Wednesday, July 7, 2010

How Does Consignment Work?

How Does Consignment Work?

Antique store owners and “dealers” are usually licensed to buy items (much like a pawn store) and generally only pay a fraction of an items worth. This is because in business a profit must be made and no one knows how long it will take for that item to sell. If I would buy an item knowing I had a buyer for it – I would be willing to pay more for it. It can also cause hard feelings when you pay so little for an item and the seller returns to the store, to see a really high price on it.

An auction has little control and is a buyer’s market – and normal, not terribly rare items can sell for less than their value. The person who left the items at auction receives whatever money is left after commission and fees.

So when we began – I felt it more comfortable and honest, to just do consignment. I generally let the person know what the item will be priced at - and take a percentage if it sells. The good news is the item always belongs to the consignor and they maintain control. We get our commission because it is taking up our store space and being seen by our clientele’.

It is interesting to see what people think has value and to hear the stories that are attached to items that have been passed down – most of them being untrue and embellished.

On the flip side-the item that someone is ready to discard thinking it has no value is a real story teller.

Many years ago, I went to look over an estate to do an estate sale. The house was pretty well combed through – with the heirs having spent a few days going through the place and “throwing away the junk”. Remaining were rooms of furniture – a few accessories – and some art. There was a dumpster out on the driveway and I peeked in to see that all the memorable items had been tossed. The little keep sakes that someone keeps for 40 years – the items that showed wear – all had been tossed. They were not tossed because the family had been heartless and not cared about the items, but were tossed because they felt no one would want their uncle’s old worn chair – or grand-mother’s old post cards. It is difficult when you are personally and emotionally attached to an estate to determine what has value or not.

Another time a woman came in with 2 items to sell – she had a beautiful antique porcelain box that in today’s market had a value of about $250 and she had an old lighting fixture catalog from the late 1800’s. She was convinced her porcelain box was the treasure and told me to just get what I could for the old catalog. I noticed the catalog was for a company that manufactured the lights for train cars. Knowing the train market was still strong – we got her over $500.00.

Antique prices also fluctuate more now because of the internet. Sale prices are pretty much simply “Supply and Demand”’’ therefore, some antiques have gone down in value and other rarer items have crept higher in price.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Monday, March 1, 2010


Oh...and Happy March 1!

Tons of Inventory Just In..........

I've been tagging and pricing like crazy this week so come on in and take a look at what we have. We have Sterling and Sheffield Silver just in..............Lots of new china........Pillsbury Dough Boy Collection..........Great Victorian Hand Painted Bowls and Plates..........Hats........and other neat glass and china pieces!

One of our dealers is moving out to join her sister in California - and another moves in. We have only select dealers as the majority of our space is filled with consignment and estate sale pieces. I'm off to tag some more and will get some photos up soon.

Thanks for checking in with us!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Monday, February 15, 2010


When people need my services it is usually because of a loss in their life. I generally feel good about being able to find new homes for items that have been cherished for so long. A adoption agency of sorts.

Victorian Pieces

Just got a beautiful hand carved Victorian Bed frame and matching marble top dresser in - In great shape!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

And look at this! A Lous XV style gilt desk with a roll top front!

Sorting through TRASH OR TREASURE

Here is a video of me sorting through a assortment of boxes brought in. Kept for many years - it had a lot of TRASH as well as treasures (a small dumpster full!) Its a new camera so we took video sideways!

Anyway-there I am on the floor sorting and tagging (which is where you can usually find me) Just had my hair cut - kind of cute. Enough about me.......... People who keep their stuff for years tend to think it is ALL valuable - yet they will often just pile it in aroom and not keep it in the best of conditions. I guess that is hoarding which is another blog all together. I came to this home and there was literally stuff in piles everywhere! We did agree to take it to the store.

Although we did find some TREASURES, most of it was dirty, or moldy, or broken......and I am afraid even much of it - in the best of conditions would not have had value. The good part of this process is the consignor who had grieved for many years over the death of his spouse, was finally able to let go of the items that he though linked them together. It is not healthy (sanitary) to live as he was and I am glad that I could make a difference in his life! Sometimes that is the only treasure we uncover.

~~~today I got a phone call from a young man who wanted to clear out his home before he passed. He has found out that he will not survive an illness and doesn't want his family to come and just take everything after he is gone as they are not giving him much moral support during his crisis. It is sad and something that I must deal with more than I would like. Everyone, of course, deals with their own situation differently and my job is to listen and respect their wishes.....and help them if I can. Hold on - the phone is ringing....................

Newspapers before the internet

Its pretty amazing to see a game that kids enjoyed many years ago which is a NEWSPAPER MAKING kit!