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Selling to antiques dealers (1 Viewer)

Colin-H

Second Unit
Joined
Jun 25, 2002
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391
I've never done this and I don't want to get duped. I have a set of chairs that I want to sell, and I saw them at an antiques store a while ago for $450. How much should I try to get for them? I was thinking of asking $300 and hoping for $250. Is that too low? I want to ask enough that I get a fair amount for them, but not too much that it totally destroys any negotiating power I might have. I'm already in a good situation knowing how much they tried to sell/sold them for.
 

Jeff Ulmer

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Aug 23, 1998
Messages
5,582
I would ask the dealer to make you an offer, then see where to go from there. Let them make the opening move.
 

Jason_Els

Screenwriter
Joined
Feb 22, 2001
Messages
1,096
What might be better for you is to consign them to auction. You will usuallly get a higher price and the best part is if you don't get the price you want you don't have to sell. Spring is a great time for auctions as it's the beginning of the auction season and dealers from all over the area flock to auctions to see what's around.

Auction houses usually have general auctions every so many days but save the better stuff for a special, highly-publicized auction where the collectors and dealers REALLY come out of the woodwork. If you can wait and your items are particularly valuable or unique, try to get in on one of these auctions. If you've never been to an auction they're a whole lot of fun. Auction hounds are always looking for an estate or collection sale and the worse the weather, the better the deals. Of course that means you want your stuff sold on a day with excellent weather!

Take some detailed pics of your furniture along with a history and bring it over to an auction house. If you can bring a sample chair, better still. Unlike a dealer, the auctioneer wants you to get the highest price for your items because she'll get a percentage of the selling price. Auctioneers will also tell you what your furniture suite is worth and how well similar items are doing on the market. Unscrupulous antique dealers abound and they may try to lowball you. Auctioneers won't. And unlike Ebay, professional auctioneers are no-nonsense dealmakers who will be able to give you a realistic estimate of what you can get in the current market and they handle collecting the money.
 

John Watson

Screenwriter
Joined
Jul 14, 2002
Messages
1,936
If your stuff is in lousy condition, they'll tell you they can't give much for it.

But if it's been cleaned up, repaired, or modified, they'll tell you its not in original or antique condition.

They get you coming and going.:D

BTW I believe some auctions don't let you set a reserve price, and your stuff can be sold for a pittance. :frowning:
 

John*C

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Aug 8, 2003
Messages
203
I usually use the term What's the absolute lowest price you'll take for them, then haggleand win.:)
 

Craig

Second Unit
Joined
Oct 20, 1999
Messages
468
Generally, you'll get around 40%-50% of the actual street price of anything you sell to a retailer. If the retailer has a customer waiting then you might get as much as 70%, but that's only because the retailer doesn't have to make any real investment.

Most people overestimate the condition of what they have. "Excellent conditon" to you (if you're selling) may mean it looks pretty good and is usable. To a collector it could mean that it's almost new with just very minor wear.
 

Colin-H

Second Unit
Joined
Jun 25, 2002
Messages
391
Well, honestly what I'm talking about is nothing precious... it's '70s kitsch. It's not really for series collectors... more for people who buy ridiculously overpriced vintage clothing, as well. Fortunately, there's more than one shop around here that sells that sort of stuff. I picked up this table and chairs for $100 at Salvation Army, and a few days later I was shocked to see the chairs marked at $450 in one of these antiques stores. I'd be happy to double my money.
 

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