Current Marketplace for Vacuum Tubes?

Hello All. I have been away from the audio world for several years, and I'm out of touch with the marketplace.

It appears from a search of tubes presently for sale on Audiogon that the marketplace has shrunk.

I am preparing to sell off some premium tubes (or so I consider them), and I'm interested to know more about marketplace alternatives for audio tubes. E-Bay is, of course, a known marketplace. If there are others, please discuss.

Hello tvad.
I've sold tubes at Audio Asylum.
Hello Grant,

I hope that you are well.
The market as a whole has shrunk.

Warning: It is a buyers market. You may consider them premium tubes, but prepared to be shocked at what the market considers them.
Great time for buyers, terrible time for sellers.

Besides Audio Asylum Trader, as lowrider57 mentions above, US Audiomart is also another option.

Good luck,
You may want to try There has been interest in NOS KT88's EML and KR Audio
If you want crap go to ebay for great tubes try Vintage Tube Services. Good luck.


I would second Audio Asylum as well. Ads are free as well.

Vintage 1960s Amperex and Siemens 6922/7308/E88CC/E188CC are still in demand and come at a premium price.

As for reference pricing you might check out Brent Jessee’s website.

I assume you still have a tube tester so you can list the tubes test results.


sweetwater, crutchfield.
Thanks to those who read my question correctly and offered good information. I discovered US Audiomart, which looks like a reasonably good alternative. I never had much luck selling on AudioAsylum. 

jea48, thanks for the link for reference pricing. 
Tvad - welcome back.  Hope this is not a one-off posting.  Your expertise and experience were valuable, here.  Been a noticeable decline in "quality" since you and certain others became less active.  

Wasn't sure if your inquiry was intended to provide you with potential outlets for selling your tubes OR give you a glimpse of current tube prices.  

See list below for additional sellers.  Some of these might buy your used tubes as well (Brent Jesse, mentioned above, will):
Jim McShane
Antique Electronic Supply
Upscale Audio
The Tube Store

I'd be surprised if you were not already familiar with many of these names.

Again, welcome back.

^ "Wasn’t sure if your inquiry was intended to provide you with potential outlets for selling your tubes OR give you a glimpse of current tube prices."

Potential outlets for selling my tubes. Getting up to speed on current prices will also be helpful. I suspect E-Bay will be best for private party pricing (more equivalent to vs. dealer).
In my recent experience with selling tubes I would say my best success came with Ebay. I got more views and they also have an international shipping program that helps with selling abroad. I had a buyer from South Korea interested in my 2A3 tubes and I sent it to Ebay's international processing center in Kentucky and they sent it abroad. No hassle for me on that transaction.

Part of the reason why I think tubes or lower dollar items aren't sold here on Audiogon is the commission structure. It is getting even more costly to sell here. You will really take it on the chin selling less expensive items.

I listed the various tubes I had here on Audiogon and I never got a sale or even an inquiry about them. 
Hi tvad. Nice to hear from you. Hope all is well.

If desired value cannot be realized right here on agon, where those willing to pay a premium for quality tend to lurk, then I would think ebay is best bet for getting a fair market value. I’ve always found ebay works pretty well that way. But you may have to start with a low bid price that draws attention initially. Its a bit unnerving at first but I’ve found in the end it tends to draw enough attention to help assure a fair price is achieved in the end if all else is in order.

Try it one piece at a time initially with those items you are most comfortable parting with on an open auction no matter what and take it one step at a time until you see how things are panning out.
Mapman, your comment about E-Bay re: fair market value is in keeping with my thoughts. Your advice regarding testing the waters is well taken.

Back four years or so on Audiogon, one could trust certain sellers to provide high quality tubes, and while those sellers' tubes generally were at premium prices, one knew what one was getting for the money. It made buying tubes on Audiogon "safer" than buying on E-Bay, IMO. 

Yes no doubt tubes are unique to sell in that the difference between a great tube worth a lot and an average or poor one worth not much in terms of noise and wear, performance etc. can be hard to discern and bank on in advance, so trust is more important than ever IMHO. Money back satisfaction guarantees are probably of value to achieve best possible sale price.

I currently only trust tubes from ARC for my ARC pre-amp enough to justify paying a higher price than I might elsewhere. Especially when it comes to noise levels for use in prime slot in the phono section. That’s one of six tubes. The other 5 slots are way more forgiving. So no doubt "certifiable" high performance tubes in good condition when needed can carry a premium but most are more commodity items still to many.
"I currently only trust tubes from ARC for my ARC pre-amp enough to justify paying a higher price than I might elsewhere. Especially when it comes to noise levels for use in prime slot in the phono section."

You might consider Andy Bouwman at Vintage Tube Services for low noise phone section tubes. 
Hang on to those tubes!  Tubes will be here forever. Quickly obsoleting the more affordable transistor amplifiers and gear. Only six figure solid state can compete.  Brand new tubes are being made, so you don't have to worry about NOS tube supplies running out(unless you prefer them). Personally, I like VTL(Vacuum Tube Logic) gear. Rock on!
Listed tubes on US Audio Mart, AudioAsylum, and a few on E-Bay.
Thought I’d follow up now that I have marketed and sold a dozen pairs of vintage tubes.

Audiogon ads received little action, rendering the cost of a basic ad plus photo at $9 a poor value. I spent $45 on ads for items that didn’t sell (and received no offers).

I sold two pairs of tubes on E-Bay. The cost of listing, final value fee and Paypal fee at an aggregate of about 11% is another relatively poor value.

The remainder of the tubes were sold via AudioAsylum Trader or USAudiomart. Considering both those marketplaces cost nothing to post ads, and one can accept several forms of payment, including Paypal "Friends and Family", they are the current go-to venues, IMO.
I'm glad that you were able to off-load some of your old tube stock Grant. 

I concur with your findings. I do almost all of my selling on AudioAsylum Trader and USAudiomart the last couple of years.
I buy there too, though I still buy some things on AudiogoN. 
I do not use Ebay to buy or sell audio equipment.