If you hear about an estate sale or liquidation, you may be quite excited—it could be your chance to pick up some valuable antiques for a very good price, especially if no one there knows the true value of the items. In fact, some people seek out antique liquidation sales to purchase items for next to nothing and then sell them online at a higher price, making a nice profit for very little work. But that’s not always the case. Sometimes, it seems like the liquidators have set the prices so high that you’re the one getting gouged. How can you avoid that? Here are a few tips.
Know What You’re Looking For
Many antique liquidators are betting on impulse buys. They know the people who come to their sales aren’t looking for anything specific. Instead, they’re just there to browse the discounts and pick up what they can at a bargain price. They don’t expect you to browse through what they’re offering and walk away if you don’t see certain things. They hope you get dazzled by all the offerings and pick out things that look like bargains, even if they’re actually not.
Know What’s Valuable and What’s Hot
Of course, you may see something at the sale that you weren’t really looking for but is simply too good to pass up. If you’re shopping to sell your purchases later, you need to know what’s truly valuable and what’s really hot right now. By doing a little research, you’ll know what your customers want so you can walk into an antique liquidation service sale with a shopping list. You may not find everything (or anything), but you’ll know what you should invest in. You may still find the prices higher than you’d want to pay (these services do their homework, too), but you’ll know what you can easily sell and what you can’t.
Go as Soon as Possible
Some liquidation sales last for several days if it’s a private estate or weeks if it’s a store or antique service. The earlier you can go, the better selection you’ll have. However, prices are likely to be higher earlier in the sale. If you want to really look at the bargains and maybe even haggle a bit, go on the afternoon of the last day. In most cases, the estate appraisal & liquidation service gets a percentage of the sales, and they’re going to want to make as much as possible before they start dropping prices.
Be Certain to Carefully Look Over the Entire Item
It’s not uncommon for small scratches, dents, or other damage to be overlooked or even ignored by the service hosting the sale. If you find imperfections or damage, bring it to the attention of one of the attendants there. It’s likely you’ll be able to negotiate the price down. Of course, you may not be able to sell the piece for what you’d like if you can’t repair it. It helps to know whatyou can and cannot fix, too, so you know whether or not to even try getting a discount on the item.