftentimes one shaker sits on top of another one. Here’s a couple of pictures of an Enesco shaker in the shape of a kitten sitting on a pillow:

This one is a “nester” or a “stacker.”

The pillow is one shaker and the cat is the other!

There are all sorts of interesting types left to explore. Hangers, Nodders, Huggers, Squeakers, and Longboys are just a few! Visit this page to learn about these and more!

Shaker sets (and sometimes even individuals) are usually worth putting up on eBay to see if they sell. The more unique and strange they are, the faster they’ll go! We recently had to make the decision to get rid of some inventory that had been sitting around here for a while, so we combined all the shakers we had and sold them off in a lot in order to clear some space as quickly as possible.

Here’s a picture of the lot. Note that most of them are figural. And check out the three go-withs that we had! (The broom/stove, the bear/beehive, and the turtle/frog.)

What’s the weirdest thing that you collect? Have you ever come across any strange salt and pepper shakers?


39 thoughts on “How to Sell: Salt & Pepper Shakers

  1. lisa laudig says:

    I’m trying to help a friend. Sell her salt n pepper shakers she had for years. Packed up.

    • Was there supposed to be a question here somewhere? I’d be happy to help if you’re looking for some guidance!

      • Dee Schneck says:

        I am cleaning out my mother’s attic (she just passed away) & found boxes of antique salt & pepper shakers from all around the world. They originally belonged to my grandmother, whose 3 sons were in the military & sent them back to her. I know she had over 400 sets at one time. We don’t want them, but I would like to see them go to homes that would really like them. I’m needing help on finding out where I can sell them, how to sell them – basically any type of guidance that you could give me would be greatly appreciated!

  2. Rebecca sumner says:

    I have over 60 pairs of salt and pepper shakers such as aunt Jemima,Sylvester and tweety bird looney tunes,vase shaped with roses,plenty of people kinds,Christmas,pumpkins,apples,bears,elephants,pigs,cows,chickens,etc.bery nice from porcelain to glass.very nice need to sell immediately.please email me ASAP to let’s know if interested

    • Lynne says:

      Hi Rebecca,
      I see this conversation happened 5 months ago, but just thought it might be worth a try. I received a box in the mail today with a Tweety Bird salt and pepper that I purchased on Etsy: it’s a Warner. Bros. porcelain set marked 1980. Something happened in transit, I guess–the salt shaker is broken in pieces. Just wondering if you might have the same set and are willing to sell. Let me know, if possible.
      Thanks so much,

  3. Rebecca sumner says:

    Oh yes and old vintage ones like I love Lucy

  4. Rebecca Walker says:

    I am looking to sell my salt and pepper collection. I have a wide variety like a rabbit and a carrot, a poodle dog with the salt and pepper jugs hanging off each side, Pepsi bottles, USA cannons, pigs, birds, flowers which go into a bush, a wine o holding his jugs, and many many more. How do I find out the value of these

  5. Michelle says:

    Hi, I live in CT and I am looking to sell a bunch of vintage Salt and Pepper shakers but not sure where to start. Do you have any suggestions?

    Thank You,


  6. Kristine says:

    Hi, if anyone is still interested in selling their inherited salt and pepper shaker collections, contact We would be willing to possibly buy collections that can be relocated to homes where they can be once again displayed proudly.

    • beverly says:

      i have alot of sets from my great aunt and trying to sell on ebay no luck would be interested in selling

    • MONA MONIER says:

      I have over 2 thousand sets of salt and Pepper shakers that my grandmother left when she passed. If you have any advise on how or where to sell them please email me at the email address below. Thanks
      mmmonier22@yahoo .com

    • Lawrence Monaghan says:

      This is what I’m looking for .have 1500/2000 pairs wrapped of my mum’s collection, passed away.would love them to be shown. I remember dusting them

    • Donna Kloth says:

      I have a several dozen S & P shakers to sell collected by several family members over last 60 years. Interested, please email me

  7. Annette Gibson says:

    My Mother has been collecting salt and peppers for several years and has 4 cabinets that are full–from pepsi bottles to every vegetable and just about everything in between. Her husband recently died and she is looking to move and does not wish to pack up and take with her and we are trying to find someone that is looking to buy a few or even several.
    Please contact Marion Carpenter at 434-985-3769 for an apt to come and view or talk about what she has that you may be interested in obtaining. We live about 15 miles North of Charlottesville, Virginia.

  8. Tammy Smith says:

    My great Aunt has been collecting salt and pepper shakers for 50+ years from all over she is having health problems and wants to sell them and we don’t know where or how to start, she says the last time you counted them she loss count at 500 pairs!

  9. Sandie Bacus says:

    I have two tubs of salt and pepper e-mail if interested

  10. michele burr says:

    i have over 7000 salt and pepper shakers at my grandmas house im trying to get rid of

  11. Robin Harrison says:

    My mother passed away and had 2 display cabinets full of salt and pepper shakers looking to sell some or all e-mail me

  12. Lois Kaivani says:

    I have a collection of 53 cat salt & pepper shakers which include 2 sets of tallboys and 2 sets of longboys I wish to sell. Can you point me in the direction of collectors/purchasers?
    Thank you for any help you may provide.

  13. Rich Lindquist says:

    My Wife has over 1,000 sets aof everything you can imagine animal vegetable European Disney rare wood etc were is the best place to sell them all as a collection the fastest for a fare price


  14. Samantha siniard says:

    I have a collection of shakers and have really no idea about pricing them or for that matter…where or who will buy them? Can u help?

  15. Tasha Keller says:

    I am up to 665 sets and counting! I inherited my Grandma’s collection which I adored since I was a small child, and have been adding to it since then. I love all types of shakers, but my favorite are figural, nester/stacker/hugger…or just anything unusual or odd. 🙂 I would love to know other people with my peculiar obsession. 🙂

  16. peggy says:

    I have a collection of salt and pepper shakers which were inherited when my Mother passed away. She collected all kinds I am trying to find somewhere to sell them as I have no place for them and they need to be admired.

    • Lynn says:

      Did you get a response to your inquiry? I too would like to sell a few S&P and I don’t see any responses to the posts above as to where or how to sell them.

  17. Anita ellis says:

    Yes I am trying to find someone that would be interested in buying a whole collection of salt and pepper shakers The Collection was started way before 1962 there are so many different an unusual salt and pepper shakers so if anybody is interested or can give me information of someone to contact for selling them I really would appreciate it

  18. Sarah says:

    I have 5 sets of salt and peppper shakers they are all of a nautical theme two little sailing boats 2 lighthouses and the other 3 sets have fishes and beach houses on and last set is a blue and white shabby chic with anchors on. I started to collect them then decided not to bother, seems shame to just throw them away or give to charity shop they cost around £10 per set all bought in Anglesey Wales I am happy to box them up and send to someone for nominal amount, would be ideal for someone with a seaside cafe or similar …Sarah

  19. Sarah says:

    Hmmmm seems from reading the above you can’t give them away….

  20. Hello – looking for buyers of collections. Any suggestions?

  21. Barb G. says:

    I am a vintage picker and I can tell you right now that I would not purchase a huge lot of salt and pepper shakers because it would then take me years to sell them all. Your best bet is to let folks choose the ones they like and price them low so they move otherwise you will be stuck with them forever. I am trying at the moment to acquire some pieces from this gal locally and she refuses to budge and wants to sell the whole lot…and the price she wanted was ridiculous. She will be waiting a very long time to sell them and would not take my offer which was a fair one..have had second thoughts too and told her I pass…her one chance to get rid of them all to me and she blew it cuz she wants way too much. Just because it might be old does not mean it is valuable. Good luck selling your huge collections. Trust me, it will not be easy. Ebay is the tackiest place on earth. I would never buy from Ebay, cough cough. I don’t care how nice the item is. Just my thoughts.

  22. sandscript02 says:

    Thank you for sharing your knowledge of his subject. I have several sets of 1940’s-60’s salt and peppers. Seeing the comments of your readers made me realize how difficult it may be to sell these little charmers, but I’ll try.

  23. Phyllis Minner says:

    My 94 year old mother passed away, leaving her large collection of salt and pepper shakers. I want to sell them, but I have no idea who to contact in order to sell them? Please advise how I go about selling them. Thank you.

  24. Sandra L. Pringle says:

    I have a salt and pepper collection which many date to prior to the 1950’s. It belonged to my Aunt who passed 20 years ago and I inherited. I don’t have a place to display them anymore and want to sell the lot. I have had these for so many years and need to sell them to someone who will appreciate them. Can someone please advise me or is someone out there interested. I do have pictures of them (probably many hundred sets). I don’t know the value and will accept a reasonable offer.

  25. Raymond Bennett says:

    I have around 7000 sets mixed made in Japan, glass, wood, Please help me find a buyer soon. I am thanking of $4.00 per set . We have moved and need a home for these items.some real old .

  26. Michaella Fontenot says:

    I have a collection of salt & pepper shakers that belonged to my Great Aunt. There are probably 200 or more sets. She started collecting as a young girl until she passed @ 94 years of age. They have been packed away. I have no place to display them. I would like to sell them to someone who would appreciate my Aunt’s treasures but I have no idea where to begin. Any advise would be appreciated.

  27. Janice says:

    Have 2000 sets to sell immediately!

  28. nancy says:

    want to sell my salt and pepper shakers

  29. carol says:

    my mom passed away 10/14/17. Has a salt and pepper collection, one from each state and other interesting one, for a total of 50-75 sets. Need to sell, do not have room.

  30. SAMUEL HELLAND says:

    I have a very large collection of Salt and Peppers shakers for sale .. estimate 6,000 total…

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