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Thursday, July 10, 2014

Pricing and Appraising Hints and Tips

Busy Bee Moving Sales - An Estate Sales Company in Nashville, TN.
 You've just gathered the family and decided to go through and divide Grandma's things.  Sounds like fun recovering memories and sharing this moment with the family until...
Cousin Betty Bell shows up and says she would like the carnival glass butter dish in the china cabinet.  Two sisters would like Grandma's wedding ring.  Brother Jim has hired someone to come haul away half the barn.  No one knows what her Hummel and doll collection are worth.  Grandma had boxes of jewelry both costume and gold but not sure what they're worth?
This is when a professional estate sales company can help with pricing and appraising.  First, tell brother Jim to not haul anything off until someone has looked at it.  With a trend of repurposing, and refinishing so hot right now thanks to websites such as Pinterest, everything has potential value.  Ebay is probably the most common website for researching items and if you're using it, make sure you go to the sold items as we all know, not everything sells for the targeted price.  My favorite is a website called Worthpoint.  There is a fee of about 100.  a year and if you use it often or for a whole sale, it may be worth it but mainly used for antiques and collectibles.  Remember for larger items such as furniture and farm equipment, bidders will bid less with shipping fees in mind.  Therefore, those items may get more locally.
Items such as art and jewelry are best to consult appraisers in that field. Expensive jewelry should be only appraised by a reputable jeweler.  Art is difficult to compare on websites such as ebay and many fraudulant dealers make appraising them difficult.  Also, signatures can be difficult to read as well.
Searching Craigslist in your area will also give you an idea of what a tractor of that brand and condition are going for.
Recent Trends:
Collectibles bought for the purpose of collecting such as Cabbage Patch Dolls, Ty Babies, Collector's Plates, etc., have not held their expected increase in value as many collectors had hoped.  However, less apparent valuables may be found in old crocks, yelloware, Pyrex, pottery, ironware, vintage clothing, old toys etc.
Furniture can be tricky.  Although Grandmother's living room set was an expensive brand, if it is 1980's -1995, it may be a hard sale.  Mid-Century furniture has made a great come back with the modern sleek lines and appeals to the younger generation that most likely is decorating a smaller space and needs the lighter look.  Very early primitive pieces are a huge hit with the ability to mix them with a modern Pottery Barn look.  Taking an old hand made table from the barn and setting it up for a farm table with a rustic bench and wing back chairs on both ends is a great example of the value in an estate sale find.  Always look for name brands inside the drawers, back and underneath.  Consider the condition.  Look at the dove tails and nails to determine age.  Look at the quality of craftsmanship in the back and underneath to determine value if you can't find a name brand.  Remember that not everyone wants the entire matching suite.  Just because you're attached to it and think it should go as an entire set, people have different needs and pricing options of separate and discounted for the entire dining room set, are better options for you and the customer.  T.V. armoirs and china cabinets can be difficult to sell as we move to flat screen televisions and less couples are buying and displaying china as in past tradition.  If you do need to sell these items, display them with a new idea such as books in the china cabinet or toy baskets stored in the armoir.
Before dividing up expensive items between the family members, you may want to bring an experienced appraiser through to take a look.  This will put others at ease and reduce strife.  Current prices are best obtained through the most recent price point you can find.  Antique collector's books are often misleading in what you can ask for an item in today's market.  Books are great for information and identifying and even an idea of its rarity but we have found a large variance in some of the prices and that on the internet.
For newer items found in stores today and slightly used, pricing should be around 75% to half of the original price. 
Damaged items should be significantly less than half if sold at all and always labeled as such with "as is".
Some people price too high and some too low.  If you price too low, it will go quickly at that price.  If you price too high, it will sit there and give you a chance to reduce and take offers.  If someone inquires about a piece, ask them why they do not think it's worth that.  They may offer information that will give you insight and knowledge you didn't have before such as, "This depression glass is a reproduction."
If you are unsure of an item's worth, don't sell it.  Continue to research and call a professional to help you.

The following is brought to you by Busy Bee Moving Sales in Nashville, Tennessee.  Visit our website to find out how we can assist you in selling your estate. email: or call 512-788-2544.

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