How to buy and sell antiques you find (in places other than rubbish removal jobs)
As you may know by now, I don’t sell my antiques. After I find them on various rubbish removal jobs, I either display them in my office — like this Lionel electric train set — or I donate them where they’re needed — like the 114-year-old Ulysses S. Grant program that I gave to the Grant Monument Association.
Still, many collectors sell antiques, whether it’s because it’s a hobby, it’s a means of income, or it’s the way to pay for the popular hobby of buying them, too.
Maybe you’re an avid collector, or perhaps you’re just getting started. (Or maybe, you’re a garbage removalist in Rigewood, Queens, like me!) Either way, these tips can help you get the best price for your antiques, whether you’re buying or selling.
1. Figure out your purpose. When it comes to buying and selling antiques, your actions will depend on your goals. For example, if you are looking to make a profit solely on buying and selling, you’ll benefit more from picking and selling wholesale, rather than selling to small-time individual buyers. Or, if you’re simply interested in collecting, you’ll want to focus on getting the best price possible when you’re on the hunt. And, unless you’re independently wealthy, you may have to turn to selling in order to sustain your hobby.
2. Get online. Whether you’re buying or selling, you’ll need to have a price in mind. Most appraisers value antiques daily to see what’s comparable in the current market. In order to evaluate how much your item might be worth, do online research to see how much items like yours are going for. Take the average of the highs and lows, and that number is likely how much you’ll want to get for your antiques. Simply surfing the Web gives you access to countless resources, such as past online auctions, large online antique malls or online guides. Another easy way to obtain the right price for your item is to pay someone to give an estimation of value. Keep in mind that this is not the same as a professional appraisal.
3. Pick your seller wisely. It makes a difference in profit when you sell to a wholesaler or pickers instead of an individual customer. If your item is rare or considered a “hot” item in the market, your most lucrative option is selling in an online market, such as eBay. The reason for this is that you’re likely to reach a higher population of buyers, which could increase the end selling price. However, selling online is not always wise. Oftentimes, you can ask more for your items at an offline auction, show dealers or antique mall. One safe way to sell is to sell to a dealer, where you’ll likely get a price of around 25 to 50 percent of what you would ask as a secondary market retailer. This is because the dealer has to do a lot of legwork before they find the right buyer. While this may not seem ideal, the pro for you is that you’re likely to sell your item quickly .
4. Have fun! Antiquing is supposed to be fun, so don’t let it stress you out. Whether it’s your career or a pastime, make sure you’re enjoying it.
*Photo courtesy of cartoonsnap.blogspot.com