Archive for Valuations
Do you love antiques, vintage or retro and like to be involved with it full time? Would you like to quit the rat race or make a little money on the side? Many dream of setting up their own antiques business selling either real antiques, or vintage / retro pieces, I certainly did. These days I find myself regularly asked about becoming an antiques dealer. How do you give up the day job and trade in old stuff all day? Well now I’ve decided to let you in on a few secrets about the trade and how to deal in antiques gleaned over many years in the business.
Antiques are technically over 100 years with vintage and retro being newer but not new. For the purposes of this series of articles I will talk about antiques and the antique trade but everything here is equally applicable to selling antique, vintage and retro items unless I specifically say otherwise.
Why is the antiques business different?
The Antiques business is difficult to learn and find advice on. Stock is more difficult to obtain than simply nipping into your local wholesaler or ordering over the Internet from China. Have you noticed how most antiques dealers do not go straight from school or university into the trade?Unless you are lucky enough to have an antiques dealer for a parent it is most likely that you will have had a long career before hand. Most of the suggestions and advice given here apply no matter which branch of the antiques or vintage trade interests you. You may wish to be a general dealer, Specialise in furniture , pottery , glass, Victorian Antiques or like me in antique and vintage jewellery.
There are one or two books on the antiques trade but not many, there is no given career path. Antiques Dealer is not a job you can find a vacancy advertised very often and the trade does have a slightly doggy reputation to be overcome.
How to start your own Antiques Business
Over the coming weeks I’m going to cover all aspects of starting and running your own antiques business including:
Things to consider before starting , the different types of dealer and specialising
Organising Stock and Care and Repair
Car Boot Sales / Flea Markets. Real life Auctions, Antiques Fairs and Antique Centers. Ebay and your own Website
Packing and Posting Antiques
Money and Profit
Networking and why other dealers are important
You many notice that I have not included running your own physical shop. This is because its the one way of selling antiques I haven’t tried. If any reader with relevant experience wants to write a blog entry for me on this topic I will be happy to publish it here.
So you might be asking what qualifies me to write about becoming an antiques dealer and why I would want to do this . Let me tell you more.
Once upon a time in the last century I had what I now call a proper job. Actually in the overall scheme of the world it was a glittering career in corporate IT. I had huge responsibility for money and people and spend much of my time travelling all over Europe, living on expenses and earning a huge salary that many years later I can only dream of. Sounds glamorous and exciting? Yes I had the Corporate executive job title and perks in household name companies you will all have heard of but I wasn’t happy. I spent my weeks slaving at work and my weekends spending the salary to compensate myself for having to be miserable during the week. Sound familiar? I know there are thousands of you out there just the same.
By my early 30′s I began to realise that earning as much as I possibly could was not going to make me happy, the glittering career is not everything. I felt that it was all pointless and that I needed to get out. My hobby was antiques ( I had been fascinated by old and interesting stuff since I was about 8 years old) and antiques was what I wanted to do.
Now as I mentioned earlier becoming an antiques dealer is not something you can go on a course for or where there is a defined career path. This is something that I had to work out for myself and it took me about 12 more years before I was in the position to resign my career and make the full time leap of faith into antiques. During those 12 years I spent nearly all of my spare time working towards becoming a full time antique dealer
This series of articles will be based on the experiences of those 12 years and in the 10 years since I finally did move full time into antiques. I’m going to tell about what worked for me and what didn’t. Where I made money and where I lost it. Where time was well spent and how to waste months for no progress. You may wonder why I’m telling all this. Am I not creating my own competition? Maybe but one thing about my competition is that they are vital for my business. We need each other which is why I have dedicated a chapter to networking.
I hope you find something of interest here and if you too are thinking of entering the antiques trade do leave a comment and tell how you are getting on.
As regular readers know I am always happy to try and help out with queries on your vintage, antique and collectable items. If you would like help I do quite a bit of information from you first. Here is a question I received today and my reply. Please help me to help you and provide me with photos ( .jpg format only), information on any markers markings, size and colour and for jewellery items the weight in grams.
I have an erly 20th century rose gold gate bracelet – in very good condition and in original box – can you give me an idea of how much it would be worth?
Happy to try and help but I will need more information from you. Please can you send me photos in .jpg format and especially take care to photograph any makers markings. In order to ascertain the value of a piece of gold jewellery I will need to know what carat the gold is ( is it hallmarked ? ). If it is not hallmarked how do you know it is gold? I also need to know the weight of any piece of gold jewellery as its value is very much determined by the current gold prices per gram.
All the best
As with all things collectable sports memorabilia can be worth a small fortune – the problem is finding the one Holy Grail that all collectors want. There is currently a single baseball card up for sale over at Memory Lane Inc which at the time of writing has a bid of over $26,000 with several days left on the auction. This 1869 Peck & Snyder Cincinnati Red Stockings card is just what the collectors want. So is your sports collection worth that much? Here is a piece written by Michael Osacky who is a keen collector and fan himself. The pictures are of Michael with two of his sporting heros.
How come my sports collection is not worth more?
Possessing a vintage baseball card or sports collection doesn’t entitle somebody to significant amounts of money. Listed below are 10 top reasons why your baseball cards and/or sports memorabilia collection might not be worth top dollar.
1. The baseball cards you have are all of “common” players and not the Stars (Mantle, DiMaggio, etc.) The “stars” and “Hall of Fame members” command a much higher price tag.
2. Your baseball cards look like they have sharp corners, but upon measuring each card, it becomes clear that the cards were trimmed (A process used to make trading cards have sharp corners). This is tampering. Buyers don’t like to purchase restored/trimmed cards. They want to buy cards that have the same dimensions as when they left the factory a number of years ago.
3. Personalized autographs command less value than non-personalized autographs. A personalized autograph is less valuable when it comes time to resell the item. A baseball signed by Mickey Mantle personalized to “Bart Smithers” might carry a very high sentimental value to you because you met Mr. Mantle and he signed it for you. To meet an athlete in person, let alone a guy in the Hall of Fame like Mickey Mantle is an experience you will never forget. This is a memory that you will share with your friends and grandchildren forever.
I often get asked how an individual can sell their antiques or collectables, what is the best way of doing this. To help with this I have developed a guide to the options available and how to select which option is best for you. Hopefully this will help you obtain the best price you can through preparing thoroughly and with a few hints on how to prevent yourself from fraud and being ripped off.
Over the next couple of weeks or so I will be discussing selling your items at real life auctions, on eBay, selling direct to a dealer and other less popular options.
- Part one – Introduction to selling your antiques and collectables, preparing to sell
- Part two – Selling at real life auctions
- Part three – eBay
- Part four – selling to a dealer
- Part Five – Other options for selling
- Part Six – protect yourself from fraud or being ripped off.
- Part Seven – How much should I expect from the sale?
- Part Eight – Should I really sell or is it worth keeping ?
Hope you find these useful
I am often asked to help value an item – this is a service which I do not normally provide so instead I am offering a little help to guide you through how valuations are achieved.
There are several types of valuation which may be given for an antique or a piece of precious jewellery.
A valuation is more than assessing the monetary value of an item. It covers describing an item, appraising it and assigning a monetary value. It is only possible to arrive at a monetary value when you have considered the other factors of the valuation.
A professional valuation will have all the aspects given in writing and will include : the date, the name & address of the business carrying out the valuation, the purpose of the valuation (see below) , the description, the appraisal, the monetary value and the valuers signature
The description covers the physical properties of an item eg Its size and weight, what materials it is made of and any manufacturers or hallmarks.
The appraisal covers less tangible factors such as rarity, and quality. Condition will also be taken into account.
There are several types of valuation. The description and appraisal remain the same for all types; it is the monetary value which changes according to the type of valuation. The type of valuation given will depend on the purpose the valuation is required for.
The types of valuation are:
1) Insurance replacement.
This is the most common type of valuation undertaken by Antique Dealers & Jewellers. It is required by insurance companies if an item has been lost, stolen or damaged and the customer is making an insurance claim. An insurance replacement valuation may also be required by insurance companies before they will cover a high value item. The monetary value assigned in this type of valuation is based on the current retail price charge by a jeweller including VAT. This will usually either be a NRV (New Replacement Value) usually used for items under 50years old or SHRV (Second Hand replacement Value) for items between 50 and 100 years old or ARV (Antique Replacement value) for items over 100 years old.
If an item is relatively rare and not likely to be available from an antique dealer, auciton house or jeweller, the monetary value can be based on the cost of re-creating the item. This is known as the Facsimile Value or FV
2) Private Sale
This is the amount a customer will receive if they wish to sell the item to another private person. This value would be somewhere between the price a jeweller would pay for it and what they would sell it for – this value would benefit both the buyer and seller in a private trade.
Value for Probate is known as “Confirmation of Will” in Scotland. It is the monetary value assigned to deceased persons items. This is the value the item is likely to fetch if offered on the open market on the date of the persons death. Frequently this will be the price it would fetch at auction and this is consequently lower than the insurance valuation.
4) Loan Security.
The value that a Pawnbroker or other institution would put on an item offered as security against a loan. The level fixed would not be higher than the probate valuation.
5) Capital Gains Tax
Capital Gains tax is payable on the sale of certain assets when you gain more money for the item than was paid for it. For example you buy a piece of jewellery for £8000 and sell it 5 years later for £11,000 then there is a Capital Gain of £3,000.
Capital Gains tax is only payable on items of Jewellery individually valued at £6000 or more and an individual can currently make £8800 in capital gains per annum before the tax is payable.
The value would be based on a balance between current auction prices and current retail price
6) Family Division & Divorce
This is where assets need to be valued when an estate is split under divorce proceedings. The monetary value is similar to the value assigned at Probate.
People often wonder why do the amounts given in a probate valuation differ so much from those given for the same item on an Insurance valuation?
A Probate valuation is based on the figure that an item is likely to achieve at auction. The Insurance valuation is usually based on the retail price.
The price a piece of achieves at auction is usually less than the retail price especially as antiques are frequently purchased by dealers for resale.
- If a piece of Jewellery achieved £100 at auction the purchaser will pay a % on top of the price to the auctioneer. This % varies between 10 and 25 % depending on the auction house. The total paid eg auction price plus the commission is the amount the purchaser pays
- Items sold at auction is frequently sold to dealers who wish to sell on the item for a profit. In order to achieve a profit they will need for the hammer price plus the commission to be well below the retail price. The dealer will base the price paid he is willing to pay for the item at auction at the price he reasonably expect to sell the item for minus the cost paid for the item and also minus the cost of bringing that item to sale. Costs of bringing the item to sale will include repair and cleaning costs for the item and also sum towards the overheads of running the business
- A dealer turning over more than £67,000 a year needs to include VAT in the price of an item. Vat is currently 17.5 %.
So lets assume that a jeweller buys a diamond ring for £100 at an auction where they pay 15% commission. The Jewellery hands over £115 and takes the ring back to his shop where a tiny repair is carried out to one of the claws to ensure the diamond is held firmly and the ring is cleaned so that it looks its best in the window. Including the time spent on the cleaning and repair the Jeweller had now invested £150 in the ring. He normally works on a 25% profit margin and so needs to re-coup £180. In order to recoup £180, the jeweller must add VAT on at 17.5% taking the price to £206.80. A likely retail price will be at least £210 (or more if the jeweller believes that the ring is worth more).
I hope this little guide helps – please keep checking back for more