Guest Author - Kim O´Shea
We all make mistakes at times but the way to avoid the biggest ones is to be prepared. When deciding on the start price or reserve for your item, you need to know that you are on the right track.
It helps to do some research before you source your items so that you do not pay too much for them. If you have an idea of the type of items you want to sell it is easy to find out their value. Sites like eBay will be a rich source of information. Most auction houses have catalogues which you can purchase and these will give you an idea of what they expect the pieces to make.
If you have already sourced your items you can again use eBay or for bigger or more expensive items, most auction houses will value your item for free. Make sure you tell them that it is not an insurance valuation as these are considerably higher than the prices you would normally expect to receive in online auctions.
Check your items thoroughly. A bright light shone into a china dish can show up hairline cracks and flaws that need to be mentioned in your listing. Similarly, holding up a cloth item to a bright light will show any flaws or defects. This will affect the price but it is essential that the buyer is aware of these details so make sure you are very careful when checking the items over.
If you plan to sell antiques in online auctions and regularly visit antique fairs, remember that the prices charged are aimed at collectors and end users. If you buy from these sources, unless you get an exceptionally good deal, you probably won’t realise a profit on your item. Use these fairs to learn more about the history of the items you want to list, thereby enhancing your descriptions, and the price you can expect to receive.
Other valuable resources include using google.com or whichever search engine you prefer. Simply type in the item you are interested in and scan through various websites offering these items for sale. These will give you a guide as to what you can expect.
Libraries are a rich and cheap source of information. By learning about the type of items you want to sell, you can become an expert in that field. When you visit car boot sales or come across items you will be able to recognise their potential.
Valuing your items need not be a mystery. There is a lot of information out there. Get checking it out!