Thursday, May 29, 2008
How To Sell Your Antique, Collectible & Fine Art Items To Quickly Turn Your Money
I received an email from Michael B., a member of the 31 Club, thanking me for all the information provided by the blog, however, he asked for more information on selling the items purchased. But Well, Michael B., your request is my honor to answer.
Selling is the last piece of the puzzle to fall into place. However, it is the one part of the puzzle that requires the least amount of time and research. You might be surprised by that statement. I am often asked, “I know I can buy the item, but what’s my guarantee I can sell it?” When I’m asked that, I tell them they’re on the wrong side of the dog. Why?
When you buy any antique, collectible or piece of fine art following the rules for buying I wrote about in 31 Steps to Your Millions in Antiques & Collectibles, customers will be lined up at your door. I don’t say this to minimize the importance of selling, rather to stress the importance of buying. If an items is purchased right, according to the criteria I’ve set up in my book, selling doesn’t become a big issue. I can tell you in just a few paragraphs how to sell. But, making good buys is something you’ll be learning for the rest of your life and is the far more important component. With that said, let’s set some rules for selling so we can get the biggest bang for our buck.
Working From a Collectors List is Essential For Your Success
If you’ve sold items before and haven’t kept a list of who you’ve sold to and what they bought or what they buy, begin assembling this Collectors List now.
When you attend local auctions and house sales, notice who purchases rare items or shows an interest in rare and collectible items. Engage them in conversation and introduce yourself. Remember, I’ve said in the past that this business is about relationships. When you take the time to learn about other people, you’ll be able to add them to your list of collectors. This is so important, because this list will provide you the best market for selling your items you’ll ever find, and it will be right at your fingertips. Private Sales between you and a collector is the ideal way to sell your items, however, it you might not know someone for every item you come across. Then, you’ll need to consider other means of selling.
An Auction House List Helps Make You Make Knowledeable
Note what auction companies set high records and keep a list of those companies. One of the things I do is cut out articles from AntiqueWeek, Maine Antique Digest, and Antique Trader about items that have set high records, making a note of the auction company who made the sale. I then put it in a clip file that my 9-year-old son, Joshua helps to maintain. This way, if I come across a similar item, this company will be a possible place to consider selling through.
The Necessity of Trade Subscriptions
Antique Week, Maine Antique Digest and Antique Trader all carry articles about auction results, so I’d get a subscription. I follow auction results of some of the larger specialty auction houses like Treadway Galleries, Rago Arts & Auction Center & Cincinnati Art Galleries for pottery and glass. Find the specialty auction houses for the items that interest you, as well. I also start a file on Doll Auctions, Toy Auctions and so on. This way, I won't have to search long for the right place to sell my items.
Deciding Where to Sell Your Antique & Collectible Item
If you don’t have a collector on your list for your particular item, you can research collectors on the Internet and contact them. If you don’t come up with a collector for your piece, now deciding where to sell your item requires you ask this question: Is this item rare enough to place it in a standard auction, a specialty auction house, or something like eBay.
Major auction houses today are only looking for an item $20,000 and over. So, where does your item fall? With these houses charging 25 % commission and as high as 25 % buyers premium, before you go this route your item had better be very special. If you are fortunate enough to find an item in this price range, specialty auction houses are very appealing.
For example, I found the Rookwood lamp recently, and had to decide where I’d sell it. I decided it would go to the Cincinnati Art Galleries for their November auction because I know they have set all the auction records on Rookwood pieces.
Stay tuned for tomorrow’s Blog. We’ll be studying other ways to profit from all our hard work.
More and more members are sending in their stories to me, and I will publish them as fast as I can. If you haven’t sent in yours, why not do that today?
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31 Steps to Your Millions in Antiques & Collectibles
Insider Secrets to Sucessfully Working in Antique, Collectible and Fine Art Markets
Antique Trade Gazette (U.K.)
Maine Antique Digest