I have a Drexel Heritage Dining Suite from the late 1940s. I really like having it because it was my parents. The problem is, I need money. I think that if I sell it I would be able to pay off a couple bills.
Where do i sell it? An antique dealer or consignment shop or research as much as I can and put ad in newspaper? I have been online till I am blue in the face. I can't figure out about how much it should be worth. Plus, it is full of stuff. I don't really want to get rid of the china that is in it.
Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance.
Selling at a consignment shop. Beware!
I once sold some items at a (or so I thought) reputable shop. They went through a few bookkeepers during my furniture's term in their showroom and then donated everything because I failed to claim it within the time frame.
I actually called weekly, but was always told by the bookkeeper of the month that it was still on the showroom floor and not to pick it up yet. I misplaced the contract which didn't help.
After reading an ad by that store with rules for dropping off items I figured mine had been there too long and called yet once more. This time I was determined to speak with the owner. She basically denied my having consigned anything there. I insisted and somewhat described the items to be the best of my recollection. It was obvious she had no intention of paying me anything.
When I said 6 goblets, she immediately corrected me and said there were 4 goblets! Turns out she had my contract in front of her the whole time and had no intention of paying nor returning the items, because I no longer had the contract even though her own bookkeepers had caused the errors in bookkeeping.
She readily admitted the procession of bookkeepers had caused a lot of problems with other consignments. She gave me a hard time, I didn't back down. She finally agreed that I'd dropped off some items and informed me then were donated, then realized one was sold at a rock bottom price. At this point I didn't believe anything she said.
She paid me precious little for the antique chair ($25.00 for something I'd paid about $300 on sale the year before). I couldn't do anything about it because I misplaced the contract and it was a time after the end date.
The moral of this story is: don't lose the contract, don't trust anyone and periodically visit the merchandise to see if it REALLY went for a clearance price. This particular furniture and antique sale store was located in a nice town. It seemed like a straightforward place doing business. Boy, was I ever fooled.
I work for an antique auction business and when people call in wanting to know how much something is worth our advice is to go to ebay.com and find the nearest thing to what you've got, look in completed as well as present sales.
But even once you know, it's finding the right person that wants that particular item at that price. (07/14/2005)
I have considered doing the same thing with my dear grandmothers antique bedroom set. After reading this I think everyone is right. If you don't really want to then don't sell it unless you really have an emergency. Can you borrow from a family member? (08/01/2005)
I'm in a similar position, I have some antique furniture (inherited through my mum's boyfriend's family so no emotional attachment) and I've just lost my job and I'm trying to start my own business but I need some money to do this...the problem for me is that I know nothing about antiques (we thing some of the stuff is Chippendale) and I don't want to get ripped off...is it worth paying for a proper valuation, I can't find anything similar on Ebay or elsewhere online but I'm determined not to be ripped off... (08/06/2005)
We own an antiques shop. Here is our perspective. We might sell an item for $3000. However, it is not worth our while to buy it for more than 1/4 that amount ($750). We have to pay for rent, employees, electricity, etc. You are better off selling it yourself on eBay or through the newspaper. You will not get the same amount you see in the antique stores. Without seeing your furniture, I would estimate at most we would give you $1500 for it.
Your best bet is to get yourself in better financial situation permanently. Watch Suze Orman. Take Crown Financial Ministries (crown.org) Check out beehive.org or bankrate.com. If you have this problem now, you will have it in the future - forever unless you decide to make permanent changes. I know you can do it! The world is waiting for you! Good luck!!
I am at a cross-roads myself, about whether "things" are so important, or would cash to pay the bills be better? Well, I will ALWAYS have bills of some kind or another, but how often in my life will I have a family heirloom? Would it be possible to sell it to someone in your own family, so that it will still be in your family; and maybe some day you could buy it back from them when you are through this financial crisis. (12/23/2005)
Believe me, this is the start of a vicious cycle. My DH and I first starting out, have had some really good cars, and other big ticket things like bicycles, that he decided we needed the money, and sold them, later only to buy them when we HAD money, then sold them later on because of the same issue, or we were moving. Bottom line, look to the future. If you can use it, SAVE IT! You'll only end up spending money to replace it. Being a family heirloom, I couldn't even see putting a price on it, you'll never get it's true worth. Better to get it insured for the proper appraisal! If you can, work part-time, get a paper route ANYTHING other than sell off your valuables. Your bills can always be paid off over time, but you won't be able to replace that, or be spending twice/three times what you got. (03/14/2006)
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