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Guides...........and blogs

Getting the best price for your possessions

Getting the best price for your possessions

Dealers (like us!) make a living from buying items and reselling at a higher price. We invest time, money, effort and knowledge to buy right and sell well

So if you are downsizing, decluttering or clearing a house, how do you ensure that you get best prices for your possessions?

It isn't difficult BUT you have to invest time and be thorough. Try to to examine each item, identify and value. Don't throw stuff out until identified/valued, we can still be surprised at what can be valuable! And when you sell, use the best route.

1: Identify.
Use the tips in these guides. Backstamps help, as do any stamped marks or labels. Check stones in jewellery (diamond testers are cheap) and look out for hallmarks. There are many sites where enthusiasts will give their time and knowledge to identify your items

2: Value.
*personal knowledge
*eBay sold items
*subscription valuation sites (some offer 30 day free trial)
*antiques dealer
*auction house valuation service (normally they have days where you can take items for free valuation)

Items often undervalued:
*ephemera such as old letters, postcards and photos
*modern art and furniture
*costume jewellery
*early plastic items
*vintage toys

Items often overvalued
*modern collectables
*brown furniture
*yesterdays antiques (these are items where changing fashion means old items are no longer collected on the same scale and so have seen values slump. A good example are Toby Jugs, but there are many others)

3: Selling.

When you know what you've got and the approximate value then you need to sell it. Options include:

*House clearance. Not recommended for maximising value, the only person to get rich will be the clearance dealer. But it can be cathartic to have a house cleared after bereavement, in which case it is well worth ensuring that treasured/valuable items are excluded from the clearance

*Car boot. Not recommended to maximise value but can be a good way of clearing the junk items at low prices.

*Social media site sale. Unlikely to get top value but usually better than car boot

*Dealers: Only if you know the value of what you are selling and prepared to allow dealer a reasonable profit margin

*Auction house. It helps to have identified the desirable objects that should be sold separately. Auctioneers and valuers often sell in bulk lots and miss items of value (known as sleepers). We expect to find one or two sleepers at each auction sale and, if no one else spots them, can be valuable finds. The advantage of an auction is that both dealers and collectors will be bidding and that can drive up price. Online bidding should help maximise value. Auction house fees can be quite high, at up to 25%, and try to avoid auctioneers who levy high unsold lot charges

*eBay. Has transformed the market for second hand items. Not top prices but middle range.

*Scrap. So often overlooked. For precious metals firms such as Birmingham Silver offer competitive prices. But do not scrap via High Street brokers, their prices are often extremely low. For copper and brass there should be a local scrap merchant if you have several kilograms to scrap. If you are selling silver and gold that is likely to be scrapped, don't sell via an auction house but scrap direct. That way you cut out the auction house commission