Thomas Edison Electric Battery Fan #103 Charter Oak Salesman Sample / Toy Cookstove Larry & Carole Meeker
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Antique Dealers & Brokers

Purveyors and Dealers of Americana  /  Patented & Mechanical Antiques

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FAQ About Selling Antiques

 Frequently Asked Questions

1.  Do you buy antiques?

Yes, I buy antiques and collectibles all the time.  We also sell certain and select antiques & collectibles on consignment for people. 

The antiques & collectibles currently for sale are listed on our website . In addition to our antiques and collectibles we sell pieces taken on consignement from private individuals, antique collectors, their relatives, spouses or other heirs, other antique dealers, various museums, both private and public, estate attorneys, estate liquidators, and a number of other sources. We welcome your inquiries.

If you have antiques or vintage collectibles that would be of interest to us please contact by email with details.  Before contacting me by phone I must have seen or know about what it is you have.  I can not intelligently discuss things on the phone that I have not seen or know about. Having the piece in front of you so we can discuss the specific details only works for you.  After seeing a pic or two I can intelligently discuss it. Send me a pic first and then we can easily determine if we have an interest or can help you.

2.  How do you sell antiques? 

Most of our antique sales take place from our sister website Those antiques are listed at fixed prices.

We also sell on eBay. I sell there using the ID TheAntiqueMerchant and

3.  How much do you charge to sell antiques on consignment?

We charge a sliding scale depending on the value of the individual antique, or the size of the antique collection.  That can range from as low as 10% for certain pieces and situations, to 20%-30% for most consignment sales, and up to a 50-50 split for items that sell for under $100.  In general we do not take pieces on consignment whose value is under $100.

4.  I want to sell my antique but do not know what it is worth.  What do I do?  

You should do some research yourself using the different antique sales archives found on the right as a starting point, or see what I am currently selling similar things for at our sales website  Ebay completed or past sales are a free resource that will give you a general idea of value. 

Note I said past or completed sales, as in actual past sale results, not sellers asking prices which are usually a world apart.  Free Ebay past sale results go back just 30 days or so.   Results from a longer time frame can be had at Worthpoint for a fee or PicClick for free.  Sometimes those results are relevant and helpful, many results found at Worthpoint are about worthless as they are not current and do not reflect current market values.

5.  Your Past Sales Archives Do Not Include Values for ALL Sales.  What Gives?  

Short answer, many past sale results / prices from 15 - 20 years ago are no longer relevant. Without some context and a knowledge base to help interpret past sale values, many of those "old" values would be misinterpreted and would be misleading giving a reader a false sense of current value.

In no particular order, factors like eBay, the batch of TV shows about antiques, the aging of the passionate post-WWII collector generation that are now in their 80's and dying off or leaving the market, current consumers changing interests, the Ikea effect, and more have affected market prices and demand.  Downward.  These factors, all taken together, have caused the market to become flooded.  Too much Stuff and Too Few Buyers.   SUPPLY & DEMAND

The recipients of this windfall of stuff, the Boomer generation, are now downsizing and selling it off. Their offspring are not buying or accumulating, and have much less interest in collecting than the previous generations did.  Simple fact.  Over Supply, and Little Demand.

The vast majority of the next generation after the Boomers, todays Millennials, or whatever else you call them, would literally rather go to IKEA, buy it new, and then throw it all out every 5 years, and repeat.  Another simple fact.

Bottom line, there is more stuff out there than there are buyers and many prices have fallen in value as a result.  Less and less demand and fewer buyers has led to lower prices.  It is really quite simple. OVER SUPPLY & DECLINING DEMAND make for lower prices.

6. I want to sell my antique now but have no idea what it is worth!  Will you make me an offer?

Sure, but on my terms.  I make offers on antiques that I can see and touch.  I do not make offers on pieces I have not seen or that are not in front of me.

If you really want me to make an offer, after we have determined I have an interest, we can arrange for your antique to be sent to me.  I will study its condition, research its value, and then make you a reasonable offer.  If you are not happy with my offer, indicating that you did know what you wanted for it, I will send it back at my cost, or we can arrange for me to sell it for you on consignment if the price you wanted is anywhere near reasonable.  The only cost to you is some time and shipping one way.  The important part of that was once we have determined I even have an interest.

7.  Do you do free Appraisals / Give Free Online Valuations?  

This is not the free answer booth.  I do not offer free evaluations for things not to be sold to me or listed for sale on my website.  Consultations about values and pricing of antiques to be listed on our sales pages at  are free and included in the consignment sales package.  If your request does not mention the above, the answer is I do not do appraisals. 

8.  I contacted you (Email / Phone) and never heard back?  What gives? 

If you contact me and expect a response, you have to provide enough information for me to determine I am interested in what you have. In other words did you send me a pic and tell me how much it was?

In general I do not respond to emails or telephone messages requesting valuations for antiques I have not seen, nor to emails that simply name an item and ask if I am interested, or emails that state I have a XXX "what is it worth" with no further information.
  Hitting delete, or not returning phone calls is my usual response to this types of inquiry.  Here is the deal, if you do not have the time neither do I.

9.  I do not want an appraisal, I just need help or more information about what I have.  Can you help?

Google is your friend in this situation.  I get 50 + of these requests a day, mixed in with the 400 or so spam emails wanting me to buy their products, and although we would like to make everyone happy, we simply do not have the time to respond individually to each of these free info requests or those wonderful offers. 

10 . How much do you pay for Antiques, or how much can I get for my Antique?

This really depends on the individual piece but in general, depending on the condition, rarity, and desirability of the given piece, we have been known to pay, and are oftentimes able to sell great antiques for 100% or more of "current retail" value.  That is the nature of great stuff.  It sells well, for retail prices and more, and quickly. After that it is a sliding scale between 50 - 80% of "retail" depending on the condition and desirability of the piece.

At the other end, and further down, I am probably not interested in buying or handling lesser or damaged stuff that is always tough to sell.  Also I never try to buy nice or good things for .10 on the dollar.  Just not my style.

11.  But why should I consign or sell my antiques to you for sale instead of selling it myself,  sending it to auction, or listing them on eBay myself?

There are a number of reasons I can think of!  In no particular order:

1. TRAFFIC  My two websites get close to 1000 unique visitors each day.  That is 1000 focused and  interested potential buyers a day walking through "my store".  They found the site using specific searches looking for specific things.  If what I have to offer is priced right it sells. 

2.  EXPOSURE  My ranking with the different major search engines is very good.  You found it, and you can find it over and over again with relevant keyword searches for the types of antiques we deal in.  So does everyone else who is looking for those types of antiques. 

3.  ACTUAL COST  I charge a reasonable sliding scale fee for the services I provide and you get your asking price when the piece is sold on consignment.

4.  EXPERIENCE  I know what I am doing, I do it well, and I work diligently, tirelessly and to the best of my abilities.

5.  I sell a lot of antiques and collectibles.  

6. I sell many antiques for more than you can get in other venues, including eBay or most auctions.  I know how much the things I deal in are worth and I strive to get full value for them.

7. We can & will guide and counsel clients, and help pick the best way to sell your specific antiques for the best price.

8. Within Reason the consignor / owner controls the final price he receives for given pieces.  In most instances I try to tack my sales commission onto the amount the seller wants to net.  In the past I have sold many pieces for far more than the consignor was expecting. At auction, on the other hand, you take what you get minus the buyers penalty and commission fees. That approach oftentimes ends in disappointment for the seller.  The math oftentimes works out to where the seller nets no better than 50% of the published hammer sale price.

9. To date I have only had to return a few pieces to consignors because of a lack of a sale.  That is almost always because sales can take time. This is usually due to the piece being priced too high with no flexibility.   In some cases it can be due to the market simply being off from what it use to be.  Not much anyone can do about that.

10.  Ebay Try it. Try listing a broad range of your stuff on eBay  Do not list the 6 best things first.  Mix it up, list 20 or 30 things across the board value wise and then get back to me with the results and your sense of how that went.

12.  OK.  How do I consign my antiques to you to sell?

Simple!!  Just contact us by email, or phone  530.663.6111.  Emails with pictures are going to have to be sent at some point so it would be best to start there.

13. How do I receive payment for antiques that I sell you or you sell for me?

Your choice.  We can pay by check, MO, wire transfer, or Paypal if you prefer.  Cash is an option as well.

14.  How long does it take?  

We will pay you promptly after a sale on outright sales, or immediately after the sale and cleared payment for consignments by the method of your choice.

 15.  Do you have a shop?

You are there. We do not have a Brick & Mortar Shop.  In general our business is now primarily internet based.  We have over 1000 unique visitors to those sites per day. That is real traffic through the "store".

16.  Do you make a lot of money doing this?

No, but my consignors have.  I pay out over $200,000 yearly in checks to them with no complaints.  I do enjoy it most of the time and it keeps me very busy. 

We can help you sell quality Antiques  Contact Us.

Our current offering of Antiques for sale are at our sister Website

Thank You!

Larry & Carole

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Larry & Carole Meeker