Blog by Dr. Lori

Three Reasons Antiques Sell High

by Dr. Lori Verderame
Three Reasons Antiques Sell High

Whether you are buying or selling antiques, some things impact their value and some things do not. A big myth is if something is old, it is valuable. This just isn't true. My grandmother had old stuff, some of it valuable, some of it just old junk. Here are three factors that will increase the value of your antique if you are trying to sell it. In some cases, you can help change these so it sells for more money. When buying an antique, if the antique doesn't measure up, you should negotiate for a lower price.

1. Condition

Condition is always key to the value no matter where you are buying or selling. If an antique pedal car or weathervane is damaged or repaired, it may be of less value than a similar one that is in good condition. If an oriental rug is professionally restored then that restoration will alter the value. That doesn't necessarily mean it is bad to restore it. It just means that you want to be sure to get a good restoration job done. Don't spend more money on restoration than the value of the antique. And, lastly, selling a damaged piece is much harder to do than selling a piece in good condition. As a buyer don't be afraid to point out that damage to get yourself a reduced price.

2. Get Attention

Painted Plate

If you can gain a public awareness or attention for your antique that will help you increase its value. That's why if the Metropolitan Museum of Art calls and asks to borrow your original, signed Alexander Calder print, lend it to them. If you can get your antique into an exhibition or on a world tour, that is good news for value. If you can get a scholar to write about your piece and get it published in a new book or online, that's even better for selling it at a greater value.

3. Provenance

Art and antiques with pedigrees or an important provenance background that were once owned by a celebrity, major museum or important collector will help to increase the value of that antique when you sell it. It's kind of like the object's resume. An antique sword used by Napoleon has a better resume and will sell for more money than one whose owner is unknown. Find out the history of your antique and document its background. As a buyer ask for that research and proof it is true.

Of course these are not the only factors and selling price will depend if an antique is being sold at an auction, yard sale or antique shop as to how you can use these factors to sell higher or buy lower. But, these factors are important guidelines to follow as it relates to the antique you are buying or selling. Does your antique meet the criteria? Ask me, I'll tell you.

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