As an auction house that specializes in estate sales, we come across many unique items and tons of collectibles. If you’re new to buying pieces as a collector or you’re buying to sell and make a profit, perhaps these tips will help in your decision making and buying process.
Many collectible pieces will bear brand markings or signatures, which may signify that they are special items. Everything from glassware to porcelain figurines and high-end furniture have what are called “maker’s marks” or trademarks that identify them as authentic pieces. It’s important to know which types of collectibles have markings and those that do not.
This could be a seal, sticker, or an actual certificate that states or proves the item is authentic. COA’s are common with art pieces, sculptures, collectible dolls, and sports memorabilia. A COA can be issued by the artist or an established dealer. Do be aware that COA’s can be fake or forged so do your due diligence.
We can’t stress enough the importance of inspecting items thoroughly. That’s why we always encourage people to attend preview days of our auctions. Of course, this isn’t possible if you’re bidding on an item and you live in another location. Make sure to go through all of the pictures and read the description carefully. If you have any doubts about an item you want to bid on, make sure to ask questions.
If you come across an antique, most likely it has some value – either to you or someone out there in the world who is looking for that item. Do some research on antiques you’re interested in and learn more about what makes them unique or valuable. It also helps to know the provenance of a particular item. People are drawn to stories and history of pieces.
If you’re not sure what is considered an antique or vintage piece, make sure to read this blog post.
If you’re buying collectibles for resale, make sure to find out what the current trends are – whether it’s current trends in interior design if you’re shopping for home decor or trends in pop culture if you’re shopping for specialty items like comic books, toys, or memorabilia.
Shopping for collectibles is fun and highly profitable if you know what to look for. We recommend referring to books such as the Antique Trader’s series if you want to know more about pricing.