How To Value and Sell Your Antiques and Collectibles
Do you have a lot of vintage items collecting dust around your home? Turns out, those goods could be worth a lot of money. But before you rush out to your local pawn shop, check out our guide on how to value and sell your antiques and collectibles.
Valuing Your Collectibles and Antiques
While you may think that your old comic book or antique watch is worth a lot of money, potential buyers may think otherwise. That is why it is important to properly value your vintage collectibles.
After all, if your prices are too high, nobody will want to buy your items. But you don’t want to under-value your goods and get ripped off, either. So here are some tips for properly assessing how much your antiques and collectibles are worth.
Identify Your Items
While your grandmother’s old furniture may look vintage, it may be more modern (and therefore less valuable) than it appears. So make sure you know exactly when your collectibles were created, and what they are made of. Some materials , such as gold or sterling silver, are more valuable than others.
Buyers will want to know exactly what they are getting, so get as much detail about your antiques and collectibles as possible. Many libraries will have handy guides. You can also Google relevant collectors clubs and get additional information from their websites. If your antique has a special maker’s mark or stamp, that can also help you identify the item.
Do Your Research
One easy way to find out how much your vintage items are worth is to find out what comparable items sold for. Thanks to the internet, this process is simpler than ever. Websites such as eBay let you search prior auctions to see how much people paid for specific goods. You can also look at sites such as RubyLane that specialize in vintage items.
If you prefer to do your research offline, there are some printed books available that help readers value their items. Some guides list a variety of antiques and collectibles, while others focus on a specific category such as records or furniture. You can also contact local antique dealers to get their opinions.
Know What Buyers Want
If you have never sold a collectible or antique before, it can be hard to know what qualities buyers are looking for. In general, the rarer an item, the more it is worth. Buyers also prefer antiques and collectibles that have a provenance confirming its validity. Finally, make sure to keep your vintage items in the best condition possible, as a small chip or tear can greatly affect their value.
Hire a Professional
If you really want to know exactly how much your vintage collectibles are worth, you may want to hire a professional appraiser. Professionals have the necessary knowledge and experience necessary to calculate the monetary value of your items.
The American Society of Appraisers, or ASA, lets you search for appraisers by location and area of expertise. An appraiser can cost hundreds of dollars per hour, however, so a professional appraisal may not be worth it unless your goods are really valuable.
Also, do not rely on the buyer to determine the value of your collectible. There is a good chance the buyer will low-ball you and then sell the item for thousands more than he bought it for.
Selling Your Collectibles and Antiques
Once you have calculated how much your antiques and collectibles are work, it is time to start selling them. Here are some tips to help make the process go as smoothly as possible.
Decide Where You Want To Sell Your Items
You also can go down to your local antique store and sell your collectibles in person. Keep in mind, however, that store owners often have additional expenses that online retailers do not have, particularly overhead. So you may not get the best value by selling to a brick-and-mortar store.
Use Auctions for the Most Valuable Collectibles
Places like eBay are great if you want to attract as many potential buyers as possible. But big spenders often prefer to spend their money at in-person auctions. So if you have a particularly valuable item or collection, contact the National Auctioneers Association to find an auction professional near you.
Let a Consignment Shop Do the Work for You
If you don’t want to deal with the stress of selling your vintage items, you can always bring them to a consignment shop. Consignment shops complete the sale for you, but do note that they take a percentage of the revenue.
Enjoy Your Profits
Selling your antiques and collectibles can be a great way to de-clutter your home and bring in some extra cash. Some of your vintage items may have a higher value than you think, so don’t hesitate to get started.