Interesting research from Gumtree shows that 9 out of 10 people have at least R10 000 worth of unwanted and unused items in our homes. The baby boomer generation probably has a lot more than that – you might be in the same situation as Catherine. Catherine has recently inherited not only her parents’ belongings on their demise, but an elderly aunt’s household of treasures. Catherine is tearing her hair out, wondering what to do with all this “junk”. However, Catherine could be sitting on a small fortune.
In years gone by, we might have sold unwanted clutter at car boot sales. But these days, the internet has made it incredibly easy for us to sell anything from a hairdryer to shock absorbers. But what about your grandmother’s valuable tea set?
Roger England is an antique dealer and his company, Roger England Antiques, has been an established household name in South Africa for 45 years. Roger started gathering knowledge in this field as a young boy working for his father running stalls in Portabello Market in London, 55 years ago.
Roger, along with other antique dealers, agrees that if you should be in the enviable position of wanting to offload, what you might consider to be useless artifacts, consider the following in the first instance:
- Is the item in good condition? No chips, cracks or missing parts? If your item is in good condition, then it is likely it will be more in demand, and therefore more valuable.
- Do you know what the item is? If not, do some research to find out what it is, and its potential worth (see some suggestions below).
- Do you know how old the item is? An antique is generally something that is older than 100 years. Again – do some research…
How to value your heirlooms
- Take a photo of the item and email the photo to a reputable antique dealer. If the antique dealer is a “local”, he/she may request that you bring the item in for valuation.
- Another option is a professional valuation service that operates purely online. Three years ago, Patrick van der Vorst, a former Sotheby’s director, started the website Value My Stuff (http://www.valuemystuff.com) in order to bring auction-house expertise to the masses. This site is a fast and easy way in which one can put a price on anything from sports memorabilia to African trial art. There is a minimal charge to pay for the identification and valuation service and a step-by-step easy process to follow. You will receive an expert valuation within 24-48 hours. YEI has received confirmation that the service is available to anyone anywhere in the world.
Where to sell your antiques
- Consider selling the item on EBay. Describe the item in detail and be upfront and honest about any chips, cracks, scratches etc. Don’t overprice the item.
- Bid or Buy has an online antique and collectable destination. You can browse through thousands of quality antiques and collectables on sale from reputable dealers, or start selling your own antiques or collectable items online.
- AuctionMyStuff – should you use the Value My Stuff service as detailed above, you are able to place the relevant item, together with the expert valuation certificate that you receive, onto AuctionMyStuff – an excellent way for you to sell and buy safely online.
- People often have luck selling to their friends and acquaintances on Facebook.
- Or take the item to a reputable antique dealer who will be able to advise you.
A few tips if you are selling items on the internet
- Meet in a public place during business hours;
- Don’t allow strangers into your home. If this is unavoidable as you have a large item that cannot be easily transported, then ensure you have at least one or two people with you.
- Buyers and sellers should not give away personal information in an online ad. Consider getting a “gmail” email address to which potential buyers or sellers can respond.
If you are selling or buying antiques, contact:
Roger England Antiques
Cell: 082 456 2575