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