Buying and Selling Collectibles: Where to Sell Items Information

About the hobby of collecting, buying, and selling old and used items for fun and profit, in this case information on where and how to sell items.


If you find any of the items herein described, or any other collectibles, you'll want to: (a) have them appraised to learn their up-to-the-minute market value, and (b) locate a buyer who'll pay a fair price for them. Many people go to museums with their discoveries, but few museums are equipped or willing to make appraisals. They may give an opinion on whether or not an item is genuine, but not an estimate of value. Instead they refer such inquiries to dealers, with the warning that the appraisal will cost money. This is true. "Appraisal" means the dealer studies the material and gives a written report on what it is and what it's worth. For this service the owner pays a fee, which varies according to the amount of work involved. Appraisals can be made on single items or entire collections. The alternative to paying for an appraisal is simply to present the item (s) for sale and ask for an offer. Don't, unless desperate, accept the 1st offer, but get a few competitive offers. Try, when possible, to sell to a specialist. If you have dolls, sell to a doll specialist; if you have porcelain, sell to a porcelain specialist. Because he has more outlets for his material-more customers waiting-a specialist will pay higher prices.

There are 2 important points to keep in mind when selling.

First, condition greatly affects price. A stamp that would sell for $100 if perfect might bring only $40 or $50 with a missing perforation. A coin whose design has been rubbed nearly smooth is worth less than 10% of a fine specimen. Books with pages missing are almost impossible to sell.

Second, if you sell to a dealer, the dealer's margin of profit will always be figured into the price. In the antiques business, a markup of 100% is normal. Therefore, a $15 offer for an item that sells at retail for $30 is fair; or $50 for an item that sells at $100.

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