Need info and approx. value on 1930s dining room suite

kmiller00November 13, 2010

have had this in storage in my garage for a year or so. inherited from my long deceased grandmother. its in pretty good shape a few minor blemishes. i had a garage sale today and a couple of 'auction people' came by and spotted the suite (it wasn't with 'for sale' stuff)...they wanted to see the pieces and was VERY interested. i asked what they would offer me and they said they wanted to know what i would take. well since i have NO IDEA its worth (if any) i told them i wasnt sure. they kept on but i declined giving them my phone number. they have since called me 5 times wanting to make a deal for the suite. so im wondering if they just like it or they know something i don't. can anyone give me information and approx. value? suite consists of table with butterfly leaf(can take pic & post tomorrow if needed), buffet (see pic), china cabinet(see pic) and 6 chairs (1 captain & 5 regular)(see pic).




Here is a link that might be useful:

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Let's see the table....

    Bookmark   November 13, 2010 at 11:01PM
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Can we see some bigger pics? I'm getting really tiny ones from your links, and can't see any detail.

Check Craigslist and see what similar pieces are selling for in your area. Analyze the construction for signs of high-end work, like solid wood framing and drawer fronts, well-matched veneer, detailed carving versus pressed, routed or glued-on details.

Also, find what a new dining set of a vaguely similar style and quality is selling for ... yours is "vintage" and will always be vintage, theirs will be "used furniture" and not turn into "vintage" for a generation.

Also, check the suite closely for a maker's mark. The dealers may have spotted something that makes it more valuable.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2010 at 11:55AM
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Garage sale regulars in this area are bargain snoopers and many folks who also run antique stores will hit them regularly as well as all the auctions, looking for a steal n which they can make money on resales. Since garage sale items are usually priced well under their worth to clear them out, you can't blame them for trying to put this suit in that category and get it for pennies on the dollar.

Do they see something you don't? Doubt it, they're just hoping you don't know what it's worth and persistence doesn't cost a cent. If they really saw something unique in the suit, they'd be giving you offers. The suit's worth is very variable depending on condition, and your location. From what I can see of it, it's attractive, reasonably vintage and probably good wood. In my vicinity, if it didn't need refinished and was useable as it sits, I'd expect to get four figures out of it. You'll have to make enquiries in your area to what similar sets are bringing.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2010 at 3:20PM
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That is a ploy that antique dealers use - they say what do you want for it, hoping you will name a low, low price and they can snap it up.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2010 at 9:49PM
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Antique Dealers and not bottom feeders, despite whatever reputation they may seem to, well some certainly are, but most I know and deal with are very nice folks....and being a new (and still admittedly novice) "antique dealer" myself, I have heard them use that phrase regularly "how much do you want for it" in part because most people either (a) have an unrealistic value of something they have for sale or (b) they have no idea what value it is and it's a good starting point for negotiation. If you are selling something TO ANYONE, you MUST do your due diligence and have an idea of the reasonable market value of the item.

If youend up selling this set to the general public for their own use and not for resale, you should be able to get close to the fair market value or slightly under (everyone wants a deal) keeping in mind that an antique dealer is assuming the risk of resale, they may (depending on their situation) have limited display space and the market for a vintage high end (or not) complete dining set may or may not be there. In other words, lets say for arguments sake that the set is worth $4,000 and the dealer wants to offer you $1500, they may have to hold onto that set for a year maybe more (of course, maybe less that all depends on what price they put on it once they have it) before it sells to someone for $4,000. All the while it's sitting there, that is say 4 or 5 less other pieces of furniture that cant be put into their store to sell. If they are like me, they pay rent to have that space each month, so each month it occupies say 100 square ft, that might be $165 of rent each month, and what if it takes a year to sell it and during that time you have no where else to put any other pieces for sale into your space? you can do the math and quickly realize that it wouldn't take too long to eat away at their potential profit. So they might offer $1500 and try to sell it at $3,000 to sell it quickly.

Anyway, someone like me who has only a small amount of rented booth space would never be able to get a big set like this, because for me it would be completely impractical.

I would say look at your local antique stores, look on line at ebay (but do an advanced search and to find COMPLETED sales, as the current auctions are very deceiving, they may have it listed for $15,000, but that doesn't mean they are going to sell it for that).

You might also be able to find appraisers in your area, the same antique folks who would be able to determine it's value (for a fee).

I think all in all you did the right thing, in waiting and I'd just be prepared before selling it to anyone. But know that the antique dealers will pay 1/2 or less of it's value, whereas a local citizen would pay more to have it for themselves.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2010 at 11:08AM
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Dealers buy whole sale and sell retail.
BUT...what you, ringa, might consider in your small rented booth and what someone would consider for their store front shop or the whole basement they have turned into an antiques shop would be very different. I know more than one dealer who considers what they call "display pieces, and puts a hefty price on it until they have sold most of the contents or the china they have displayed on the table top, then drop the price to something reasonable.
and another but to the OP....realize that if a dealer buys it, they are looking to make a profit....that's what the antiques business is about. And if you really want an opinion about just what it is from people on this forum, so you can do your own research, post better pictures.
Linda C

    Bookmark   November 19, 2010 at 12:48PM
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