Thomas Edison Electric Battery Fan #103 Charter Oak Salesman Sample / Toy Cookstove Larry & Carole Meeker
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 Antique Dealers & Brokers

Purveyors and Dealers of Americana  /  Patented & Mechanical Antiques





FAQ About Selling Antiques

 Frequently Asked Questions

1.  Do you buy antiques?

Yes we buy antiques and collectibles all the time.  We also take in and sell a lot of antiques & collectibles on consignment.  Many of the antiques & collectibles we sell on our sister website  www.Patented-Antiques.com are being sold on consignment, a process where we help owners sell their antiques and collectibles utilizing our fixed price antique consignment sales program.  We are currently selling many rare & unusual antiques and collectibles for different owners using that approach from our sister website www.Patented-Antiques.com.  Please do visit that website. 

We sell antiques and collectibles consigned from private individuals, antique collectors, their relatives, spouses or other heirs, other antique dealers, various museums, both private and public, estate attorneys, estate liquidators, and a number of other sources.  We welcome your inquiries. 

If you have antiques or vintage collectibles that would be of interest to us and you want sold please contact us initially by email with details.  Before contacting me by phone at 530 620 7019 I must have seen or know about what it is you have.  I can not discuss things I have not seen or know about. Having the piece in front of you so we can discuss the specific details only works for you.  I am still in the blind.  Send me a pic first and then we can quickly and easily determine if we have an interest or can help you.  After seeing a pic or two I can intelligently discuss it.

2.  How do you sell antiques? 

Most of our antique sales take place from our sister website  www.Patented-Antiques.com. The antiques are listed at fixed prices.   Most antique listings found there are on consignment from a number of different antique collections and various individual collectors, their heirs, or other individuals seeking to sell antiques or collectibles.

We also offer an eBay listing service for select / certain antiques if that is the proper route to go.  I sell there using the ID TheAntiqueMerchant  Feel free to check out my current listings and record there. 

We also do a few antique shows a year in different parts of the country, including Brimfield in MA., Round Top TX,  Madison Bouckville in NY, Portland OR, Portland IN, Rennigers in PA,  Alameda in CA. and others.

3.  How much do you charge to sell antiques on consignment?

We charge a sliding scale depending on the value of the individual antique, or the size of the antique collection.  That can range from as low as 10% for certain pieces and situations, to 20%-30% for most consignments, and up to a 50-50 split for items that sell for under $100.  In general we try to not take in pieces on consignment whose value is under $100 .  It is an economics and time thing, not that it will not sell.  In fact, a lot of under $100 stuff sells well.

4.  I want to sell my antique but do not know what it is worth.  What do I do?  

You should do some research yourself using the different antique sales archives found on the right as a starting point, or see what I am currently selling similar things for at our sales website www.Patented-Antiques.com.  Ebay past sales are a free resource that will give you a general idea of values.  Note I said past sale / actual past sale results, not sellers current asking prices which are usually a world apart.   Free Ebay results go back just 30 days or so.   Results from a longer time frame can be had at Worthpoint for a fee.  Sometimes those results are relevant and helpful, many found there are not current and do not reflect current market values.  You can also pay for an appraisal, online or offline. 

 Or you can have me help you sell it on a consignment basis, where we are working together to achieve maximum value.  We can then discuss the values of what you have as part of the service we provide in a win -win scenario for both of us.

5.  Your Past Sales Archives Do Not Include Values for ALL Sales.  What Gives?  

Short answer, many past sale results / prices from 10 - 15 years ago are no longer relevant, and without some context and a knowledge base to help interpret those or any past sale values many of those "old" values could be misinterpreted or would be misleading and give a reader a false sense of current value.

The longer answer, and the why, is more complicated.  What has happened, or is happening, is the result of a combination of events that have come together over time.  I could probably write a long essay on the reasons for this, but simply put it has been a combination of numerous things all happening in concert with each other and there is no one correct or simple answer for why values for many collectibles have fallen or changed.

In no particular order these factors would include the internet, eBay, the new batch of TV shows about antiques, the aging of the passionate post-WWII collector generation that are now in their 80's and dying off or leaving the market, current consumers changing interests, the Ikea effect, and more.  These factors, all taken together have caused the market to become flooded with that post-WWII generation's stuff, be it collections, accumulations or just household stuff.  Too much Stuff coming to market and Too few buyers who care, or want to buy it.   SUPPLY & DEMAND

The recipients of this windfall of stuff, the Boomer generation, are now downsizing and selling it off, their offspring are not buying or accumulating, and have much less interest in collecting than the previous generations did.  Simple fact.

The vast majority of the next generation after the Boomers, todays Millennials or whatever else you call them, would literally rather go to IKEA, buy it new, and throw it all out every 5 years.  Another simple fact.

The onset of the last recession played a part in making all this more visible, as did the internet and eBay before that, with each getting the blame at that moment, but bottom line is there is more stuff out there than there are buyers and prices have fallen as a result.  Less and less demand and fewer buyers has led to lower prices for an over supply of stuff.  It is really quite simple.   OVER SUPPLY & DECLINING DEMAND make for lower prices.

 I could expand on this idea and take it out another 10 - 20 years, as there is a moral or message in here about what is coming, but I will leave that to your imagination.

6. I want to sell my antique now but have no idea what it is worth!  Will you make me an offer?

Sure, but on my terms.  I make offers on antiques that I can see and touch.  I do not make offers on pieces I have not seen or that are not in front of me in a face to face negotiation.  There are too many variables involved to do it any other way.

If you really want me to make an offer, after we have determined I have an interest, we can arrange for your antique to be sent to me.  I will study its condition, research its value, and then make you a reasonable offer.  If you are not happy with my offer, indicating that you did know what you wanted for it, I will send it back at my cost, or we can arrange for me to sell it for you on consignment if the price you wanted is anywhere near reasonable.  The only cost to you is some time and shipping one way.  The important part of that was once we have determined I even have an interest.

7.  Do you do free Appraisals / Give Free Online Valuations?  

1.  Consultations about values and pricing of antiques to be listed on our sales pages at www.Patented-Antiques.com  are free and included in the consignment sales package.  I do not offer free evaluations for things not to be listed for sale on my website. This is not the free answer booth.

2.  Appraisals and any info for individual antiques not to be offered for sale that I can perform off the top of my head are $9.95. Simply ask for me to send you a Paypal invoice in your initial email request.  Please include pictures and relevant info.  Requests / demands for free evaluations without pics or real info will be deleted or ignored in most cases.

3.  Detailed Appraisals in writing that entail further research and effort are a minimum $19.95 and up depending on the volume, time spent researching, and level of information you are looking for.  We can discuss that.

4.  In general I do not respond to telephone messages requesting valuations for antiques I have not seen, nor to emails that simply name an item and ask if I am interested or emails that state I have a XXX "what is it worth" with no further information. 

8.  I contacted you (Email / Phone) and never heard back?  What gives? 

If you call me about selling your antique or antiques and get my answering machine, and expect a response, you have to leave enough information for me to determine I am interested.  It is the same with emails.  In other words did you send me a pic and tell me how much it was?

In most cases I do not respond to phone calls or emails that simply say "I have a ???  Are you interested", with no other information.  Hitting delete, or not returning phone calls is my usual response to this type of inquiry.  It is a time thing, not my being rude.

9.  I do not want an appraisal, I just need help or more information about what I have.  Can you help?

I get 50+ of these requests a day, mixed in with the 400 or so spam emails wanting me to buy their products, and although we would like to make everyone happy, we simply do not have the time to respond individually to each of these free info requests or those wonderful offers.  Google is your friend in this situation.

10 . How much do you pay for Antiques, or how much can I get for my Antique?

This really depends on the individual piece but in general, depending on the condition, rarity, and desirability of the given piece, we have been known to pay, and are oftentimes able to sell great antiques for 100% or more of "current retail" value.  That is the nature of great stuff.  It sells well, for retail prices and more, and quickly. After that it is a sliding scale between 50 - 80% of "retail" depending on the condition and desirability of the piece.

At the other end, and further along, if what you have is not desirable, popular, in great condition, in demand, you will receive much less than 50% of any perceived value and it will take longer for it to sell.  For some things I will not pay even 20 - 30% of "retail".  Typically I will just say I am not interested in those things I feel are overvalued and have little demand.  Put another way, great pieces that are in great condition bring great money and I will pay good money for them.   Lesser or damaged stuff that is always tough to sell, if at all, I am probably not interested in buying or handling no mater what.

11.  But why should I consign my antiques to you for sale instead of selling it myself,  sending it to auction, or listing them on eBay myself?   Can't I do better there?

There are a number of reasons I can think of!  In no particular order:

1. TRAFFIC  My two websites get close to 1000 unique visitors each day.  That is 1000 focused and  interested potential buyers a day walking through "my store".  They found the site using specific searches looking for specific things.  If what I have to offer is priced right it sells. 

2.  EXPOSURE  My ranking with the different major search engines is very good.  You found it, and you can find it over and over again with relevant keyword searches in the search engines for the types of antiques we deal in.  So does everyone else who is looking for those types of antiques. 

3.  ACTUAL COST  I charge a reasonable sliding scale fee for the services I provide and you get your asking price when the piece is sold on consignment.

4.  EXPERIENCE  I know what I am doing, I do it well, and I work diligently and tirelessly for my consignors to the best of my abilities.

5.  I sell a lot of antiques and collectibles.  

6. I sell many antiques for more than you can get in other venues, including eBay or most auctions.  I know how much the things I deal in are worth and I get full value for them.  I can prove that or tell you "antiquing war stories" about record sale prices all day long.  That is not to say that for certain things eBay, or another auction is not a better venue.  For most it is not, but again that is part of the service I provide, helping you make that decision. 

7. We can & will guide and counsel clients, and help pick the best way to sell your specific antiques for the best price.  For a detailed explanation and specific examples of how we operate please see the Pressing Iron Page or Woodworking Planes Page as well as other pages through the links in the left column.

8.  Within Reason the consignor / owner controls the final price he receives for given pieces.  In most instances I try to tack my sales commission onto the sellers asking price thus netting him exactly what he wants.  In the past I have sold many pieces for far more than the consignor was expecting or hoping for. 

At auction on the other hand you take what you get minus the buyers penalty and commission fees. Hoping the right buyers were watching or attending that day for most pieces.  That approach oftentimes ends in disappointment for the seller.  The math oftentimes works out to no better than 50% of the hammer sale price when computed properly.

9. To date I have only had to return a few pieces to consignors because of a lack of a sale due to time. This is usually due to unreasonable expectations and the piece being priced too high with no flexibility.   In some cases it can be due to the market simply being off from what it use to be.  Not much anyone can do about that.

10.  Ebay Try it.  Try listing a broad range of your stuff on eBay  Do not list the 6 best things first.  Mix it up, list 20 or 30 things across the board value wise and then get back to me with the results and your sense of how that went. 

Note:  I recently had someone report back about how well they had done selling a certain pressing iron on eBay for $1200.00. They were real proud until I showed them where the last one I sold had brought $4000 listed on my page.

Another short eBay story.  I recently listed an electric iron on eBay that had previously brought 900.00 in an auction venue.  It sold for a whopping 33.00 on eBay, and the example in my listing was in nicer condition.  The market changes.  That iron is never going to sell for $900 again.  Moral, it pays to know what the market is today in different categories. 

There is a reason eBay is called the wholesale market of the world!! 

12.  OK.  How do I consign my antiques to you to sell?

Simple!!  Just contact us by email, or phone  530 620 7019.  If you use the phone and get the message machine tell me slowly and clearly what it is you have.  Emails with pictures are going to have to be sent at some point so it would be best to start there.

** If you call Please have the object in front of you, and be ready to discuss it. * * *

13. How do I receive payment for antiques that I sell you or you sell for me?

Your choice.  We can pay by check, MO, wire transfer, or Paypal if you prefer.  Cash is an option as well if we meet.

14.  How long does it take?  

We will pay you promptly upon receipt on outright sales, or immediately after the sale of the item for consignments by the method of your choice.

 15.  Do you have a shop?

Brick & Mortar? No, we do not.  We do some antique shows, but in general our business is now primarily internet based through our two antique related websites.  We have over 1000 unique visitors to those sites per day.  That is real traffic through the "store".  Much more than any brick or mortar store or any typical auction house can claim. 

16.  Do you make a lot of money doing this?

No, but my consignors have.  I have paid out close to $200,000 in checks yearly to them with no complaints.  I do enjoy it most of the time and it keeps me very busy. 

We can help you sell quality Antiques  Contact Us.

For further info on consigning / selling your antiques with us please see our FAQ page, the Appraisal / Selling Page and the Selling Your Collection Pages.

Our current offering of Antiques for sale are at our sister Website Patented-Antiques.com.

Thank You!

Larry & Carole





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Larry & Carole Meeker