Whether you're a novice or a veteran in the antiques game, everyone appreciates a one-stop hub dishing out the best tips for getting the most value for your collectibles. That's why Muzeum decided this week's post would be a comprehensive primer on how to find items around your home and elsewhere, how to preserve them, and what you can do with these goodies once you want to sell them.
Without further delay...
Find Those Collectibles!
It helps if you have antiques passed down from generation to generation, but not everyone is that lucky. How can you find the items that will gleam bright in a buyer's eye?
First, look around your home. Search the attic, the basement, the garage, etc for any items that you would usually overlook. Pay close attention to older items, even if they seem innocuous at first. That old military hat your great-grandfather used to wear? Check its condition and find out when he wore it, because that could make a fantastic piece of war memorabilia.
Don't forget about those old comic books, to use another example. We learned a single comic can net you as much as $450,000! Such a deep dive into crates and boxes might not yield that rare comic, but ask your relatives and friends for their old Super-Man and Spider-Man issues and you just might find a gem.
Second, be a garage-sale fiend. In an earlier post, we broke down a step-by-step process on prowling for valuable collectibles at garage sales, which include getting up earlier than you might usually wake up, researching the items of interest, and making a gameplan to strategize and prioritize.
Be a Neat Freak
Once you have several collectibles or antiques, you better preserve them like a pro. When we spoke to several experts on this topic, namely Karen Knapstein, print editor of Antique Trader Magazine, and John Sewell, an art and antiques appraiser based in Stratford, Ontario, we learned a lot about the necessary storage and cleaning responsibilities of the savvy collector.
Ensure you keep your items at room temperature to avoid, say, any humid weather degrading the condition of a delicate item, like certificates.
Knapstein recommended preserving antiques like wood furniture by dusting weekly with a soft, dry cloth."If dusting no longer reveals the shine, then it's time to wax, which should only be necessary once or twice per year. Make sure you use a good-quality, natural product and follow the instructions, taking care to remove all the excess."
A rookie mistake for antique toy collectors is taking a wet cloth to plush toys like teddy bears, Sewell told us. "If you accidentally wet an area that shouldn't be wet, you could loosen some glue, and maybe the bear's eye starts to come out."
Once you're ready to get top dollar for your collectibles, you can attend a few auctions to see what people are paying for valuable items. Which auctions pull in a good crowd and what's their sell-through rate? You might want to bring your collectibles to a respected auction house, if there's one near you.
If you want to sell through stores, the staff at Muzeum are available day and night to check out your collectibles and give you a free appraisal. Thanks to our network of hundreds of collectors, you'll be able to learn quickly how much you'll get for your items, no matter their condition or age.
Those with a more entrepreneurial spirit can jump on online sites such as eBay to wade into the heady waters of online sales. It can be a lot at first, so if you choose this route ensure you researched the pros and cons of selling on eBay. It helps if you're already adept at using websites to sell goods.
If you have any questions about this primer, contact us anytime and we'll be happy to answer any inquiries you may have.