Do you have an antique gem that you’d like to sell? Instead of listing your item on an online platform like Craigslist or Ebay, you may be considering approaching a local antiques dealer.
Selling locally has numerous benefits including:
- Avoiding fees associated with selling online and collecting payments from buyers
- Avoiding the hassles of packing and shipping your item, especially important if the item is fragile and you don’t want to risk it getting damaged.
- Quick cash in hand
In this article we’ll cover what to do, and what to expect when selling your antiques so that you can be as confident as possible in making a deal.
Do Your Homework
Before you consider approaching your local antique dealer, do some research on your piece to determine its value. You may consider having your item appraised by a professional appraiser to have the most thorough assessment of its worth. Find someone who is a subject matter expert on your particular object as this person will provide you with valuable information on its value, while also evaluating the condition of the piece which plays a major role in how much it will be worth.
Not knowing this information beforehand could cost you a pretty penny.
While doing your research, try to find a few dealers who specialize in your type of object. This will be valuable later as you shop around and try to get bids from multiple dealers.
Be Prepared to Negotiate
You should walk in ready to state your asking price as a starting point for negotiation. Know the amount you’re least willing to take and start negotiations a little above that price to gauge how high the dealer is willing to go.
If you’re lucky, the shopkeeper may have a ready market for your item and will be happy to honor your starting price. Don’t be surprised however if they don’t accept your initial price and require you to set a different price.
Expect an Percentage of the Retail Price
Having done your homework, you now have a well-researched estimate of your item’s worth.
Knowing this information will leave you feeling confident in your interactions with a dealer. With that being said, be prepared for them to only be willing to a percentage of what you’ve determined as the current market value.
A shop owner’s main priority is to turn a profit. In addition to their overhead expenses, they have to factor in the wait-time, weeks, months or even years, it takes for them to make a sale on your item. There’s a price to pay for the minimal hassle and quick cash sale of your item to a dealer.
Want to get a bigger cut out of the sale of your antique? Consider giving your item to a dealer on consignment. The consigner typically receives 60- 80% of the retail value, a noticeable difference to the typical 50% you would receive by selling to the dealer directly.
Be Ready to Let Go
Prior to selling, make sure you seriously consider whether or not you are willing and ready to part with an item, especially if it’s a family heirloom. Should you change your mind after it’s been sold, there is no guarantee that it will still be available for re-purchase from the owner. For starters, the dealer might not be willing to give it back to you for the price you paid. Keep in mind that they are now the new owners of the piece and are mainly concerned with turning a profit.
Secondly, you may return to the shop and find that it’s already been sold.
Have no regrets once a deal is done. Don’t think about what you could have made had you held
out for a higher price. Part of letting go of an antique is the ability to quickly move on after a sale. Count your blessings, and your cash.
Looking to sell antiques in the Palm Beach County area? Stop by Twery’s in Greenacres for a free appraisal.