Antiques

I have many different items for sale. Ranging from crystal to brass candlesticks and brass mortar and pestle to some furniture.
Where is my best source? Do I contact Estate Sales or an Antique Buyer?

I would research sites like Ebay to try to get some idea of value. Just because something is old does not mean it’s valuable. The general rule is that it has to be rare, in near perfect condition and well made (ie - expensive) in the first place. And of course, someone has to want it enough to part with some cash.

There are lots of exceptions to that but it is a starting point.

It depends on the market where you are. In Pittsburgh, because of how many older people are dieing off and how many households have generations of stuff piled in them, furniture (even good quality stuff over 100 years old) is almost throw-away. Load it on a truck and take it more to the central part of the state and you can do some good returns on it. Around here, advertising is hot because of how many corporations had offices and headquarters here - central PA that stuff is dead.

Small stuff you can ship easily, eBay is still your best bet 90% of the time. For everything else, ask some questions at local shops and make your plans from there.

(Until lately I was employed in the industry, so to speak - coins, stamps and jewelry. If you want specific advice (even on stuff like furniture) on testing your markets, send me a PM.)

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What is best is ultimately going to be a matter of advice and opinion rather than something that can be factually cited.

Moving thread from General Questions to In My Humble Opinion.

Our community has a community buy and sell page on Facebook. It is very active.

We have disposed of quite a bit of antique and collectible stuff through local auctions. An auctioneer near us holds weekly auctions and sells off all sorts of antiques, collectibles and just plain household stuff.

Look up “auctioneer” or “auctions” in your area and call and talk to a couple. Or look on auctionzip.com and put in your zip code and see who the active auctioneers are in your area.

If you have an entire household worth of stuff, they may hold an auction onsite and sell it all. If you have less, they will likely take it and combine it with other people’s stuff.

For small stuff, you could try ebay, as mentioned. You could also try craigslist or a local pennysaver, but then you’d have to deal with the phone calls and kooks.

The advantage of using an auctioneer is that you get rid of it all right away, and it will be marketed to people who are looking to buy. Our local auctioneers will also take care of moving it out of the house and taking it to their auction site.

Having said that, the market for most antiques is pretty depressed, and has been for several years. We sold stuff my wife’s parents bought 20-30 years ago, and a lot of it went for considerably less than they paid for it then. I’ve seen solid wood bedroom sets and decent upholstered furniture go for very low prices.