Commission and cash sales
When you’ve got an antique or heirloom you want to sell, you can offer it to the trade (businesses like us), sell it yourself on eBay, or put in into an auction (in Oxfordshire, that could be Mallam's). We offer another opportunity – the Commission Sale.
This is how it works. We come and examine the item(s) you have for sale. We suggest a value and and a selling (ticket) price. Our prices include free signed-for insured postage/delivery. The ticket price will be about 25% higher. This allows for the discount that buyers' expect, the commission taken by the antiques centre or website owner, Paypal and postage/insurance charges. We pay for any credit card charges when someone purchases your antique with a credit card. We will discuss any negotiation or discretion margin (i.e. you might be prepared to accept 10% less). We take photographs and put the item(s) on our website and on the popular Love Antiques website. We promote new items through Instagram.
Each item is thoroughly checked (e.g. for gold quality or restoration work) before we agree a price and if we think some repairs would be cost effective, we will tell you. We can sometimes arrange repairs. If there is damage we prepare a condition report. You keep your antiques until they are sold. When they sell, you bring the item(s) to us and we pay you. We insure and dispatch to the buyer. We keep a maximum of 20% of the selling price – there’s a sliding scale for high value items and a minimum charge of £40 for items less than £200.
How do you know the price we suggest is fair? We buy and sell dozens of items of silver and jewellery every month. Although we buy and sell lower volumes of ceramics, glass and other collectables, we monitor the markets closely. Once we have identified an unusual item, we will often be able to show you evidence of recent realised prices from the internet. Realised prices are often very different from advertised prices online. You could also test the market by taking any item to a dealer and seeing what they offer you. Some auction houses arrange open days when you can take in your treasure for a valuation.
If it doesn’t sell?
And if it doesn’t sell? There’s no guarantee any item will sell. If it has a name – like Lalique or Liberty, then Search engines can find it and collectors will spot it. If it is unattributed, unmarked, out of fashion, or has faults, then that’s trickier. But all is not lost. Obviously, you can agree to reduce the price. Some items can sell well on an eBay auction if you are happy to take a risk. Low start prices encourge bidders. It costs more to put in a reserve price. eBay has a 'buy it now' option and regular sellers establish an eBay shop. Please remember that many 'commemerative' items produced in the last fifty years have fallen out of fashion.
You may prefer to sell for cash. We buy antiques for cash and you’ll probably get about half of our suggested value or ‘retail’ selling price. We can buy items up to a value of £10,000 straight away. Broken, damaged or undesirable items of gold and silver may only be worth the scrap value. Remember that the gold and silver prices you see online are for 100% pure (24ct) gold. So a gold price of (say) £46/gram is £17/gram for 9ct gold. If you are not happy with our valuation, you will have our details if you decide to change your mind.
What do we sell?
We specialise in smaller items such as silver, gold, jewellery, ceramics, glass and a wide range of collectables. We don’t handle things that ‘work’ like clocks, watches or guns. We are not specialists in every area of niche collecting and do not usually buy and sell rare books and maps, coins, militaria, paintings or other works of art. We will only consider bulky items such as furniture and carpets in the context of an Estate Disposal or where you have to sell a large number of items – perhaps after a major downsizing, divorce, illness or bereavement. We would sell these on to the trade. If we find that fabled Ming Vase or long-lost Turner oil, we’ll recommend you summon one of the top London Auction Houses.