Seashells Guide: How To Make Big Money With Little Shells

Uncommon Seashells Can Make You Rich

Seashells is a huge passion for collectors and professional traders where millions of dollars are exchanged for shells you don’t know the value of.

Why Are Seashells So Popular?

The fascination with seashells start with their infinite variety of elegant shapes and patterns.

Each one is a natural sculpture—a piece of art.

Some descriptions of seashells include smooth and polished, bumpy ridges, knobs or sharp spines, and attractive colors when wet.
It is no wonder that so many people enjoy collecting seashells.

Although most of the shells you find along the seashore are empty, each one once contained a mollusk, and is worth money!

The shell is the skeleton.

Usually, empty shells are worn down or battered by the surf by the time they are washed ashore.

However, even these old, chipped or faded seashells are beautiful and worth money to collectors.

Although seashells are most valuable when found “live,” a mollusk’s shell is never shed while the animal is alive.

As mollusks grow, new shell is added like the growth rings in a tree’s trunk.

The shell material records the life history, from birth to death, of the animal that lived inside.

Before you start listing your seashells on eBay, learn how to identify the shells in your collection.

Here are ten unusual but popular shells that serious collectors or buyers are more interested in such as:

Gastropod Cowry Shell
Gastropod Cowry Shell

Gastropods – The largest class of mollusks with more species in the world.

The word gastropod means “stomach-footed.”

Most of the snails in this group crawl about on a large, muscular foot that protrudes from their shells.

Alabaster Murex Pink
Alabaster Murex Pink

Alabaster Murex – To me, this is an ugly shell and I think I threw all of my pink Alabaster Murex out—don’t make this mistake!

The white Alabaster Murex features random barbs that extend in every direction.

The barbs (prickly spines) are likely the result of its predatory evolution.

Bull Conch
Bull Conch

Bull Conch – Discovered in 1857, the Bull Conch features a horn-like shell extension on one end and distinctive orange speckling.

Keiner Dolphin Snail
Keiner Dolphin Snail

Keiner’s Dophin Snail – It has a weapon-like appearance and its base includes a spiral design and color of red and orange.

Sunburst Star Turban
Sunburst Star Turban

Sunburst Star Turban – It has studded ridges rounding the whole shell.

Scotch Bonnet
Scotch Bonnet

Scotch Bonnet – This is the official seashell of North Carolina.

Lion's Paw Shell
Lion’s Paw Shell

Lion’s Paw – This is a scalloped shell, which reaches measurements up to six inches in length.

Its bumpy and thick shell makes it hard enough to survive the tumbles of the sea.

Scaphella Junonia
Scaphella Junonia

Scaphella Junonia – This is an “elusive” seashell to most shellers.

It is a member of the cone shell species.

Precious Wentletrap Shell
Precious Wentletrap Shell

Precious Wentletrap – This was one of the most prized possessions of Catherine The Great.

The wentletrap measures 2 1/2 inches and its from the Philippines.

It sold for $20,000 in the 1990s.

Cowries have long been prized for their beauty and diversity. MUST CREDIT: Smithsonian Institution.
Cowries have long been prized for their beauty and diversity. MUST CREDIT: Smithsonian Institution.

Fulton’s Cowrie – This is a “tiny” and illusive seashell that avid collectors desire to own.

This is by no means an in-depth guidepost to seashells so I recommend visiting ShellsPassion.com to see the price range your shells may be selling for, and how to design a sea shells business website.

There are many common seashells available, but the collectors are looking for the rare and monster size shells.

Where To Start Selling Seashells For Quick Profit?

If you are serious about making money with your dusty collection of seashells, then eBay is the best place to start.

Connoisseur shell collectors are always trolling eBay looking for a rare find and a good buy–so price your seashells to sell.

Shells weigh practically nothing so they are easy to ship.

In addition to that, if your seashells were free, then you will earn 100 percent profit!

Before listing shells, you need to become familiar with the scientific (Latin) names.

Learning to observe and identify shells will help you write a clear and precise description of each seashell.

Seashell collecting is fun, but why let them continue to collect dust, when they can be listed on eBay?

There is no need to go shelling or beach combing to look for shells.

There are plenty of them at thrift stores, yard sales, flea markets and such.

And, what’s more, you don’t have to be an expert to sell seashells—just get them, list them and take profit!

About:  I’m the author in residence of RuralMoney.com bringing you the best of my knowledge, skills, abilities, tips and resources. Unfortunately, I am also a person with disabilities. I have severe Rheumatoid Arthritis. I love to share what I know and practice to help others survive and thrive in rural areas. Thank you for your support.

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Leave a Comment

  1. Reply

    I sale glory of the sea

    • Reply

      Hi Robert,

      Thanks for the inquiry. I don’t buy shells.

      Best regards,

    • Joe
    • June 26, 2020

    Trying to sell sea shells

    • Reply

      Hi Joe,
      Thanks for the inquiry. My “best” advice is to open an Etsy store, price and show off your “rarest” and “best” shells. When you do this, your shells we be on display around the world to shell collectors and buyers. I know for a FACT that these collectors search online. Just think, your shells could end up in a museum one day. That’s how valuable many shells are. I have seen them there. I don’t know how many have taken my advice on this, but I really do feel this is the best way to go. Or, you can look for collectors online and approach them. At least on Etsy, eBay, etc. you can sell some of your common shells while waiting for a bigger fish to strike so to speak. I wish you success! P.S. Come back to give me a link to your new store.

  2. Reply

    Can you please help me to find a good buyer for my collection of seashells.

    • Reply

      Hi David,

      Thanks for the inquiry. If I knew I would be happy too! You can search online, but I have a better idea. Start selling your seashell collection on Etsy and/or eBay. That way, collectors will see what you have and come to you. By having a place to market your shells will help buyers find you! Pricing your shells right will ensure a steady stream of customers and income. The Internet is the “new economy” so get online. I hope this helps. Good luck!

    • Dawn Newman
    • June 3, 2020

    Last year I found some beautiful shells that had broken away from a coral reef in Galveston after a storm had come thru. Where can I find out if they are worth anything?

    • Reply

      Hi Dawn,

      Thanks for the inquiry. Search online for shell values and/or buy a shell guide. Basically, its easy to just identify many shells online on collectors websites. That will give you the best idea of valuation. Shells are also finely graded, which have a huge impact on value. Have you considered creating an Etsy or eBay site, which would also help you find out what they are worth. I hope this helps. Good luck!

    • Ottwin
    • June 2, 2020

    I’m selling glory of the sea is there any buyer here my number..+6777560461

    • Reply

      Hi Ottwin,
      Thanks for the inquiry. I don’t have any shell buyer resources, but I recommend searching online. Or, you can research your shells and sell them on eBay and Etsy. Shell collectors are extremely picky so knowing what they will buy is tough. Hope this helps. Good luck.

    • Lorrita
    • May 15, 2020

    Hello I sell an assortment of seashells from the Africa, the Gulf Of Guinea could you recommend places I can sell them please ?

    • Reply

      Hi, Thanks for the inquiry. I recommend that you search online for sites that buy and sell rare sea shells. Best of luck.

    • Soterio Tevanu
    • May 10, 2020

    Iam a seller of glorimaris

    • Soterio Tevanu
    • May 10, 2020

    How can I sell my glorimaris?

    • Reply

      There are many opportunities to sell seashells to collectors and resellers online. However, they usually buy “rare”, gem-grade seashells. Also, you may find that this is not a good market to sell your glorimaris due to the unprecedented health event. Nevertheless, good luck.

    • Shula
    • May 7, 2020

    I see a few live cowrie shells living in the shore near the place I live. I picked a few and wanted to collect them.

    • Reply

      Hi, Thanks for stopping by and commenting. Great idea. Research leaving the mollusk inside before removing or cleaning the shells. I collect cowrie shells and have for years. the make beautiful jewelry, etc.

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    • Ramil Gillana
    • February 14, 2020

    I am a seller of white starfish…anyone interested?

    • Reply

      Thanks for commenting. Post a image of the white starfish.

        • Dale Anga
        • June 7, 2020

        Iam a sellee of Conus Gloriamaris

        • Reply

          Hi Dale,
          Thanks for the inquiry. I am not a seashell buyer. But what I can do is advise you to look for shell collectors online with seashell websites dedicated to this purpose. I also recommend that you sell your shells on Etsy. Collectors are always looking for rare shells and; your conus gloriamaris may catch their eye. Good luck to you!