5 Expert Tips to Analyze the Antique Market
So you’ve got some antiques. You know they’re worth something but you don’t quite know what. You have an idea of where to sell them or how to market them, but you don’t want to undersell yourself. The problem is you just aren’t sure how to figure out what they’re worth? You have to do research and you have to determine what the current flavor of the month is, so to speak. Like anything else, the value of antiques rises and falls with the popularity of an item. And that popularity changes just like styles of clothing that fall in and out of style. So what do you do to gauge the current marketability of your pieces?
You Can Always Start with eBay
eBay may not be the place to sell your antiques, because typically people go there to get a deal on something. What eBay can show you though, is what people are currently buying. eBay auctions can help you get the pulse of the popular market. Find items that are similar to yours. Follow the auctions and see if the price continues to go up and how many bidders there are. If only a few bid on it, your piece may be a niche market that may tell you that you have to search for a place that specializes in these items. If a lot of people bid on it, you may have yourself a winner.
Web Sites that can Help You Value Your Antiques
The internet has made it easier to value your antiques. Online antique dealers are increasingly offering ways to send pictures of your pieces with fill-in forms that give you the ability to describe how and when you got it and details that the pictures can’t show, like certifications that may have come with the piece when you bought it. Most of these sites require no obligation and many charge nothing for these online evaluation, hoping that you’ll sell to, or through, them.
If you want to dabble in antiques, picking up a piece here or there at estate sales or thrift shops, you may be interested in Worthpoint. Worthpoint is a subscription service (with a free trial offer) that lets you look up your finds online. It compiles books, data from auction houses, maker’s marks and other sources. All of the information is searchable online. You put in the category and what you want to search and it brings you results. The books, catalogs and magazines are in ebook format so you can search them online. The great thing for the traveling buyer is they have a mobile app so you can look before you buy.
What About Art?
If your only interest is art, you may want to try the website Askart. For a subscription fee, you can look up any artist and the results will give you plenty of information. It has a history of auction prices, offers information on upcoming auctions and has a directory of auction houses, art galleries and art dealers all of whom could be prospective buyers. If you aren’t a collector per se, but have a few pieces to check on, you can get a one-day subscription just to look up the pieces you have.
One other way to value your antiques before you sell is to join online auctions or you can sell it to any reputed antique buyers in Osprey, Venice and Ellenton. Joining them is free but it gives you access to the history of their auctions and the prices paid for the pieces. As an added bonus, you can sell your pieces there too! Happy hunting.