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So You Think You Can Sell

by | Oct 17, 2018 | Blog Post

So, You Think You Can Sell? It sounds like a title to a popular week night television competition show, sadly it’s not. But it should be!  The reason why is because in the present day antique and auction world, hobbyists build up a false sense of confidence that they are seasoned veterans in the business. This is in part for two reasons – the graces of technology and access of information at the reach of a fingertip, and the over sensationalization of the trade on television. This article is to serve as a warning for people to take a second thought about who they’re contacting and letting handle their personal tangible property.

In today’s day and age, the newspaper, internet (with the most notorious being Craigslist), and radio are filled with advertising for doing cleanouts, paying CASH for gold, silver, and coins, paying CASH for your antiques, dusty collectibles, old toys, and comics. You name it, it is out there. The reason why I emphasize cash is because that’s the tag line that brings the unsuspecting customer to pick up the phone or write an email. This puts you in a situation of not knowing what you have, potentially short selling yourself gravely. It is not just these fly-by-night professionals that people fall victim too. Unknowingly people do it to themselves just as frequently. It is great to sell something yourself, but the “I can do it myself” for less attitude doesn’t make sense for the want-to-be smart seller in today’s world. On average, with internet transaction fees, it costs thirteen percent of your sale to sell something yourself. So automatically even though you are doing it, you still give a cut exactly like an auction consignment. Now, is the average person going to properly research, describe, and photograph the item? On top of that you need to take on the responsibility of the shipping and handling of the item. But that is only the mere basic barebone essentials of the operation. If you want to capitalize on your objects of virtue then you need to think of the grander picture.

When it comes to the sale of antiques, fine art, and collectibles, finding a trusted auction house is the most savvy and productive way possible. But the key is finding the right one. Even if you can describe and catalog your collection, auction houses bring a following, customer base, and marketing ability far beyond the realm of your average Craigslist or newspaper add. The best part about an auction house is they only make money by making money for you, and most unknowing and sometime stubborn people say percentages are high. But the average auction house consignment premium for one both catalogued and online is typically twenty-five to thirty percent. I don’t know about you but giving up an extra ten percent is worth being able to use modern technology and expertise to advertise your collection to the world, and that can mean the difference of hundreds and thousands.