Ask the Experts: Options abound for divesting diverse collections



Q Love your mag.

I’m in my mid-70s, and a collector of almost everything. I need to divest, or at least sell some of these items. I’m not that great at using a computer, so it’s hard to know who might like items I have, and also get the best offers.

I’m not sure sending pictures to you is the thing to do. You might not be able to, for one

Just a few of the many antique and vintage bottles in P.M.'s collection. (Submitted photo)

Just a few of the many antique and vintage bottles in P.M.’s collection. (Submitted photo)

reason or another, receive items this way, but I have to start someplace.

Anything you can do will be of help.

— P.M., Lake Placid, Fla.

Ask the Experts letter "A"It appears that P.M. has been busy for a long time. He indicated that his photos are not the reason for his question. Instead, he needs help in divesting. He also indicates that he is not great using a computer. So, the challenge is to find the best way to display a multitude of items which are not necessarily in one category.

To answer the question, we must list the avenues open to him. First, he could advertise in local newspapers as he unpacks various items. He could also have a living estate sale where everything is priced and shown in his home. Not wanting strangers coming to his home, he could open a booth in a local antique mall or have them placed there on consignment. He could also sell his collections to dealers who come in to buy some items or everything.

There are also sites which will sell his items for him on eBay or a similar site. Lastly, he could place more valuable items in auctions, either local or by catalog.

An extensive collection of Disney prints are part of one Antique Trader reader's collection. (Submitted photo)

An extensive collection of Disney prints are part of one Antique Trader reader’s collection. (Submitted photo)

All these options have advantages and drawbacks. Obviously, someone else selling for him would have to charge a fee to stay in business. To put the most money in his pocket, he needs to do all the work himself. Of course, dealers will have contacts he does not have, and even after their fee is paid, he might end up with more money in his account.

From the photos and his question, he probably will use a variety of ways to downsize. Whatever avenue used, good luck to you.


About our A.I.A. appraiser: Dr. G. Marchelos is an honors graduate and certified appraiser of the Asheford Institute of Antiques. Additionally, Dr. Marchelos has a PhD in history, is a professor of antiquities at the University of Alabama, and is a nationally recognized appraiser working for both private and public institutions across North America. Dr. Marchelos is also a well established antiques dealer, operating both in the U.S. and Europe.