Are you finally ready to sell that Star Wars toy collection you’ve had since you were eight years old? Or the coin collection you inherited from your father? Maybe you’re exploring your options because something inside you is pushing back or asserting itself and saying, are we a bit trapped here? Are we stuck collecting things because it’s “what we’ve always done” or is it still as captivating and exciting as it was at the start? Are we holding onto things because we truly love and value them, or are they holding onto us? Collections can begin to feel like a part of us. Afterall, the hunter/gatherer impulse in in our DNA!


To consider a decision to sell your collections, begin with considering why you collected it in the first place. What was your drive? Does it remind you of a time past? Does it have sentimental value connecting it to special people or events? Were you driven to collect more because there was more available, and you HADto have the complete set? You must know why you have a collection if you are going to decide if you are ready to sell it?


Why Sell?


There are many reasons to sell collections. Maybe you have just run out of space. Perhaps it belonged to a loved one that passed. By the same token, it could be a collection you began with a friend or an ex who is no longer in your life. Maybe you really need the income. Perhaps you are moving and downsizing and will no longer be able to display your items. Ultimately, it may just be that you have lost interest in the collection, or even have found a new interest in something different to collect. Don’t allow your collections to be a crutch. It cannot take the place of a person now missing from your life. If it no longer brings you joy, it is time to let it go.


Once you make the decision to let it go, it is OK to celebrate. It is a big deal to let go of something that may have been a large a part of your life. You may also celebrate the opening you created for new experiences, hobbies, relationships, and activities that you did not have mental or physical space for before. When you are ready to sell there are many steps you can take to be sure you are making a fair and successful sale.


Research Your Collections 


You need to research exactly what you have. Determine if your items are authentic or maybe reproductions. More specifically, you need to research what your items are worth. You may have huge sentimental value in your collection, but a buyer likely will not. You need to find out what others might be willing to pay. There are lots of sites to help you value your items. In addition, social media sites are another great resource. There are “Facebook” groups for just about any interest you can think of, and there is bound to be one for the collection you are looking to sell. It is not recommended to sell items in your collections on Facebook but browsing and listening in can give you an idea for what others are collecting and what people are willing to pay.


Set a Price


It is essential that you go into a deal with a set price in mind. You need to determine that “magic number” you are willing to sell for. Keep in mind, that if you are planning to sell to a dealer that will be reselling the items, you will have to offer them wholesale prices. This means that you will have to consider what the collection is worth, and plan to sell it for about 60% of that price. Also determine any terms that you want to set with the sale. Is it cash and carry or are you willing to hold items for a time? Will you accept payments or full price up front?


Accurately Communicate


When it is time to offer your collection up for sale, it is essential that you accurately portray the scope and size of your collection. How much space does it take up? What years does the collection span? Being as specific as possible will help a potential buyer to come prepared and not to waste your or their time.


Offer Space


Especially if you have a large collection, you need to allow a potential buyer time and space to explore it. They do not likely want to hear all your sentimental stories about how you acquired each item. Instead, it is best to walk away. Give them time to explore the collections on their own. Let them know you will be in the next room, and you are happy to answer any questions.


 Cherry Picking Collections


One common mistake that sellers make in selling their collection is that they pull out a few pieces to hang on to. Often, you will want to keep the most valuable pieces and the key items that will make a sale for the complete collection possible. In fact, someone may be willing to buy an entire collection just to acquire these “star” items. Therefore, if you remove them, you could lose your sale. For certain, you will impact the sale price.


Auctions Are Great for Collections


You can look to online sites, specialty groups, or dealers to sell your collection. However, if you want to get the best prices, you should consider an auction. An auction cuts out the middleman. When selling to a dealer, you must leave room for them to make a profit on the resale of your items. However, at an auction, you are offering your items direct to the end user and can gain better prices.


If you have a large collection, present your most rare and exciting items first. Hopefully bidders will be competing for the items. Consequently, you will be able to get top dollar! Often after the sale, those that lose the bid are disappointed and will go on to bid for other items in the collection that may have originally not garnered as high a price.


LAWSON & CO is an auction house and full-service real estate company. Give us a call at 317-745-6404 or visit us at LAWSON & CO to see how we can help you get top dollar for your collection.


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