Whether you’re an experienced antiques dealer or just trying to make some extra cash off of valuable belongings, the key to success lies in preparation. Selling antiques can be a lucrative (and fun!) way to make money, but it requires a lot of effort to ensure you get the best return on your investment. Follow these seven tips to make more money today on the collectibles of yesterday.
- Consider the Season. While there are always people looking to make purchases off-season, more often than not it’s a good idea to showcase and advertise your antiques during the appropriate season. Do you have your grandmother’s vintage Nutcrackers? You’ll likely have better luck in November and December than in June. Have a baseball card collection? Wait until the season starts in April and May; you probably won’t find many buyers in snowy January.
- Think Twice Before Cleaning It. If you have an older piece that’s lost its sheen, you may be tempted to clean or restore it. You think you’re attracting more discerning buyers, but you may actually be decreasing its worth. Many antiques were made before our current cleaning solutions were created and, therefore, may not be able to tolerate the chemicals and other ingredients.
- Expect Hagglers. Sure, people (probably) wouldn’t walk into Macy’s and try to talk the cashier down in price, but antiques are a whole other animal. There are no hard and fast prices for antiques, but they do tend to be a bit pricey. Collectors want the best deal they can get and usually aren’t shy about it, so don’t be surprised when they expect you to part with your vintage coffee grinder for 60 percent of the asking price. You have to decide for yourself whether you want a quick sale or are willing to wait for a higher offer.
- Know Your History. Antiques are valuable because of their history, so what kind of seller doesn’t know the facts behind what they’re selling? A little bit of research into the maker, the year, original price, noteworthy involvements, past owners and other historical factors can make all the difference in a sale.
- Invest in an Appraisal. Unless you have a cousin who’s an appraiser, you probably don’t need to get every antique you own checked out. But for those big-ticket items, it’s worth the small fee to get a detailed valuation so you can ensure you’re listing it at the proper price and potential buyers won’t feel exploited.
- Don’t Limit Your Marketplace. The best thing about the age of technology is that you have unlimited platforms on which to sell your antiques in addition to the normal avenues. From auction houses, consignment shops and antique fairs to eBay, LetGo and Craigslist, you’re sure to find the right buyer in these far-reaching marketplaces.
- Skip the Price Tag. In the world of antique sales, things rarely sell for list price. But that doesn’t mean your items will necessarily sell for less. If you display your antiques without a price, you can open negotiation with the upper hand by simply saying, “Make me an offer.” This will help you gauge how much buyers think your things are worth and whether you’ve mentally priced them too high or too low.
Now that you know how to successfully sell your antiques, you need a reliable, secure, climate-controlled place to keep them safe and in prime condition until they are sold. Contact the experts at Gotham Mini Storage and keep your antiques in selling shape.