Selling Large Collections

Set up for a private sale

A reader writes…

Dear Johanne: I am trying to help a friend deal with the massive collection of Avon, figurines, Royal Albert, Precious Moments, etc. left behind when her mom passed. Most are in excellent condition and many have their original boxes. Not having counted everything, I approximate there is close to 2000 to 3000 items. In order to make this as easy for the family as possible, what would you recommend as the best possible route to go to sell off all of this for the most money (it always comes down to the dollar lol). There is no space to do an auction at the primary residence.    S                                (edited for brevity)

Dear S: Having such large collections can be very challenging to sell. If you attempt to sell the whole bunch at one time, in the same market you run the risk of flooding the market and this will ensure that you get very little for the items. Why?

One of the criteria or components of value is rarity. Collectors like to believe that they are buying something that is no longer readily available. What happens if all of a sudden if there are large numbers of these objects on the market? The items become no longer rare and their value is diminished. Before selling any of the collections it’s a good idea to see if there are many such items on the market for sale already. That will give you an idea of the retail value of such items.

Collections can be hard to part with - both emotionally and financially

Collections can be hard to part with – both emotionally and financially

If your friend doesn’t have the luxury of time then you may want to sell some of the items in groupings at different locations, such as antique shows, antique malls, retail antique stores and even Kijiji. It takes a bit of work but it may be the only way you can control the value somewhat. A dealer is highly unlikely to buy large collections of the types of items you mention. Also, remember that wherever / whoever you sell it to – expect to get approximately 40% of the retail value. It may even be less if you are in a liquidation situation which it sounds your friend may be.

2 responses to “Selling Large Collections

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