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  • So you’ve just found a valuable collectable...
  • Post author
    Paul Fraser
  • auctionCollectibleHowPrivate Treatysellvaluable

So you’ve just found a valuable collectable...

First off, congratulations.

After all, this kind of thing doesn’t happen every day.

If you're reading this blog post, chances are you’re wondering what to do next.

There’s not a lot of clear information out there.

By the end of this article, you should have a much better idea of how to move forward.  

So, let’s start at the beginning.

Step 1: Valuation

The first thing you need to do is work out exactly what you have.

Whether it is genuine.

What era it originates from.

And, crucially, whether anyone might actually want to buy it.

Ming Vase Dealer

A specialist is your best bet for determining the value of an item

In order to do this you’ll need to look for a specialist.

If you’ve come into possession of an old Model T Ford, you’ll want to speak to a car expert.

A Ming vase? Get a ceramics dealer on the phone.

If you’re living near a larger city, chances are you’ll have a few dealers or auctioneers you can choose from. If not, all have an online presence these days.

Scope out a few that seem reputable. Then get in touch and let them know you have an item you’d like valued.

Many will offer this service for free. They'll typically ask you to bring the item in to take a look at, or to send over some photographs and documentation.

It will be carefully examined and they will give you their opinion as to its authenticity and value.  

Step 2: Storage

You’ve spoken with the auctioneer or dealer.

Now you need to think about storage.

Valuable items need to be kept safe.  

A bank deposit box is a safe place to keep smaller items

How you go about this will depend on exactly how valuable we’re talking.

If it’s a few hundred dollars then a sturdy drawer should be fine.

Hundreds of thousands, or even millions, it’s time to get in touch with someone a little better equipped to deal with it.

If it’s a smaller item, a bank safe deposit box should do the trick. Simply speak with your local branch to arrange.

For anything larger you’ll need to speak to a private storage company - preferably a specialist in storing items of your type.

Step 3: Decisions

You’ve spoken with the auctioneer or dealer.

They’ve given you their opinion on how much the item is worth.

It's safely in storage.

Now you have a decision to make.

If you decide you want to keep your item, then good for you.

However if you decide to sell it on, you’ll want to choose your method of sale carefully.

Auction room Christies

Auctions get your item out to the public, but live or die by who turns up on the day 

Private sales should be avoided unless you know exactly what you’re doing. You just can’t be sure you’re getting the best deal.

Auctions offer the chance for you to get a fairer market value. The price is decided by people bidding against one another – usually in the same room.

However, this can sometimes work against the seller. If only one person wants the item, or the right buyers are not in the room, you can end up losing out.

Your other option is to go with a private dealer, who will sell directly to their network of clients.

This can secure you a better price as the piece can be marketed more efficiently. However you miss out on the magic that sometimes happens in the auction rooms. 

All the best,

Paul Fraser 

PS. For a free, no obligation, valuation and to learn more about selling with me by private treaty, click here

  • Post author
    Paul Fraser
  • auctionCollectibleHowPrivate Treatysellvaluable