Years ago, old record players like this "1919 Victor Talking Machine Victrola Phonograph VV-IX" were very collectable and hobbyists would even restore them. Sadly, there are more people selling them now than buying and pieces like this rarely go for more than $50 at auctions. By putting it on eBay, we got a respectable $275 - but we had to ship it to Canada. We actually sold a similar model awhile back which I had to send to China. In both cases, I can tell you that I earned my commission with all the packing I had to do.
People love older cars as they bring back memories of first learning to drive and happier days. The current economy is tough though and everyone knows that old cars are nothing but money pits. We do take cars on consignment for just 10% of the first $5,000 and then 5% thereafter. All you do is sign the title and leave it with us in our garage. This "1983 Datsun Turbo 280ZX 2x2 Coupe" was in great shape. It ran and drove well, had newer paint, and only 71k original miles.
This "Antique Geo Flanagan Book Stand" was such a cool piece that I knew it was worth offering to the eBay market. It was a bit bulky, but I saw that it would come apart for shipping and felt that someone would really appreciate it enough to pay my asking price of $200 plus the freight. With slightly unusual items like this - we sometimes set the price firm as opposed to letting the bidders decide.
Fur coats are no longer worth the thousands of dollars they cost when new as the current generation does not generally want to flaunt dead animal on their shoulders. In the colonial days, everyone wore furs as they were readily available and met a persons need for warmth. Somewhere along the line, fine furs became a luxury, but even pieces like this "Full Length Platinum Silver Fox Fur Coat " are worth very little because of a shift in the economy coupled with evolving perceptions of value. At $345, I felt this did about the best it could.
My consignor originally paid about $5,000 for this 36" tall "Victor Issa Bronze Nude Statue" . We were able to get back a respectable $2000 for it and the sale only took a couple months. While this sounds like a pretty significant loss, pieces like this sell at public auctions for $100 or less. Buying art from the artist is like buying a new car - the minute you take it off the lot, it is worth much less than what you paid.
Original pieces by a 'listed artist' can have impressive value. Sadly, most artists are unknown until after their death. We were asking $1200 for this "Leon Zanella Original Signed Oil Painting Venice" but after several months with no interest, we took the first best offer of $335. We find that the most desirable types of art will be depictions of famous places, people, and objects or at least have a genre such as 'abstract' or 'nude'. Those types of works give us something to help market them. A generic landscape scene is worth almost nothing.
Precious metals are at an all time high in value and scrappers are always looking for bargains. This "Antique 90 Pc Stieff Rose Sterling Silver Flatware Set" had a gross weight of about 10 pounds, which had a melt value of around $2100. But we knew that the collectors would value this set for it's beauty and craftsmanship, which is why it sold for $3551 - almost a $1,500 more than scrap value! Since our commission is 33% of the first thousand and only 20% thereafter - our consignor still netted more than she would have going directly to a metal dealer and was very pleased.
Old film cameras are not only collected, but still actively used by professionals and students alike all over the world. And thanks to eBay, this "Vintage Kodak Medalist Camera Lot" sold for $480 to a buyer in China. The guy actually tried to give me a hard time about some damage that we accidentally overlooked to one of them, so I simply told him he could pay the return shipping (about $100) and send them back if he had a problem and he quickly went away. Some eBayers can be a pain, but we try to handle every situation with patience and genuine consideration.
Everyone knows that Disneyana has been collectible almost since it's inception. While this "Vintage Disney Mickey Mouse Seiko Watch" was a nice piece, we weren't expecting $380! My consignor bought it on vacation nearly thirty years ago and never wore it. As you can see by the $175 tag, he basically doubled his money!
Most people are familiar with the collectible nature of Goebel Hummel figurines. This Land in Sight piece was actually from 1992, so being a fairly newer trademark, I was actually surprised to see it go for $605! Personally, I think these things are creepy - right up there with clowns and baby dolls.
Again, artwork can be the best and the worst items to sell. We actually sold this 36" tall Sandra Koop Marlin Statue in our store to a local buyer as some things are just too much of a pain to sell on eBay. In this instance, my consignor wasn't too happy with the sale price as this thing cost her about $5,000 from the artist. We really do the best we can with the items we're given - some hit and some miss.
Fine jewelry is one of the most heavily marked up products in existence and will generally only sell for about 30% of it's appraised value. But when you have eight ounces of 925 designed by a famous artisan like this "King Baby Studio Sterling Silver Wallet Chain" - you've got a $760 sale.
While most clothing does terrible on eBay (because there is just so much of it and there is always fit and feel concerns) high end name brand outerwear will usually rise to the occasion. This barely worn "Orvis Vanson Horsehide Leather Motorcycle Jacket" looked as good as new and sold for $645. Granted, it was $1200 retail - but that's still not bad!
I spent about two hours trying to decipher the makers mark on this "Franz Witter Dresden Lace Porcelain Figurine". I discovered it was actually a genuine Dresden piece that was rebranded for international sale by a third party in the 1950s. A collector in Russia of all places bought it for $306! Had I not done my research, we wouldn't have gotten twenty bucks for it. Old figurines are very collectable, but brand and condition are everything.
Most old hand-made arts and crafts pieces aren't worth very much unless you can identify them with a culture or give them historical significance. When we learned that these "Antique Native American Indian Folk Art Dolls" were authentic primitives from the Umatilla Tribe, we knew we had something to work with. Not only did the person who bought them thank us profusely, but we grossed $265 making the connection!
Usually dolls are a dime a dozen, but if you find a really nice old piece like this "Antique Max Handwerck German Bisque Head Doll", you've got $332 on your hands. Sadly, this doll was so old and fragile it broke during shipping despite my best packing efforts. Since the insurance rarely pays out on anything, I had to eat this one. We are experts at packing, but still the barbarians at UPS manage to break about 1/200 items we ship.
The joy of smoking is one of the things that has been shared by both the rich and the poor for generations. The craftsmanship of some of the pieces in this "Antique Estate Smoking Tobacco Pipe Collection" was just fantastic. We could have sold them individually, but we offered them as a lot to attract the collectors and got a nice $510 sale!
The market is flooded with cheap 'limited edition' novelties featuring popular personalities. Most of the time, they are worth very little, but if you get a good piece like this "DC Direct Sideshow Wonder Woman Superman Statue" you've got a $393 sale. The new price tag was only $199 - so someone actually made a profit on this!
Old film and music memorabilia is always sought after. This lot of "Vintage Movie Theater Lobby Cards" were from the 1940s 50s & 60s - we first tried selling a couple individually, but they didn't do well or didn't sell at all, so we just grouped the remaining lot together. The group lot probably sold for more than they would have alone as collectors love 'grab-bag' offers. In addition, decorators and restaurants love collections like this!