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  • Writer's pictureMindy Ballard

How do you know how much my collectibles are worth?

Some of the most interesting and recurring challenges we see in Estate Sales management involve the selling of collectibles. Popular TV shows like Antiques Roadshow and Pawn Stars have generated significant interest in the value of old and collectible items such as comic books, dolls, ceramic figurines and more. This may leave family members who are dealing with their inherited estates curious as to how we determine value and pricing during their sale.

I had planned to write an entire article about this topic, but while doing my research, I found an article that was so comprehensive and well written, I decided not to re-invent the wheel but to share the article itself!

During an estate sale, we are generally looking to find a price point that is between the wholesale value (what a dealer wants to pay, giving them a significant margin of profit when they resell the item) and the fair market value (what we'd expect if we had all the time in the world, not just our sales dates, and didn't mind waiting for just the right buyer to come along in the future). Many of the people who frequent estate sales looking for collectibles are those very same antiques and collectibles dealers. We want their business - items that don't move during an estate sale because they are priced too high help no one - but we also want to get the highest price they are willing to pay.

MBA Estate Sales spends a significant amount of time doing the research for you, finding that pricing sweet spot. We look at e-Bay and auction houses, we consult with antiques and collectibles specialists. We don't rely much on the prices of similar, currently available items. Why? Because sellers often overvalue their items to see if they can get lucky and find a buyer who doesn't know the real value, which also gives themselves room to accept a lower offer. In time, if no one buys their item, they will drop the price to sell it for lower. We do look intently at sold listings because they show what people really paid for an item. This tells us what price the market will bear for that specific item. Then we adjust that price down by a small margin; we want people to buy YOUR item in the sale NOW, not buy the same thing on e-Bay later. A little incentive can go a long way!

Rest assured, we want you to get the most money for your antiques and collectibles, and we want to get it for you immediately. Most Estate Sales Companies get paid just like we do - on a commission percentage basis. When you make more money, we make more money. That is why we do thorough research to make sure you are getting a fair price for all of your items. An additional perk of hiring MBA Estate Sales - when our research uncovers that one of your items may fetch a significantly higher rate of return for you through a different venue such as an auction house, we will consult with you and proceed in that manner on your behalf.

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