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No. of Recommendations: 2
Stockb,

There is an art and science to getting the maximum for
what you have, and there have been recent changes to the
terrain.

For example, although I never owned any
personally, I always thought Avon bottles were interesting
and thought "gee, they must be collectible", after all, I saw
them in antique stores and at garage sales for $5 and $10
each. Well, once Ebay hit, I got curious and looked up Avon
bottles and was I surprised. Almost none of the bottles
were being bid on and there were HUNDREDS! (right now there
are 1,157 and it appears only about 5% or so are being bid on.
These are the few desirable Avon bottles, I suspect)

Ebay has changed the terrain for non-impulse collectors, in
both directions. Once inexpensive wristwatches now fetch
thousands on Ebay, and once expensive Roseville pottery is
now much more available and prices have come down.

Actually, a great strategy for antique shop dealers would be to
buy, old, interesting - but common and low cost - items off
of Ebay and sell them in their stores for more. Catch new
collectors, impulse buyers, and people who think they are
getting a find with these items. It might even work
for garage sales and would definitely make you selections
look more varied.

So, how to get more money for your stuff? I have a list, which
everyone should add to:

- Research, research, research (if it is in your temperament, it will always reward you)
- Standard furniture is better in your local "Yankee Trader" cheap and free ads in local papers
- Vintage or Vintage reproduction furniture is good on Ebay regional and even local consignment shops (if you have done your research and have ballpark values)
- Coins depend. If know coins or want to know more about them, do your research and get your better conditioned, rarer, more valuable coins graded by one of the top four grading services (PCGS, NGC, ANACS, IGC - top down in order of strictness, and cost). If you don't, bring your coins to not less than three dealers that you are fairly sure you know aren't related and ask them for an offer. Understand that because of inventory costs, insurance, overhead, advertising travel, etc. they cannot always give you 100% of what some price guide tells you. In addition, know that most piles of coins our elders have left us are not worth as much as we wish them to be. They are often cleaned (a coin no-no), counterfeit, or altered. At the same time, there is the small (2% of the time or less) risk that you sell the lot, after what the dealer thinks is an honest offer, and then he discovers a more valuable coin in the lot. That is life. Unless you want to do the research, this is the risk you take.
- Cars. I don't know about regular cars, but for vintage, niche, or hot (see below) cars, Ebay can be the answer. I regularly see cars that were formerly difficult to sell (VW Thing) that now go for good premiums because interested buyers have easy access to these cars no matter where they are being sold. Hemmings Motor News used to be the Ultimate outlet for all interesting cars, but I suspect as for most publications of its sort, the Internet and Ebay have been making business difficult. Hot cars are ones you might not suspect. Certain 1990's Civics are HOT and if you have a little patience and want to spend a little more, you can get the top price for your 1992 Hatchback Civic by advertising a bit more widely and notifying the local "Import
Auto Club" of your sale.
- Architectural pieces are also very, very popular now. Depending on the market, tin ceiling tiles can fetch over ten bucks a piece! How can you sell? I don't know. Salvage yards are few and far between (but damn fun to go to) and I don't think they do that much consignment (but it can't hurt to ask if you have one near you). Ebay, again (a recurring theme, it seems).


As far a making things, I don't have an artistic bone in my body, but I have a cousin who makes mosaics using marble, glass, and ceramic and some of the booty you guys have are the kinds of stuff he uses. Maybe you should free hand tile another room (or wall, or ceiling....) using the marble and tile you guys have.
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