Too Much Stuff? Here are some valuable tips for SELLING YOUR TREASURES!
There are many possibilities for selling anything-but especially specialized items.
Here are some options:
Sell it yourself. Place ads in the local classifieds/little notices in the supermarkets/etc. This might be good for a car or boat, but not for antiques, collectibles, or little items.
Sell it on the Internet. Probably best to use eBay, although there are other sites. Set up an account (they usually explain how it’s done); decide on things like how payment is to be received, shipping charges, packaging, etc. Take some good photographs and get a good description of the item. Decide length of time, starting bid, and whether you want a reserve (minimum).
Sell through an auctioneer. Some good choices are Leslie Hindman & Susanin’s (both in Chicago), Jackson’s (Cedar Falls, IA), Sotheby’s or Christie’s (but only very high end items), or regional auction houses. Due to the many online platforms now available, many local auctions are just as good as the “big boys.” Check out their reputation in the community. You must talk to their representatives, send a photograph or show them the item in person, and sign a contract. You may have to wait a while for the auction and for payment. This is the best way to sell if you have time and it fits a certain auction. You must pay a consignment fee (usually a percentage of what the item brings at auction). Local auctions are quick and efficient, but not always the most knowledgeable. Don’t discount them, however.
Sell to a dealer. Go to various shops in town and ask if they “buy.” Take photo of your items to show them. If they are interested, come back with the item. Negotiate a deal. Expect to get 50% of value (less if the dealer is savvy).
Ask someone else to sell it for you. Pay them a small percentage or fee and have them take care of it. Know what’s involved right up front. They might “broker” the item, show different collectors, put it on the Internet, or act as your agent in contacting auction houses.
Have a garage or yard sale. (Hard to do with only a few pieces.) This is not advisable for specialized items. You’ll put too low of a price on the item and someone will “steal” it…OR, you’ll put too high of a price and no one will look at it. Garage sales work real well if you have a lot of stuff (low end) and a lot of time. It gives you the enjoyment of selling your own items and interacting with the public. May help you start a new career. May also put you to sleep as you wait for customers who like to offer a quarter for everything they see.
Before You Start…
Always know what you have and what to expect it to bring. It may pay to take it to an impartial appraiser. They will identify it correctly and suggest a value based on your market. This is the best tip anyone can receive. If I can be of help, since this is my job, please feel free to contact me. I’m here to help you out.
Cris Drugan, ISA Accredited appraiser