how do you find people who want to buy?

vegangirlMarch 24, 2009

I don't know if this is an inappropriate question for this forum but I don't know who else to ask.

My parents were avid collectors of antiques (clocks, watches, dishes,phonographs and records, oil lamps,etc). My father passed away in May last year and my mother wants to sell many of the items. She is visually handicapped and really can't see to enjoy them or to keep them dusted.

My daughter has listed some on eBay but there were no bidders. How does a seller find a buyer with money and desire to buy? I know the economy is bad but there are still lots of folks with lots of money out there somewhere!!

Advice would be appreciated!!


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There are several ways.....find a consignment shop and consign some things there....put an ad in the paper....but you need to find what they are worth to do that.
Of if you have an auctioneer....or go in with another house hold to hold an auction.
I love sets the selling price for sure!
Good luck!

    Bookmark   March 24, 2009 at 8:54PM
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Thanks Linda! We've been doing lots of research on values. I've been able to find info on the Fire King dishes but not the older ones. I did talk with a local antique/collectible dealer back last summer but she said things were just not moving. That was when gas prices were so high of course. This summer may be different. I appreciate the suggestions!


    Bookmark   March 25, 2009 at 9:42AM
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Hi. Got a similar situation. Thinking about renting a table at an antiques show.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2009 at 12:55PM
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Just remember you won't be getting what they are worth! People don't want to buy anything right now. Try to sell on It doesn't cost a thing and I have had good results on there. Just remember, be fair on your asking prices and stuff will move quickly.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2009 at 5:02PM
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suesan, how do you find out when and where the antique shows are? I live in a very rural area and don't know of any around.

javaandjazz, people not buying is what concerns me! she has some very valuable things. I'll check out craigslist. Thanks,

    Bookmark   March 25, 2009 at 5:06PM
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vegangirl, try typing "antiques shows" and your town or county into Google. You might have to try a few different searches but you will certainly turn up plenty of shows nearby. Also get your hands on trade papers, they will list the shows everywhere in their coverage area and a few beyond. Successful selling requires a few things from you:

1. Knowledge of the things you sell-this does not mean 'what they're worth'. It means what they ARE. When were they made and who made them? What peculiar characteristics do they have? Are they rare? Are they in good condition?

2. Prices within range of the venue. Forget what the books say-you will sell for whatever people care to pay. Period. Know your antiques and have a general idea of what similar items have traded at in your region recently. And if you're taking on an exhibit at a show, have a look around at other dealer's booths and note the prices they ask for objects similar to yours.

Since you seem to have a number of objects to sell, the show or a local auction would be a faster way to move them along. Some items may keep you waiting at auction, as the better auction houses group objects into their specialty auctions. That might leave you waiting for months for some objects to cross the block. The nice thing about auctions is if you have a very desirable object, the bidding wars could drive a great hammer. It's a riot to send something off then watch the sale and see it bid to far more than you'd have thought.

Best of luck. And, in MY book, if you're trying to sell off stuff you JUST MIGHT get interested in a regular side business in antiques. I love to see new folks come in to the trade.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2009 at 11:08PM
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Hi Vegan Girl,

I strongly recommend an auction. The auction house will do the work for you. It is in their best interest to get the best price possible. They will take a percentage, usually 20% of the final sale, as their fee (and also from the buyer). If you are in no rush, as harebell said, you might have to wait for the auction house to fit it into an appropriate auction.

I would recommend finding auction houses in your area on line and looking at recent auctions to see what their "prices realized" (final winning bid price) is compared to the estimate. I follow several auction houses, both major and minor, and unfortunately the trend has been prices realized below the low estimate ... it is a hard time to sell. If you do not NEED to sell and can wait out the economy a couple of years, that would be my recommendation.

The OTHER idea would be to have a "Tag Sale". Someone comes to your home and again does all the work ... value, holding the sale, collecting the money. And again, they get a percentage.

I hope this helps

    Bookmark   March 27, 2009 at 7:42AM
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Harebell and Baerbaer,

Thank you both for the good information and advice! I'll share all this info with Mom and see what she would like us to do.


    Bookmark   March 27, 2009 at 9:06AM
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I would also suggest, its a free listing so it can't hurt!

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   May 26, 2009 at 5:06PM
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