We’ve all seen those programmes on the telly. The ones where some people buy some tat at a car boot sale and then take it to an auction house and hope to make some cash out of it. Or the other one is where they go hunting in the attic for some lost knickknack that Aunty Mabel got (stole) from a posh persons house she worked at. The Granddaddy of course is Antiques Roadshow where people empty al the old rubbish out of the house and pray that there is a Ming Vase they’ve never noticed aboard. None of them are going to sell it of course. Who knows those Antique crystal chandeliers may well turn out to be a fortune. Then you could get some new ones like the ones at http://roccoborghese.com/crystal-chandeliers/borghesina-classica/
It’s all very well but what if you’d rather your completely new to the whole thing. David Dickinson, The Duke, was always illustrating that you could pick up a bargain at auction if you knew what you were doing. He made the point that new is not always better and that if you get a collector in then you could be quids in. However, it can also be the case where your just sat on the thing with it never shifting and you’re paying good money to cart it about. Let’s have a look at few things to be aware of before you start putting things in for auction.
- Get a valuation first. Ok it might be quicker to get a professional from the auction house to come out do it. The alternative is you could queue for hours in the hot Sun at some heritage site waiting for an expert to tell you that musket belonged to Oliver Cromwell. Auction houses have an open day where you can take stuff and not wait to long or they will come out as long as you give a decent description.
- Make sure you have a price set and that there will actually be people there who want to buy something like it. The Auctioneer is there to make sure that you get a proper price and won’t get to £50 and just stop. He will offer more and what you really need is two or three collectors out bidding each other.
- The Auction house will tell you how much you’ve got, and you should receive a cheque in the post soon afterwards. You will have to pay some fees to the auction house for the privilege of letting them sell it for you, but you will need their skill to do it. Always check that you’re happy with the amount. Don’t forget it means they’ll try and push the selling price up as the higher it is the higher there cut will be.
The other thing to remember is that people are there to buy and they are looking for something. It’s a high energy place with a great buzz and its worthwhile being there when it happens. Good luck.