We've previously mentioned how crazy some people can get over costume jewelry and being able to identify something as being special is the key. This piece had been in our back area for months waiting to be placed on the floor for a mere $10. Our regular friend Phoebee offered to help sort and stage some of our holdings and discovered this little bird which sang us the sweet tune of $370!
This was a really special piece - a 19th century drawing by Wounded Swallow of the Sioux peoples. It was recreated in the early 20th century with additional data regardng Native American affairs and distributed among known tribal chiefs across the country during a time when the US Government was negotiating reparitions. The subject matter made it valuable in itself but condition issues and lack of additional provenance kept it from being more valuable. I think we got a fair price and it went to a good home and that's all we could hope for.
We do have some luck selling furniture on the Internet and for some really nice pieces buyers will pay to freight ship them but usually the cost of the shipping makes most items not worth the effort. Designer pieces can do well though and this little stand was small enough for UPS
Don't get the wrong idea - we VERY RARELY take china sets on consignment as not many people enjoy formal dining these days and the cost and effort to pack and ship it cuts in to the value. In this case, we got the set as part of an estate we purchased and being as high-end as it was I made the effort.
This was such an amazing old piece but it took six months to find a buyer. The first day I posted it, someone offered me $3000 but I turned it down thinking I could get more. It just goes to show you your first offer is usually the best you'll get. At least it found a good home.
All is fair in love and war! Artwork can be hit or miss but usually a good original with good subject matter will have at least some value. This is the type of piece I had to pick a price and see if anyone bid. And I did get exactly one bid. While we know that certain types of items don't sell for much at auction, I sometimes wonder if a piece like this might have exploded at a high-end art auction. The problem is, said high-end auctioneer probably wouldn't have taken it...
It makes me sooooo happy when old furniture sells for a fair price. But just to tell you the big picture - this piece might have appraised for $1,500 and I had to sit on it for OVER A YEAR just to get $350! Sadly, the people who appreciate pieces like this are fewer than ever these days.
Really nice fancy stuff always sells for a good price and this piece held 70% of it's original value which is way better than most items. I luuuuuv people who save the original boxes. Seriously, if you buy something high-end, save the box as one day your kids are probably going to want to sell it.
We see old things like this all the time. This particular piece was a cut above in condition and quality but at the end of the day, who wants it? The owner suspected it was worth as much as $2,000 but it took us several months to get the 400 we did - which another dealer affirmed me was a GREAT price in this tough economy we all live in.
Here is another example of 'mid century' items selling well. I felt $75 was a fair price for this small 2x4 rug and the buyer paid another $60 to ship it to France! Some dealers are asking outrageous prices for vintage decor like this but that doesn't mean they're actually getting them.
You may have seen similar topography markers in the ground at one point. Obscure as they are, there was a collector who wanted them and paid a handsome price. You may notice the Federal warning about tampering and while these were legally obtained they are not readily available which made for a quick sale to a happy buyer.
This was a really rare piece of Maryland history honoring a Civil War Confederate veteran after the war c1881. In any war much less a civil war, there is rarely much consideration for the loosing side so even a certificate such as this was a noteworthy honor. Within reason, you can almost name your price for pieces like this and since I couldn't find a single comparable sale, I basically had to guess where to price it. I'm a little sad to say it's leaving Maryland and on it's way to Texas. Oh well - at least it found a good home.
Pieces like this can be really hard to sell and in order to get a good price for unusual items, we sometimes have to wait months for the right buyer to come along. In this case, the buyer was in India. With Americans loosing interest in many types of collectibles, we see 20-25% of our online items sold going overseas.
This piece was essentially promo swag from 100 years ago, a miniature sample from a company that made boat anchors that the sales person would have left behind. The respectable value was based on the fact that only a shipyard manager would have gotten something like this and as we already know, transportation memorabilia is hot these days and collectors want things that are uncommon.
On our last downsizing mission, we found not one but two never-opened VCR machines that had been in someone's closet for over 20 years. While VHS is no longer being made, many people still have hundreds of great movies and they can be bought for next to nothing so many people still watch them. There were a few companies that used to make the DVD/VHS combo players but I think they stopped - so these were a great find which made for quick sales!