How best to sell antique furniture?? Where? Who do I trust?
In the first part of this article we will discuss how to collect information on your antiques - the second part will deal with ways of selling your precious pieces.
I shall try and put myself in the shoes of the private person who has for some reason decided to sell his or her antique furniture.
Let us say you have a couple of pieces of antique furniture you just don't want any more.
You have various options of course:
It could be you don't want much for them you just want them gone - then phoning the local antique dealer is the quickest way.
On the other hand, you might be more interested in what you can get for them.... MONEY....
Let us assume you have absolutely no idea what your antique furniture is, where it comes from, how old it is and what it is made of - or even if it is antique.
In this case I would take some photos and head to the nearest antique dealer or auction house, tell them your problem and ask for help.
They should at least be able to give you the information you need so you can search further, they might even give you an idea of the value for free.
Once you are armed with the information and know what to look for you can start searching on the internet.
Try the online auction houses first. You might not find anything exactly the same - but will find things in the same wood of the same age and condition.
Do a google search and look at the pictures to see what's similar and look those up.
You could go to the library and look in books with price lists and get more information.
How do you come to the right price?
That is the hard part. At the end of the day, it is worth what one is prepared to pay for it.
Probably taking the higher end of the middle price is about right.
Remember, you can always go down. Don't be ridiculous though - everyone wants a good deal!
How much time do you have?
If you have time then try an advert in the newspaper or an antique collectors magazine.
Try the pinboard at your local store or your office etc.
You could set up an account with GoAntiques, Rubylane or one of the other online Auction Houses.
If you are selling on the internet then make sure your photos are not only good but excellent and all information is accurate and true.
Good information and better pictures lead to a quicker sale and getting your price.
If you are in a hurry, I would try the newspaper idea perhaps for a week and then try the internet.
What if you have a whole house/estate to empty?
Again - how much time have you - what do you know about what you have?
If you have a great deal of antique furniture and other antiques to sell, then it will probably be best to contact someone who does estate sales, an auction house or perhaps an appraiser.
Be careful about letting dealers in and letting them buy the best bits first.
If you want to sell well through an estate sale or on site auction - then keep everything - those best pieces will be the ones that bring the people in.
No one is interested in a place where it's been 'gone through' already.
I really wouldn't advise trying to sell up a whole household by yourself. It is really hard work and takes longer than you ever thought possible. At the end of the day you wonder why on earth you didn't just phone the auction house.
To sell antique furniture can be a quick and rewarding experience. Unfortunately these days it is becoming a rather hard and painstaking experience.
so .... Good luck.....