What To Know Before Selling a Collection or Item



We get a lot of emails from people either wanting to sell us their collections or wanting to know where they can sell a collection – or items for that matter – to get some cash in these challenging economic times.


There are many different ways to ‘sell’ collections and items – the seller just needs to remember the following:

  • If the collection is something you’ve been collecting over the years, you can expect to realize only a portion of your investment – unless the items in the collection are along the lines of gold, silver, coins, etc.
  • If you are selling to a dealer you will typically be paid a percentage of the item(s) ‘book value’.   These percentages vary depending on the dealer and the items, but typically you can expect to realize 40-50% of the ‘book value’ – and make sure the book has current market values.
  • If you are selling to an individual, they may want to ‘cherry pick’ the collection,  taking the best, highest valued items,  making it difficult to sell the less desirable items that are left.

For those that still want to sell their collection, the following are some ways to sell either a collection or item(s) on the open market:

  • Garage Sale
  • Estate Sale
  • Consignment Shop
  • Classified Ad
  • Auction (Real time or online)
  • Direct Sale to Individual

Before you take any action, take some time and do a little homework .  Become familiar with what you’re selling, especially  if you’re unsure about what you have or have inherited.   Also, take a little time to get an idea of the ‘ball park’ value of what you want to sell.  Sadly, there are those that have no qualms about taking advantage of the unsuspecting or those with little knowledge. 



 There are many reference books at the library, book store and second hand shops you can buy or use.  Also,  taking time to visit antique shops, consignment shops and flea markets may also be helpful in finding items like or similar to yours.

To read the pro’s and con’s about each method and to see more ways to sell you stuff, visit Texas Antique Mall Compendium – 10 Ways to Sell Your Stuff.


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