Collecting of objects has been around since the Egyptian Ptolemaic dynasty in 350 B.C. The old adage goes "If something exists, somebody, somewhere, collects them." Collections of any size or scope can be sold, but there are a few factors to consider.
Monetary Value vs. Emotional Value
My grandfather fished in the New River as a way to make a little extra pocket money in the late 70's - early 80's. One day he lost his Old Timer pocket knife over the edge of the boat, and he didn't even realize it until he got home that evening. The next day he was in the same area cast netting for fish, and lo and behold, by some coincidence he managed to catch his lost knife in the cast net!
This is the tricky part about selling collections. The emotional value that we place on items is sometimes a stark contrast to the monetary value of the item. A person who has inherited a collection likely knows those stories about specific items, making it difficult for them to objectively sell those items. A good estate sales professional understands that, and though they will often be happy to listen to those stories, they can still place a realistic monetary value on those items.
Supply and Demand
Comic books can have market value depending on the condition, the rarity and any number of other factors, but it really comes down to supply and demand. A comic in "near mint" condition might fetch $10, but in "good" condition you might only get $2 or $3. If it's a common comic book from the late eighties, even that might be a stretch. Older material from the 60's and 70's are a different story because there is a large market but little supply. This applies to any number of collection types. Just because you have a Crown Royal bag full of wheat pennies does not mean you'll get top dollar. It depends solely on the rarity and quality of select pieces in the bag. A professional knows this, and they know the market supply and demand for the items, and many times will know with a glance what they can and cannot sell and get the most money for.
You've probably seen something like this before, if not, let me explain. Realistically, you can only have two of these, or two sides of the triangle. Sometimes maybe only one, hence:
You can sell your collection fast, with the least effort, but you won't get as much money. You can make the most money with the least effort, but it won't be fast. You can make the most money, and do it quickly, but it's going to take a huge effort.
This stands true for most of the general public. Even if you really know your collectibles, chances are you haven't done a great deal of networking to recognize potential buyers. You probably don't have the resources to dedicate to selling each item individually, and in all likelihood, you aren't set up to sell items day in and day out. If you were, then you probably wouldn't be reading this blog post in the first place.
A professional can make those objective decisions and weigh emotional value against monetary value. A professional also knows what the supply and demand is for those items in the collection, and if they don't, they will certainly find out before they sell ANYTHING. A professional also has the resources to sell the collection without compromising too much effort, monetary value, or speed, all the while taking care of the leg work for you. Hiring a professional to liquidate a collection may not be the best option for everyone, but for many, it prevents lost money, hours and hours of research and a lot of hair tearing out.
Have any items that you're curious about and would like us to have a look at? Send us a picture and we will be happy to tell you what we think. You can reach us by posting in the comments section below, via email, or Facebook, or just give us a call at 423-268-7195