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How do I sell a piece of antique furniture?

(14 Posts)
franch Sat 14-May-05 15:00:50

Trying to sell a lovely old writing desk/bureau on eBay but don't think it'll reach its reserve. Asked the antique shop where we bought it and they weren't interested - they mentioned auctioning it for us but they take about 20% commission and we'd have to transport it to them (and home again if it didn't sell). May do this if desperate but has anyone any experience of any other routes?

charliecat Sat 14-May-05 15:07:56

Local Paper? Ive seen things like that listed...dont have the money to buy them though

lemonice Sat 14-May-05 15:08:42

It's one of those annoying things that it's much easier to buy stuff than sell it - do you have a local auction house that does fine art and antique sales at intervals that could value it?

Chandra Sat 14-May-05 15:15:30

Have it valued by an auction house and then you can try ebaying it specifying a hidden reserve price.

franch Sat 14-May-05 15:44:46

Hmm, don't fancy local paper as presumably that entails people coming round to look at it .... will investigate auction houses further .... Chandra it's already on eBay with a reserve of about half what we paid for it - it's got a few bids but doesn't look like it'll sell

essbee Sat 14-May-05 16:47:43

Message withdrawn

franch Sat 14-May-05 18:35:31

Will let you know if I find a solution, essbee

happymerryberries Sat 14-May-05 18:37:53

I wouln't do the local paper route, for the excellent reason yo mentioned. Get it valued, by two separate valuers if you can.

Good luck

franch Sat 14-May-05 19:07:03

When you say get it valued, do you mean by people who might actually buy it from us? Who might they be? As we bought it from an antique shop, I'm assuming its value is somewhere around what we paid for it, allowing for profit margins of course. Whatever it's worth we'd be happy to accept little more than half of what we paid, but can't work out who will give us that!

lemonice Sat 14-May-05 19:11:47

an auction valuer (reputable) should be able to give you an auction estiamte anda possible retail estimate you might expect an auction estimate to be something like half the retail but not necessarily depending on the item. However this is not infallible i sold some furniture at auction below its "value" but also slightly different sold a painting I'd bought for £350 at auction two years later at another for £1150. Generally speaking you should be able to sell an antique piece of furniture for half what you paid for it retail but if it's big or out of fashion more difficult. It also depends in what part of the country you live

franch Sat 14-May-05 19:15:45

That's v helpful lemonice, thanks.

lemonice Sat 14-May-05 19:19:58

Can you link to it on ebay? I'm afraid I'm not in a position to buy it but would be interested to see in case can make any other suggestions

franch Sat 14-May-05 19:22:55


lemonice Sat 14-May-05 19:33:15

Do you have a provenance to go with it? That type of furniture should be quite easy to sell, I thought uou meant a partners desk or something initially. I would find a specialist dealer. Did you buy it in London if so you will probably have paid tops for it. Does the back fold down? An auction house will give you a valuation from a photograph and description and for Liberty piece catalogue/design number eg Sotheby's. Shouldn't be hard to value at all but doesn't mean you will get that price. Also I'm not very good with ebay but prices tend to rise at the last minute.

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