You may even have to bring prices down drastically if you really want to get rid of a piece and there are no takers at the price you have set.
You might even consider donating it then claim a deduction for it on your tax return.
A well-made piece of furniture that is constructed from quality material will stand up to use over an extended period of time. A customer will happily pay a better price for a well-made piece. An antique that is in bad condition might not do as well. Look at your furniture from a buyer’s point of view.
An item that's too large can be problematic to sell. Custom-made furniture also poses problems sometimes unless your buyer is looking for the same feature. Larger furniture items don't fit into all kinds of spaces and are harder to transport. It's usually easier to sell smaller pieces of used furniture, so you might look to make a little more profit here. Mid-century modern is a specialized style that continues to do well, and if you have any used retro furniture, you're in luck. Any retro furniture is always popular, so you might find a lot of takers and you can price these items a little higher.
Unusual furniture might prove hard to sell. A customer might find a lower price more attractive than the furniture item itself, and if you really want to get rid of it, setting a lower price might be the way to go. Furniture that is practical, comfortable and usable has a better chance of selling.
You should price your pieces accordingly. While some dealers earn specific titles and specialize in one type of relic, many are generalists who examine pieces of any type with historic, aesthetic, and financial value. Few professions require participants to exhibit such a diverse range of skills. The profession provides high levels of satisfaction at all levels for those people who are interested in history, business, psychology, and aesthetic concerns. The joys of being surrounded daily with items of financial and historical value seem to buoy many people through the long hours, the paucity of compensation, and the difficulty of achieving independence from established dealers. The high level of investment means a high degree of risk and great pressure on the dealer to assess carefully the value of items before they are purchased and to sell items purchased aggressively. The pressure for value on both ends can translate into pressure for those working in the industry; those who are unaware of this “results-based” operation of many antiques houses are surprised at the importance of the bottom line in the business. The job of an antiques dealer requires a person to trust her own understanding of a piece’s value and put herself on the line every time she makes a decision. It is natural that betting on your own skills would create worry. Art history majors enjoy the interaction with beautiful works; business students appreciate the investment and dealing aspects of the profession; history majors love the continuous education the job allows. Attention to detail serves the prospective antiques dealer well, as deciding the value of a piece (the most difficult aspect of being a dealer) can depend on a slight detail. Graduate work is less important than practical experience,
and specialization can begin either midway through or late in a dealer’s career. Within 70 years, these pieces were being sold as antiques or specialty items. Antique sales tend to be even more active during years of financial lassitude. Those who aspire to become part of this industry should understand that most successful antiques dealers have to have a critical mass of audience (that is, a client base) to make the profession selfsupporting. As a result, urban or suburban antiques dealers have traditionally done better than rural ones. Many assist with client contact and valuation decisions,
learning the less-quantifiable aspects of the profession. A number of new dealers take art history, history, and appraisal courses. Most antiques dealers network with other professionals and seek out areas of opportunity during this time. Few open their own shops at this juncture; good connections are difficult to establish. In many cases, that means making a bid to their current employer.
Contacts have been established, experience is strong, and dealers have matured, learning the tangible and intangible aspects of the industry. Salaries do not rise beyond this point unless people open their own shops; this encourages the mass exodus to consider self-employment. Of the new dealers, only about 25 percent remain after 18 months. If you don’t, we’ll refund your tuition or let you prep again for free. But there are still buyers for the best of the best traditional makers as well. That stuff was mass-produced quickly and has very little value today other than for crafts or reuse boutiques. Look in the top left drawer or left cabinet door. If the piece is good, it will have a label or a name clearly stamped. Another clue is see how the bottom of the drawers are joined to the sides. If the edges appear to be cut down into wedges (a term called chamfering) in order to fit into the grooves of the side rails, you’ve got an old piece — cabinet makers and sawmills were unable to get wood any thinner than that for secure construction. It took the advent of pressed woods to reach that level of strength and thinness. If you really want to be an expert, check if there are circular cut marks on the backsides or secondary woods on the pieces. If the boards look wavy, they were hand-planned, and that’s good. The bulk of what was produced was silver plate, which is just a micro-thin layer of silver applied to either copper or brass. If it doesn’t say sterling, it is not silver. Many silver pieces were stamped with elaborate alphabets or symbols to confuse or excite dinner guests. If you are lucky enough to have a set of sterling silver sitting around, don’t be upset when a liquidator or an estate agent puts it on a scale to calculate its scrap value. In the end, only the most desirable patterns and makers have value over scrap today, and often even that isn’t much after you pay all the commissions to sell it. Generally, since the crash of 2008, most sterling silver flatware sets have become uncollectible.
How to Price Used Furniture
Yes, there are exceptions for extremely rare coins, but unless your parents made special notes or treated their coins with obsessive devotion, you’re probably not looking at anything more than scrap. Their value is easy to estimate by looking for comparable auction results. Kennedy half-dollars that were made with silver up to 1969. Most of it was purchased because someone felt compelled to make it or someone felt compelled to buy it, and so it goes. Reselling it is a totally different reality. Determining the value of your family’s artworks can be very simple if you strip the exercise of all emotion. Do not assume that art your parents purchased from local painters or sculptors is worth more than decoration these days. Again, there are exceptions, but that’s the general rule. The reality, however, is that rugs are like anything else you buy to fit your taste and then try to resell. Yes, some rugs still sell for many thousands of dollars, but those are always hand-made versions that predate machine influence and chemical dyes. So unless you’ve got truly antique, vegetable-dyed rugs with an unbelievably dense knot count, you will be lucky to get 10% of the purchase price.
To determine if you’ve got a real, handmade rug, turn over the corner and look at how the rows of knots are lined up. If they look very even with no variation of direction, then it’s probably machine-made. Also, if there is a label on the corner that looks like a giant sticker, it’s likely machine-made. Handmade rugs, by contrast, have very uneven rows of knots with irregular stitching on the corners used to finish the rug by hand. The knots will appear different in size and spacing. Valuing china is pretty easy because most pieces lying around have a name or mark on the bottom.
Sometimes, though, too much information can cloud your expectations. Within those makers are ranges of desirability and therefore value. If you can’t find a name and all you see are a few slashes or symbols, you probably have a finer, hand-piece. Completed prices are what the item actually sold for, not what someone is asking for, which is often a retail price or higher. Current tastes have almost wiped out interest in most categories of decorative glass leaving only the very best makers at the top. To figure out the maker of your glassware, turn the piece over and look at the center or the rim. Tilt the piece in sunlight to find an acid-etched mark. Once you remove the expectations of financial reimbursement and sentiment, it will be far easier to process the estate in an orderly and stress-free manner. In general, those over the age of 50 are expected to live longer than any previous generation. What condition was it when you bought it?
For further explanation, read our blog post. Nevertheless, the market price of antique furniture is also very high as it is rare and unique, a solid evidence of the superb craftsmanship of old. But even though the exquisite old pieces can successfully withstand the test of time, the long years of constant wear and tear eventually leave their mark on the delicate surfaces.
Oftentimes, expert repair works are required to rescue an antique piece – in this case, it should be handled with great care and adept skills in order to restore its original beauty without losing its ancient look and feel. Inadequate restoration and repair can drastically affect the value of an antique – advanced equipment and modern refinishing techniques easily erase the marks of time sealed on the surface, but they may as easily ruin the grain of the wood as well. Our highly trained and experienced craftsmen have adopted a skillful individual approach towards each and every furniture piece appropriate for its particular condition and the desired outcome of the restoration process. As a result, the antique piece is fully repaired and restored to its best possible appearance and sturdiness. What you can get when you sell your used furniture is bound to be less than what you would have to pay for it, but you don’t want to feel that you’ve given it away and you certainly want to get all the money you can for it. Fortunately, there are some guidelines that you can use when pricing your furniture. These are only guidelines because there is such a variety in the range of furniture pieces and their condition. At the upper end, you have solid wood, well-fitting and intricate joints, and typically a lustrous finish. Cheaper furniture tends to be made of veneered particleboard with rudimentary jointing, and may even have been self-assembly.
You need to be realistic when considering what condition your furniture is in. Try to look at the piece from the buyer’s point of view, rather from the sentimental viewpoint that you no doubt have when you have lived with the piece for some time. If your furniture is a more popular size, then you have a larger potential marketplace. While custom furniture may have been expensive, unless it is something that your buyer is also looking for, the selling price will not reflect the cost to you. Buyers often look for a neutral contemporary style, unless of course, they are seeking antiques with classic looks.
You are not selling your furniture in a vacuum, and one of the first things you should do is check how much similar pieces are advertised for.
You can look online at auctions, and at classified ads in local newspapers.
You may even want to check out local thrift stores and furniture stores. If the piece is particularly low value, it will need to be in very good condition to attract a buyer. That helps you determine the fair market value for your item.
Antiques and Collectibles
The basic guideline for the used furniture industry is to price it at 70% to 80% of the original selling price. This should be the price it actually cost, not what the furniture store originally wanted – everyone knows that furniture is heavily marked up and that you seldom have to pay list price when buying new. This assumes that your furniture is decent quality, and not simply pressed particleboard, which in any case tends to fall apart after a few years.
You have to look at your furniture with a critical eye to decide exactly how much discount you should apply. That should give you a good indication, enabling you to know exactly how much to sell your second-hand piece of furniture. However, this is only the starting point for pricing the piece. The industry standard would be to deduct a further 5% for every year or two that you’ve owned the furniture. There is no easy way to price an antique unless you are an expert. That said, the price tag you end up with will ultimately depend on what your buyer wants to pay, and how bad you want to get rid of that particular piece of furniture. It seems so scary after reading so many different things on what you need to do. Etsy can be a great place to sell your creations and make some extra cash. Good luck, and keep me updated on your progress!!
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I hope these pages help you with your furniture collecting!
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He started buying box lots at auctions, taking out the few tools he wanted and selling the rest. That’s when he discovered he liked dealing, too. Woodworkers choose tools for their quality, craftsmanship, and functionality. Collectors who never intend to use an antique tool are more interested in the history, aesthetics, and condition. Styles and types range, and you can expect to pay anywhere from a few dollars for a scruffy unmarked wooden plane to tens of thousands for one made by a celebrated 18th-century craftsman. Lee groups the category into four types: 1. Lee says, “and they are considered hot for collecting right now.” 3. This category often overlaps with patented planes, but collectors view it as focused more on the products of a particular manufacturer than on the patents behind the tools. Collectibles include everything from squares and bevels to gauges and rules. Several books on rules published in the last decade have fueled added interest in this category.
These common tools were sometimes works of art in themselves. Beautifully weathered handles and a patina finish on blades put this category in a nostalgic cut above others. Collectible types include crosscut, rip, back, and coping blades. In the 20th century, things moved toward manufactured goods and mechanization, and the emphasis on making great hand tools was gone.
I think old tools are better, but there are some small makers out there today making amazing tools,” he says. Expect to pay more for reputable antiques dealers and specialty tool dealers will give an accurate assessment to the tool’s condition and value. Expect to pay more for this expertise, but remember that you’re buying peace of mind, too. A few good dealers and collectors remain who only sell at auction.
You won’t find the tools like you used to. Still, it’s an option if you understand the inefficiencies and simply enjoy the hunt. Auction results are updated daily with new hammer prices so you can always access recently sold to historical results dating back to 1999. The rule of thumb used by most antique dealers is that anything about 100 years or older is an antique.
Antiques Dealer Careers
Items that are old, but not quite that old, are called vintage. Some will call an antique anything between 80 and 100 years old, and others still use the 1830 guideline. There are also some who, for the sake of simplicity, don’t use the term antique at all and refer to everything as either vintage or collectable. Paid time off is mandated in 22 states, and unpaid time off is required in seven others. Of the states that offer paid time off, most allow employees to leave for two or three hours, which should cover any long lines voters may encounter. Even if you live in a state that doesn’t have a voter-leave law, you should still check with your employer to see if they will provide time off as a courtesy. Know your voting rights when it comes to taking time off on election day!
So why do doughnuts get to claim two dates?
But which date do the major doughnut industry forces recognize?
The true value of an antique is negotiated between a buyer and seller at any given time. For example, with auction bidding , as a buyer, you’re setting the price you’re willing to pay for a seller’s wares at the point you stop bidding. Even so, while the assistance of a professional antiques appraiser is required for a written appraisal , when you simply need a ballpark idea of what an item might be worth you can learn to do it yourself.
You would discard the high and low values, and average the remaining figures. Many times, live auction results (a number of which are available online now, although some services of this nature are fee-based) are used for this purpose. That includes finding items in the same exact condition whether that means poor or excellent. Appraisers branch out a bit to include similar items fairly often, especially where antique furniture is concerned. Keep in mind when using online price guides that many of them reflect a single point in time when an object sold rather than an average selling price. That value can be higher or lower than the norm, in other words. They are simply guides, as the name implies. You’ll want to keep in mind that online pricing can vary widely from dealer to dealer, and the price they’re asking for a piece might not equal the negotiated price when it eventually sells.
And sometimes, especially with online auction results, prices reflect values far less than what dealers tend to ask in brick and mortar shops and at antiques shows. Or, make a trip to a large bookstore in your area and see what you can find there. Visit these publishers online to see their complete catalogs. Authors sometimes use erratic auction prices in their valuation averages, which, for better or worse, can dramatically skew the results. Other times the person who owns the piece shown in a book dictates the price quoted. Values also vary from coast to coast and from rural to urban areas, so where values are obtained also makes a vast difference. If you’re selling to an antiques dealer , expect to get a wholesale price of approximately one quarter to one half of what you would ask as a secondary market retailer.
The upside is that you can turn your wares into cash more rapidly selling to a dealer. It’s also wise to keep in mind that common items sold in online auctions often bring lower values, sometimes even lower than wholesale, when compared to what you could ask for the same piece as an antique mall or show dealer. To get the most for an antique or collectible, selling directly to the secondary market consumer in an offline venue is usually the most lucrative method. If you’re hawking a rare item or hot commodity, online sales can reach more buyers and usually bring a higher price. It's easy to spot an antique by the drawers, because joints weren't machine-cut until about 1860. If it has only a few dovetail joints, with pins narrower than the dovetails, then the joint was made by hand.
How To Know If Parents' Stuff Has Value
You may also discover a real antique or two -- pieces handed down through the family for generations. Other good sources are secondhand stores, household auctions, and garage sales. With furniture, as with anything else, one person's junk is another another's treasure. Antique stores are a good place to find furniture to refinish, but expect to pay for these pieces. If you aren't sure an antique is really antique, pay for an expert opinion. Never buy an antique, or try to refinish it, until you know what you have. In this article, we'll discuss how to assess whether a piece of furniture is an antique and whether it is worth saving through the refinishing process. There are many different styles of furniture, and each type has distinguishing features. Just remember, if you like it, the style is right. Technically, an antique is a piece of furniture with special value because of its age, particularly those pieces embellished with fine artistry. The age factor is subjective: general antique stores label objects 50 years or older as antiques. Fine antique dealers consider objects 150 years and older to be antique. Wherever you look, it's a sure bet that you won't find a genuine antique from 1500 or 1600. There are several ways you can spot an antique.
Antique Furniture Repair and Restoration for Friendswood TX
The first giveaway is the joinery; machine-cut furniture wasn't made until about 1860. If the piece has drawers, remove a drawer and look closely where the front and back of the drawer are fastened to the sides of the drawer. Straight saw marks also indicate an old piece. If the wood shows circular or arc-shaped marks, it was cut by a circular saw, not in use until about 1860. Examine these parts carefully; slight differences in size or shape are not always easy to spot. The finish on the wood can also date the piece. The finish on a piece made before 1860 is usually shellac; if the piece is very old, it may be oil, wax, or milk paint. Testing a finish isn't always possible in a dealer's showroom, but if you can manage it, identify the finish before you buy. Test the piece in an inconspicuous spot with denatured alcohol; if finish dissolves, it's shellac. If the piece is painted, test it with ammonia; very old pieces may be finished with milk paint, which can be removed only with ammonia. But because the same woods have always been favored for furniture, workmanship and finish are probably a better indicator of age than the wood itself. How can you decorate furniture with upholstery nails and tacks?