JA Vassel -

Never Hurts to Pay a Trained Eye

June 19 , 2018

Tootsie Toy articulated action version cars from the “Funnies Series” of 1932 & 1933 are rescued from the trash thanks to a trained eye!

Remember the day you came home from college to discover that your mother threw out all of your baseball cards that you so vigorously collected through the years? The sting still festers to this day knowing that several thousands of dollars were tossed and assumed to be junk or garbage.

John Vassel, Manager of J.A. Vassel Fine Collectibles, helped a recent client avoid the same mistake after discovering six Tootsie Toy cars that were destined for the trash. While inspecting a recent estate, Mr. Vassel knew they were Tootsie Toys, but unsure of the value until he did some research.

His research paid off for he and his client by finding that these cars were exceptionally rare and they were in excellent condition. The most expensive car was actually a toy boat featuring “Uncle Willie and Aunt Mamie” from the popular Moon Mullins comics of the 1920s and 1930s. The final selling price was $350.

Coming is a close second was Smitty’s motorcycle. Smitty was also a character from the Funnies series. It brought $300. Each of the four other cars brought $200. Needless to say, Mr. Vassel’s client was relieved not to have made a $1450 mistake by tossing these in the trash.

Old toys are one of the few collectibles that continue to maintain their value or increase as they become scarcer. Before throwing away or donating cast iron toys of any kind, it’s best to call a “trained eye” and have them researched. You could be throwing away a small fortune.

J.A. Vassel Fine Collectibles is a licensed business in Dunedin, Florida. Call 727-430-5626 or email Mr. Vassel at sellyourstuff2day@gmail.com. Complimentary house calls and he will buy or consign your items of value.

Most Popular Holiday Treasures We Sell

November 16 , 2017


If you are either cleaning out your china cabinet or your attic, some of your treasures that you uncover may make the perfect gift for the holiday season. Below is a brief list of items that sell well for us at J.A. Vassel Fine Consignment. Remember, we pick-up, market, pack, and ship your items when they sell. All you do is cash the check.

Lladro figurines have always been a seasonal favorite of buyers on our online store. Figurines in the original box are great sellers! Typically during November and December, we can get up to 30% more than the usual selling price for Lladro figurines provided they are in perfect condition.

Lionel Trains bring back memories of running the new train set under the Christmas tree as a youngster. Nothing has changed over the years. Lionel and American Flyer trains are still in great demand. Everything from pre-war O gauge & standard gauge to post war trains and accessories make a perfect gift for our clients in the north who set up train layouts in the basement.

Lalique, Daum, Orrefors, and Waterford crystal make great gifts around the holidays. Depending on your budget, these crystal gifts can make a seller’s holiday even sweeter by consigning it with us. We have buyers standing by to pay top dollar for all levels of crystal.

Royal Doulton toby mugs and figurines make the perfect gift for the sophisticated collector. Toby mugs from Laurel & Hardy to Ronald Reagan are unique additions to any collector’s display cabinet.

Call John Vassel today to make arrangements for selling your collections that make fantastic gifts for the holidays. We buy, sell, & consign. 727-430-5626.

Selling Online? Leave it to an Expert

November 08 , 2017


It’s not uncommon for people to brag about selling items through Craigslist or Facebook. While these online methods are overall successful for those who wish to sell the old lawn mower or a gas grille they no longer want, when it comes to items of significant value, it’s wise to consult a broker who has vast experience in online selling.

First of all, deal with reputable buyers. Unless a dealer is responding to a Craigslist or Facebook ad, the majority of people who respond are unlikely licensed, insured, and bonded. Are you willing to take the risk of someone getting injured on your property? Or if an item such as a Lladro figurine is damaged on inspection by a potential buyer at a home, what recourse does a seller have with someone who has no insurance? Secondly, how comfortable are sellers allowing total strangers into their home? Unfortunately, it’s not unheard of to read about teams of people who have mastered the art of one person engaging in conversation while his partner cases the house for money and items of significant value that can be snatched quickly. It’s important to use a third party in a neutral environment to negotiate with buyers who are total strangers. Online selling is the answer. A consignment broker should always be licensed, insured, and bonded. In addition, a broker will look out for your best interests in terms of meeting price expectations and screening prospective buyers.

Another popular outlet for selling is ebay. While anyone can set up an ebay shop and sell items from phone covers to Hot Wheels cars, when it comes to items of significant value, a consignment broker is again the best option. Again, the broker can determine fair market value for the item(s), and handle a problem if it should occur. It’s not uncommon for an item to be sold online and returned by the buyer because it was not adequately described. However, the item that is being returned is not the same item that was shipped. This is a common issue that ebay sellers face and it costs them time and money to fight. The majority of the time ebay will side with the buyer because of the buyer protection ebay offers to its bidders. Any broker worth a grain of salt will use numbered, tamper resistant stickers in a conspicuous spot on the item, so there is proof if it is switched in a return. This is one of many pitfalls a novice ebay seller can run into and even more of a reason to use a consignment broker.

Overall, it’s important to consult an expert when it comes to online selling. Most importantly, sellers want to get the most they can for their treasures. On the other hand, novice sellers need to avoid being put into an adversarial position when dealing with total strangers who lack the credentials to be doing business with you or who are criminals. It does not take a genius to sell an old weed whacker on Craigslist; however, collections of significant value should be sold by a consignment broker with proper credentials.

By: John Vassel
Mr. Vassel has been selling on ebay since 1997, has owned his own consignment shop, and is a third generation antique/collectibles enthusiast. He works with estate attorneys, real estate agents, and people with high end collections who wish to liquidate their personal property. He is licensed, bonded, and insured.

Avoid an Adversarial Experience by Using A Consignment Broker

October 02 , 2017

Some people enjoy the challenge of being an adversary and walking into the car dealership to haggle over buying a car. However, selling your father’s collection of old vintage pocket watches or your grandmother’s Tiffany jewelry collection without a consignment broker may put you in an adversarial position that you are doomed to lose. Antique collectors and collectors in general are seeing an abundance of the same inventory hitting the market, so it’s a great time to buy! With a wealth of inventory, collectors have discriminating tastes when it comes to condition, authenticity, provenance, and most importantly—price!

Using a consignment broker to sell collections, inherited or not, shields the seller from entering into these adversarial experiences. Why? Because brokers will get the best price for items based on the fair market value. Most professional consignment brokers will aim to sell to collectors and not to dealers for pennies on the dollar. Additionally, any consignment broker worth his or her salt, will make sure that the items are safely shipped and deal with any issues after shipment. In the age of Ebay, a consignment broker is an agent in making sure that returned items are the same items that were shipped by using tamper resistant labels that are placed in inconspicuous locations on items.

The bottom line is that people who are selling personal property of significant value whether it be an inherited collection or their personal collection of treasures should strongly consider a consignment broker since they typically work with vetted buyers, have a clear understanding of a marketplace that favors the buyer, and have the seller’s best interests in mind during all negotiations and will handle returns from unsatisfied buyers. This is how the broker earns a fee and it keeps the seller from enduring an adversarial experience. Of course, only consider hiring consignment brokers who are insured, bonded, and licensed in the state where they do business.

John Vassel Manager,
J.A. Vassel Fine Consignment
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