How to Explore Your Antique Attic Treasures for Profit
While more people are realizing the benefits of "yard saleing" — both having and shopping at — there may be some items in your home that you'd like to unload but are not necessarily cut out for a place in a yard sale. These items, such as antiques and heirlooms, can often surprise their owners when the actual value of the piece is discovered. In some cases, families will not part with family tradition but for others, selling an antique can be a practical solution for decluttering a home and gaining financial income.
Selling an antique or an item of great value can be difficult. Oftentimes, people who do not know any better will indeed place "knick-knacks" out on the yard sale table for a mere fifty-cents, only to have them scooped up by knowing dealers, resulting in the loss of a tidy sum. Antique dealers are known to hit up yard sales first thing in the morning to pick through the wares of others and are happy to pay a few cents for something they can resell for a whole lot more. People are happy to get rid of the items at the time, but would be livid to discover they could have made a lot more money with a little bit of research.
So how do you determine what's hot and what's not? Here are a few tips to help you sort through the real junk and those items which have much more value than the sentimental kind:
Keep Reality In Check
If, for instance, you have the duty to clean out a loved one's home after they have passed away, you may go in thinking that you could make a fortune selling Grandma's old stuff. It is this excited thinking that gets people into trouble. Looking for a quick buck without doing any legwork will likely result in doing things the wrong way. Don't expect any kind of fortune so that if you should get any money for your antiques, you'll be pleasantly surprised.
Do Your Research
Since television shows like The Antique Roadshow came on the scene, a lot more people are taking an interest in what's in the attic. It seems so simple to make a few grand on a family treasure; however, it doesn't really work that way. There are a lot of different factors involved in determining the value of something antique. For example, if your item is not in mint condition, chances are good the price will be considerably lower than one that is. Use the internet and books at the library to research the piece you think may have value. Don't rely solely on websites like eBay either. While it can be a great way to find out what is selling these days, these auctions sites will not give you a true indication of what something is really worth.
Visit an Antique Show In Person
If you have the time and interest, it can be well worth it to visit an antique show to find out what you are getting into. Bring along really good photographs of what you have and find a specialist in that particular niche to ask questions about your items and whether or not you should pursue it further.
Get an Estimate
There are likely antiques dealers working in your area. You can speak to them about estimates on items you have. You can use the estimate to further your research.
Decide the Value
There is a huge difference between an estimate and an appraisal. An estimate is essentially an educated guess by an experienced person in that field whereas an appraisal is much more in-depth and can cost you up to $150/hour. Unless you are certain that an item you have is really valuable, it is best to skip the appraisal and do your own legwork to make a fair sale.
What's In Your Attic?
There are a lot of collectibles and antiques that are very much in demand and that could bring in significant income. Just some of the popular categories include albums, toys, sports cards, books, comic books, pottery, porcelain, furniture, jewels, and coins. There are also a number of books available that are specific to identifying high-valued items which you can use to identify what is worth the pursuit of sale.
After all of your research and hands-on education, you might develop a new creative outlet that earns money. Who knows? You may just start a life-long hobby and make a profit from something you actually enjoy doing. It may not be easy work but it certainly can be rewarding.