Saturday, November 28, 2009

Never Throw Anything Away Or Put In A Garage Sale Until You've Consulted With A Pro Or Someone In The Know...

Right now I have stacks and piles of antique sterling silver, French Limoges china, antique Sheffield silver plated items and a huge assortment of china and porcelain demitasse cups and saucers as well as Chinese and Japanese porcelains to research, decide on a price, and get listed in my online shop. This is the largest inventory I've had in years and frankly, the task seems quite daunting. I get exhausted just looking at it all. This year I sold this hand painted jewelry casket for $625.00.

 I sold this jade and silver plated mirror for over $1,000.00 to a man in Shanghai, China. He got a real bargain, I assure you.

There are some pieces I'm going to keep because they are just too irresistible to part with. Aside from those pieces, I'm exhausted after long hours of poring over my ID and Value Guides, and searches on the internet. Apparently, some pieces will never be identified, dated or priced because I can find absolutely no information whatsoever on them. Many sterling and silver plated makers fell on hard times during the 17th, 18th, and 19th Centuries and were unable to stay afloat, so their companies were never well known. Normally, these company's wares are less valuable than those made by the Big Guys like Wallace, Reed & Barton, Rogers Brothers, International Sterling, and a dizzying array of other solid companies. However, occasionally one of these obscure company's wares are quite collectible and their wares are worth a small fortune, so I don't want to make any mistakes. The same goes for the china that is signed by the artist. No room for mistakes here.

When I first started in the antiques and collectibles business, I became a seller on eBay. Fifteen years later, I know I made many mistakes and allowed things to basically sell for nothing, but I did learn a lesson with each and every mistake. For instance, I was handling the estate of a friend of Mr. Snooty's whose mother had died and left a house full of precious items, which he referred to as junk. In most cases I agreed with him.

Then, I put this little vase on eBay and spent a week watching the bids push the price up around $700.00. I was absolutely stunned. I would have sold it in a garage sale for $10.00. Seriously. It turned out that the bottom maker's mark was from the last year Noritake produced items in Japan and it was from the Art Deco Period, which made it even more desirable to collectors.

Next, I sold a Weller pot that looked like some kind of junk you could buy new on an Indian reservation. It sold for over a thousand dollars. It was made by a particular potter who made all the difference in price.

The next set that sold was an antique mantle clock with garnitures for $2500.00. It was stunning.

One weekend while making the garage sale rounds, I found a tiny little set of Bakelite gambling chips in their own tiny carriage. The chips were so tiny and delicate and it was really a charming little set. Final bid was $255.00.

Then I sold an antique singing bird in a cage for $350.00 and an antique jewelry casket for $650.00.

I finally grew tired of eBay (fleaBay as I began calling it) and the way they like to *nickel and dime* you to death, so I moved to a privately owned venue in January of 2001, where I have happily remained ever since. This year, I have been busier than ever and selling things I never dreamed would sell. This is, of course, a very good thing, but it's also exhausting. Had I known business was going to pick up like this, I would never have signed on to the whole NaBloPoMo thing..

That said, I only have two more posts to complete after today and for that, I am eternally grateful. However, I find it necessary to push myself from time to time and this was the push I needed to get back into blogging. I don't care that I haven't had any new followers since I started this thing. I did this for me, just to prove I could still make a commitment and stick with it. I do not need others to make me feel validated any longer. For that, I must thank my readers and their comments while I was purging myself of my past. It worked and you didn't charge me an arm and a leg for the service.

I also sold  a Lalique flower perfume bottle stopper for $225.00, which was a more than fair price.

So, this post is basically my thank you to the 7 or 8 people who actually post comments here. I just want you to know that you might be in possession of some really valuable items whether you think so or not. I have learned one thing... Ugly sells, as does obscure. Go. Figure.

DON'T THROW ANYTHING AWAY OR PUT IT IN A GARAGE SALE UNTIL YOU'VE CONSULTED A PRO. The price you get for something might just put your kids through college... or at least help to do so. Or pay for your cruise to the Bahamas....


imbeingheldhostage said...

Ah Snooty, the amazing thing is the quality posts you managed to put up. I was able to read most (but not comment, sorry) and there was no random babbling. That says a lot. Congrats on making it. Two days!! Who Hoot!!!

Your advice would be very bad for me. I still have several rubbermaid containers of Miss Ky's boutique clothing I need to sell, so if I hang on to things until I've consulted someone, it could be disastrous ;-)

my word veri is "sksure" what is that?

Clippy Mat said...

this is fascinating. I didn't know that you were an expert on such things which I find really interesting. I don't think I have any treasures as such but if I do then I will be sure to consult YOU. who else would I trust now?

BJ Roan said...

We found this out when Hubby started clearing things out of his house to move into mine. I was shocked at how much we were able to sell some 'pretty little dishes' for.

imom said...

I wish I could have given my grandmother this advice before she sold a bunch of her stuff at a garage sale before she moved into an apartment. I shutter to think what she "gave" away!

You've sold some beautiful items over the years Snooty!

Green-Eyed Momster said...

I love that mirror. I wish I had nice things like that to sell. No one wants my crap!


Daryl said...

Good advice .. tho I suspect right now the only thing worth a lot is the vet bill we got today ..

Blarney said...

Snooty ~ now that I've read this I'm wondering about my Grandmother's items. She passed last Christmas and I have a box of old nick nacks and such. Do you have a good couple of sites to suggest for research? Mostly reproduction hummels (sp?). Hope you had a relaxing Thanksgiving! (((HUGS)))

Staci said...

Wow! You have that magic touch.

The clock is unreal - but I would have nowhere to display anything like that. I'd sure like to have one anyway!

Now, the chips, I could not only display those - I might want to use them. :)


Blog Designed by: NW Designs