The big fear of selling at auction

Two weeks ago I posted an article that explained how to sell your items at auction for the most money. You may want to review that article.

One fear that often keeps people from selling at auction is the fear their items will sell too cheaply. Of course, there is always that risk. Many auction buyers are looking for bargains. Who isn’t? However, many who attend auctions are there looking for specific pieces, especially if they’ve seen pictures of them posted on as I do before every sale. They are often willing to pay a good price for the items they are interested in. In fact, I’ve seen items sell at auction for more than they could have been purchased new.

No auctioneer can predict what something will sell for. They might be able to tell you what they’ve seen similar items bring, but as I explained in the previous post, it really depends on if there are two or more people at the auction who are interested in the same item. If there are, it may bring a very strong price. If not, it will probably sell for less.

One thing is normally true, however. Good items bring good prices. Cheap items sell cheap. If you sell a sufficient quantity of items at auction, you are likely to be pleased with the overall sale. Some things will bring more than you hoped; some things will bring less, but the overall sale usually pleases most people.

Auctioneers can tell you if there is a market for what you want to sell. For instance, in our area modern furniture is pretty soft right now. When I meet with a potential seller who has furniture to sell I explain to him or her that it’s unlikely the furniture will bring much. I will sell the furniture for them, but I want them to know upfront that it’s unlikely the furniture will sell for much. I’ve lost auctions because of my honesty, but I would rather tell someone the truth and lose the auction than not tell them and have a dissatisfied seller. I do not accept televisions to sell at auction unless they are flat screens because no one will bid on them. The same is true of pianos.

However, at my most recent auction I had antique furniture command good prices as did some sterling silver that was in the auction. In my next auction I have an old ball glove in very good condition in the original box that I’m excited to sell, and more quality antique furniture. I expect they will all sell for good prices.

Most people who sell quality items at auction are pleased with the overall sale. They’ve usually received a fair price for their items, and they’ve been able to dispose of them quickly.

If you’re ready to sell an estate or quality items on consignment, contact me. I’ll be glad to look at what you have and see if we can work together to help you dispose of your items.


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