OK I love and appreciate our customers. I am an antique dealer because I love antiques and collectibles and I need to share the passion. But---I'll start with, do not take this personally or directly (unless you are guilty), and understand I do not wish to offend--but----
Let me start again, I love what I do and appreciate our customers and enjoy sharing the love and knowledge I have in the arena of antiques and collectibles. I just need to rant a little which will help me rebuild my stamina and recharge the enthusiasm I do have with those of you that also have a passion. Please bare with me and hopefully understand where I come from on the subjects covered below.
You are trying to setup and sell the items left to you by a recently deceased relative, or you want to sell off a collection you have and are now downsizing, or possibly you found some things at a garage sale cheap and you desire to profit from them. Maybe you are going to have an estate sale, yard sale, or garage sale and you do not want to give things away and believe you should get full blown retail prices on most of the stuff. Well, I truly wish you the best of luck in your endeavors. Really I am sincere when I say that. My advice would be for you to hire a professional and yes pay for their services and have an estate sale or send all off to an auction. No you may not make as much as you would by handling yourself , then again you might make more, in the long run you will profit and not have unreasonable expectations. Or take the time necessary to do some research and list on eBay or craigslist yourself. Expecting myself or someone else in this field of work to provide you with information freely is not research and shouldn't be expected of us. Plus most of us are not appraisers or have a legal license to do so.
Please do not call me or come by to visit the shop inquiring as to value of such things for these purposes. Why, because everything is worth what someone is willing to pay, bottom line. All the reference price guides and online eBay searches that one could do will not give a truly reflective picture and price for these items. Yes research helps, as a guideline only, but many factors play into the overall scheme of things.
Condition is the number one factor in value as well as the region you are trying to sell in, and then finding or stumbling onto just the right person in search of that particular item sometimes is difficult and extremely time consuming. Also you need to consider the market that you are attempting to sell an item in. Example: a yard seller has the attitude of finding bargains only. Lastly local demand for such items matter more than I can express.
When you do contact me with these inquiries you are asking, expecting, or demanding of me my experience, expertise, time, or opinion for free. You are saying to me that all the years I have studied and all the experience that I have should be given away freely (undervalued) and I owe that to you, WHY? You should not expect those of us in the field that are reputable to educate the world on current values and expect us to be willing.
Sometimes you even insult me with attitude if I do not give you the information you desire or the price you think it should be. Sometimes you imply that the information I give you is wrong or that I am trying to low ball. What information are you basing your facts on, and how dare I question you. Folks there is no benefit to me what so ever to do that. I have a reputation as a fair and honest antique dealer dealing with the public on a daily basis, for me to do as you suggest would be the failing of all the years of hard work and research I have done to gain the reputation that I have rightfully earned. There may be (are) unscrupulous so called dealers out there but I am not one of them.
Now if your goal is to sell to me directly then please state that instead of first saying "whats it worth". Again I will state everything is worth what someone is willing to pay. Tell me you desire to sell such items to me and I will question how much you want for the items if I am interested in purchasing. After that is settled and if there is room for me to make a profit I will gladly pay for it and if not I will refuse or make you a counter offer. If you really do not have a clue, I ask you have faith in my knowledge and I will make a fair offer. If you reply back to me with "oh that's not enough" that tells me you did have a value in mind and knew what you wanted to sell it for.
I base the value according to what I feel I may be able to sell the item for and must consider my overhead expenses and possible discount if the item sits to long. The buying public can be fickle and buy according to trends so I can not judge by so called values based on eBay, American Pickers, Antiques Roadshow, or Insurance Appraisals. So do not say to me "on eBay one sold for" because that is eBay and I sell in New Albany. I base values on recent experiences, the region that I am in, definitely on condition, availability, and or current stock requirements or demands. Also understand that every single item I purchase is a gamble because there is no guarantee I will be able to sell that item or make a profit off of it.
Most of the merchandise in the shop was brought to me by people desiring or needing to sell, they walk through the front door with items for sell on a regular basis, or phone calls where we are requested to come to check out an estate for possible purchases. We also know pickers who hunt and find items for us and know we pay fairly. Many of these people come to us because of a reference by someone else that has dealt with us in the past. The phone rings daily with requests and questions. I am just asking for consideration and understanding before you approach us and hopefully we can make each other happy.
My last request is that if you do have something to sell me know that my customers come first in service. In other words, if I am busy or dealing with a customer please do not interrupt or expect me to drop everything and deal with you. Please do not come by on a saturday, usually my busiest, and think I should come out to your truck and do business. Maybe call first and see if convenient for all involved or choose another day of the week, again we will all be happy.