It has been some time since we last posted, so here come the latest “words of wisdom”.

When Judy and I go to new clients, one of the first thinks we ask of them is, do you have any specific selling price in mind? This is commonly known as “expectations” and it is one of the most difficult client issues to deal with. After being bombarded with all the TV Reality shows night after night, from the Traveling Antique Road Show, American Pickers to some of the Pawn Shows etc., people have come to think that they have in their possession some of the last remaining treasures left undiscovered on the planet. They tend to put a value on things with extraordinary price tags and Judy will tell them as much and also tells them that we cannot handle selling for them because we cannot get the price they want.

We have noticed that over a period of time, specific collectibles tend to go in cycles as to what is popular and is selling or not. Try to sell a twelve (12) piece Noritake china dinner set. Not only is the packing and shipping difficult, but getting any price today, let alone the price one wants, is a feat and as a result we are not presently accepting such items for sale. Maybe they will be popular again, but it may not happen in my lifetime. Same goes for such popular names as Hummel, Baccarat and even Waterford. If the china sells, not a given in today’s market, generally it is priced much lower than what would have been realized or “expected” several years ago.

These are difficult times, and it is our opinion that Internet sales have slowed, selling prices have declined and the mechanics of eBay selling has changed substantially. When a client’s expectations are way too high, what is a seller to do? The choices are few. You either do not take the individual on as a client or you try to reason with them that we will list the piece, after considerable research, at a price that will attract bidders and sell. Our experience has shown that eBay buyers are looking for bargains, usually in the 30% range or more, and that one’s expectations are contrary to reality. We have had clients who were insulted when told that their expectations were too high, or become angry when they feel the final selling price was lower than what they had hoped to recapture. Expectations are a factor that may drive a person into action. They hear what a supposed “expert” on the Road Show quotes as a value for a piece on the TV and think that they have something equivalent to it and should realize a similar price. Judy and I just look at each other, laugh and comment that if an item is indeed worth what they quote, than the Road Show expert should just take out his/her checkbook and write a check.

I have great “expectations” that you will enjoy reading this post, but then again, I may be expecting too much.

Published in: on July 24, 2011 at 11:00 am  Comments (3)