Precious metals are at an all time high in value and scrappers are always looking for bargains. This "Antique 90 Pc Stieff Rose Sterling Silver Flatware Set" had a gross weight of about 10 pounds, which had a melt value of around $2100. But we knew that the collectors would value this set for it's beauty and craftsmanship, which is why it sold for $3551 - almost a $1,500 more than scrap value! Since our commission is 33% of the first thousand and only 20% thereafter - our consignor still netted more than she would have going directly to a metal dealer and was very pleased.
Old film cameras are not only collected, but still actively used by professionals and students alike all over the world. And thanks to eBay, this "Vintage Kodak Medalist Camera Lot" sold for $480 to a buyer in China. The guy actually tried to give me a hard time about some damage that we accidentally overlooked to one of them, so I simply told him he could pay the return shipping (about $100) and send them back if he had a problem and he quickly went away. Some eBayers can be a pain, but we try to handle every situation with patience and genuine consideration.
Everyone knows that Disneyana has been collectible almost since it's inception. While this "Vintage Disney Mickey Mouse Seiko Watch" was a nice piece, we weren't expecting $380! My consignor bought it on vacation nearly thirty years ago and never wore it. As you can see by the $175 tag, he basically doubled his money!
Most people are familiar with the collectible nature of Goebel Hummel figurines. This Land in Sight piece was actually from 1992, so being a fairly newer trademark, I was actually surprised to see it go for $605! Personally, I think these things are creepy - right up there with clowns and baby dolls.
Again, artwork can be the best and the worst items to sell. We actually sold this 36" tall Sandra Koop Marlin Statue in our store to a local buyer as some things are just too much of a pain to sell on eBay. In this instance, my consignor wasn't too happy with the sale price as this thing cost her about $5,000 from the artist. We really do the best we can with the items we're given - some hit and some miss.
High end sporting goods usually do well, like this gently used "Excalibur Phoenix Compound Crossbow Rifle" which sold for $432 - a little more than half of it's original retail price.
Fine jewelry is one of the most heavily marked up products in existence and will generally only sell for about 30% of it's appraised value. But when you have eight ounces of 925 designed by a famous artisan like this "King Baby Studio Sterling Silver Wallet Chain" - you've got a $760 sale.
While most clothing does terrible on eBay (because there is just so much of it and there is always fit and feel concerns) high end name brand outerwear will usually rise to the occasion. This barely worn "Orvis Vanson Horsehide Leather Motorcycle Jacket" looked as good as new and sold for $645. Granted, it was $1200 retail - but that's still not bad!
Quality leather goods like luggage and handbags are really expensive new, but they do hold their value, which is why we got $1026 for this gently used "Original Ghurka Bag Leather Briefcase"
I spent about two hours trying to decipher the makers mark on this "Franz Witter Dresden Lace Porcelain Figurine". I discovered it was actually a genuine Dresden piece that was rebranded for international sale by a third party in the 1950s. A collector in Russia of all places bought it for $306! Had I not done my research, we wouldn't have gotten twenty bucks for it. Old figurines are very collectable, but brand and condition are everything.
Tools and the ability to build things are one of the major reasons mankind has risen from the jungle over the animals. High end tools like this "Snap-on Standard Flank Drive Wrench Set" sell for about $400 new, so it was no surprise we got $239 for this gently used set.
Most old hand-made arts and crafts pieces aren't worth very much unless you can identify them with a culture or give them historical significance. When we learned that these "Antique Native American Indian Folk Art Dolls" were authentic primitives from the Umatilla Tribe, we knew we had something to work with. Not only did the person who bought them thank us profusely, but we grossed $265 making the connection!
Usually dolls are a dime a dozen, but if you find a really nice old piece like this "Antique Max Handwerck German Bisque Head Doll", you've got $332 on your hands. Sadly, this doll was so old and fragile it broke during shipping despite my best packing efforts. Since the insurance rarely pays out on anything, I had to eat this one. We are experts at packing, but still the barbarians at UPS manage to break about 1/200 items we ship.
The joy of smoking is one of the things that has been shared by both the rich and the poor for generations. The craftsmanship of some of the pieces in this "Antique Estate Smoking Tobacco Pipe Collection" was just fantastic. We could have sold them individually, but we offered them as a lot to attract the collectors and got a nice $510 sale!
Old quality clocks are very collectable. Even in broken condition, this "Antique Sokol & Montag Torsion Mantle Clock" sold for $561. What's interesting is the winning bidder was in China. I had to do one heck of a packing job, but it got there undamaged!
The market is flooded with cheap 'limited edition' novelties featuring popular personalities. Most of the time, they are worth very little, but if you get a good piece like this "DC Direct Sideshow Wonder Woman Superman Statue" you've got a $393 sale. The new price tag was only $199 - so someone actually made a profit on this!
Old film and music memorabilia is always sought after. This lot of "Vintage Movie Theater Lobby Cards" were from the 1940s 50s & 60s - we first tried selling a couple individually, but they didn't do well or didn't sell at all, so we just grouped the remaining lot together. The group lot probably sold for more than they would have alone as collectors love 'grab-bag' offers. In addition, decorators and restaurants love collections like this!
People love nostalgia, especially when it has to do with technological revolutions. The invention of the phone brought the entire world a little bit closer and pieces like this "Antique Kellogg Crank Telephone" which sold for $207 are highly sought after for display pieces.
This hand-made wood "Artisan Spotted Duck Fish Decoy Lure" sold for an impressive $160. Old sportsman type items are always sought after for display in places like game rooms or even restaurants.
Here at the Curiosity Warehouse, we like interesting items like this "Antique Pyle National Railroad Locomotive Lantern" that sold for $226. Almost anything to do with transportation history or railroads in general will do well. This particular piece was in decent condition, but it would have been worth even more had it not been repainted.
One of the biggest reasons private parties are reluctant to sell their own items on eBay is because of the packing and shipping aspect of making the sale. How much do you charge? Where do you get boxes? When will you have time to go to the post office or how do you use UPS or FedEx? How do you insure items and what happens if something breaks in transit? Obviously as an eBay drop off store, these are things we already have figured out and the answers to all these questions could comprise an entire college thesis.
Historical items, especially military related pieces have a huge collector following. There are lots of old swords like this "French 1833 Chatellerault Naval Cutlass" to be had but the condition can make it trash or treasure. Since not everyone can afford a priceless collection, fair condition items like this one still do pretty well for someone just looking for a display piece.
Old books are usually a dime a dozen since they are printed by the thousands, but if you have a first printing by an acclaimed author, you have a winner. We had two copies of "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer 1876 First Edition Printing (by) Mark Twain" - one with a beat up cover, the other with some missing pages. Together, they fetched $1281 and the buyer told me he was a professional binder and planned to use them both to make one nice copy which would be worth at least $2000.
Art is among the best and worst performing items we sell. We really weren't expecting much for these "15 Original Vintage Japanese Woodblock Art Prints" but we knew there was a market for Samurai & Geisha themed items and simply gave them the best representation we could. Even though we could not decipher the artist, eBay is full of experts looking for treasures and at least two people felt they were worth over $2,000!
This "Antique TNT Dynamite Blasting Machine" from the 1920s went off with a bang at $618! Most old items that can be identified will always have some value. Especially if they are items tied to industry, history, or culture. While the name-plate on this piece does not carry any special history, this piece would have sold for a lot less without it.