Today’s Links October 21, 2013

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Selling Your Collection – The Slow Dime.

patches 2 In the previous post I wrote about using a dealer when selling your collection – The Fast Nickel , it all began with me reading an article by a comic book collector who decided to sell his 10,000 comic book collection as a way to reduce his level of clutter after he lost the urge to collect. /the other alternative is doing it yourself.

Take the Slow Dime
You can make more money if you sell the collection yourself typically as individual pieces or small lots but here you are trading your time for an increased return. So here we have more work, slower return and (hopefully) higher prices.

For most people who are looking to sell on their own, there are 3 basic options:

  • Find individual collectors who are looking for the type of items you have available
  • Buy a table or two at a local Trade-O-Ree
  • Sell your items via eBay.

Sell to a fellow Collector – If you have been collecting for awhile you probably know some fellow collectors who have similar interests. You can always approach them and see what portion of your collection they may be interested in. They will probably only be interested in the few items which are needs for them. A fellow collector may be willing to purchase some of your tougher items, but most will not want to pay ‘full retail for duplicates. Unless you are willing to sell for wholesale prices, this will probably only allow you to sell a few pieces. The plus side is you will likely get a higher price for those pieces you do sell. Expenses are minimal, a few phone calls and some postage.

Get A Table at a TOR – You can get a table(s) at a local TOR to sell off parts of your collection but there are several things to consider. How well do you know your own items and their current worth? How much demand is there for your niche? How many others will be selling similar items to what you have? What kind of traffic does the TOR generate. Most of the other table holders will only buy items from you that they need for their personal collection or ones they feel you have under priced. If you are a general OA or CSP collector, in order to sell a significant amount of material you will have to have lower prices than the other in the room. You will likely sell some of your better pieces either at the TOR or perhaps afterwards through contacts made at the TOR.

Of course you may meet a dealer or other seller who will buy your collection to resell, but they will want a steep discount from your retail price.  There are expenses to consider; table rentals, meals, gas, tolls, possibly hotel rooms etc. These expenses will eat into your overall profit. Likely you will only sell a small portion, of your collection. So you may have to go to several TOR’s, and even here in the relatively compact northeast that many only mean a handful of TOR’s within a 2-3 hour drive each year.  Unless you get in front of a different audience at each TOR, at subsequent TOR’s, you will be bringing the same items to primarily the same crowd.

Sell it on eBay – While there are some other on line alternatives the most well known and the one with the most eyes watching is eBay. Before you start you should examine the fee structure of both eBay and PayPal. To start, you will likely be paying in the neighborhood of 20% of the final sale price of your items in various fees. While you are likely to receive the most money be selling it yourself this is the most time consuming alternative. Each item must be identified, a scan or photo taken, an auction description written and posted. Once sold it must be packaged, postage applied and mailed or otherwise shipped. this takes a significant amount of time. Multiply this be however many dozen or hundred (or thousand) items you have to sell.

Which method would you choose?

“By the time I’d grown up, I naturally supposed that I’d be grown up.” Eve Babitz