At times selling antiques at auction is a way to unload some things and raise needed cash. Unless you have something that is very rare and extremely valuable, you can only hope you will be able to get close to your money back when you sell your antiques at auction. That assumes you bought it at a good price. The majority of people attending most auctions, are part of the antique trade, mostly antique dealers. They are there to buy inventory for their antique shops or antique mall booths. So they want to be able to buy it and resale what they purchase. So you can basically say antiques sold at auction will basically bring wholesale prices. Some very high end auctions might be an exception. So I look at selling my antiques at auctions as trying to raise capital and unload inventory which, for one reason or another, has not sold.
Every antique dealer has certain things which we just can not sell. We have tried them at different places, different prices, and they just will not sell. We have definitely all made mistakes where we just didn’t pay close enough attention or got carried away and bought something we just shouldn’t have bought. It could be a wonderful antique brown transfer ware platter that we didn’t see the hairline crack. Or maybe it was a Staffordshire figure that was really a reproduction. But then there are other things that you probably would buy again that just didn’t sell. So sending several things to auction, will allow you to get rid of inventory that you could not sell, freeing up valuable space where you can try new things. It will also generate income and at times we all need that.
Best Time For Selling Antiques At Auction
A question I get is what should I send to auction and is there a better time of the year to do this. Let me answer the second question first. There are definitely good times and bad times to send things to auction. The weeks leading up to Christmas are one of the worst times to send to auction. Next would be the three summer months which seem to be a slow time for antiques unless you are located in a high tourist area. Late January, after the holidays, through mid March are a good time as well as mid September through mid November, are some of the best times. Large pieces of furniture and very expensive things tend to not do well because it limit’s the number of people attending the auction who will be interested or can afford the items.
Selling Antiques at Online Auctions
Many live auctions are also online auctions and this exposes your items to more people. The more people who see your auction item will increase the chances of people wanting to bid on your item. Some antique auctions will also give auction estimates on your items. Better antique auctions, especially in England will offer valuations, what their auction estimate is for your item. Some auctions will allow you to put a reserve on your items, but this is usually reserved for higher end items.
Be sure and do some research to find the best antique auction house for what you want to send to auction. And let me warn you ahead of time, no matter how much research you do it is almost still the luck of the draw. It seems like when I want to buy at auction, everything sells high. When I want to sell at auction, everything goes low. You want to try to be sure that your things are sold with similar quality of items. I tend to use auctions as a kind of last resort. But antique dealers, in general are notorious for trying to hold on to their things way too long. Success is based on being able to turn your inventory. Your customers will stop coming if they keep seeing the same things over and over. Selling your antiques at a good antique auction is just another way to help you be a successful antique dealer.