These old panels were truly 400-500 years old. They had condition issues but were still premium items in my opinion. eBay puts our items in front of tens of millions of viewers but at a starting bid of $500, we only got one taker. I do feel we got a fair price for them but I have to admit that with a proper appraisal going through a name-brand auction with 'clout', they might have sold for significantly more. At the end of the day, they were donated to a local church so the money was found to them and these pieces found a good home.
One of my associates had this tagged to be sold on-line for $60 but when I saw it, I knew it was a good piece that was worth a little more. Sure enough, someone quickly agreed with my price. My team member didn't do anything wrong, but some items are uncommon enough to demand a little more than what our research tells us. It pays to have more than one pair of eyes inspect things and this is how we handle your consignment items as well - we get as much as we can - keeping in mind the need to sell a given item in a timely manner.
We find pieces like this all the time - they aren't worth what they used to be and we had to sit on this one for over a month to find that perfect buyer who would pay a fair price. When we meet customers who have entire homes full of hard-to-sell items, consignment isn't always the best option and sometimes we just offer to outright purchase things in a 'bundle' at a 'wholesale' offer.
We've talked about old metalware having value before. Garden and patio pieces can do particularly well but the cost of shipping heavy items to someone who wants them can really cut into the value of what an item is worth. These actually sat in our loading dock for several weeks before I processed them - most people have spare money like this lying around, how about you?!
This was another 'mid century' item that was so awful that I knew someone would love it and sure enough it sold in just a couple weeks. A good 'picker' can find pieces like this at the thrift stores for $5 and cash in big with the right buzz words and the expertise to pack and ship it.
These things used to be all the rage and cost a fortune when new. The company took a wrong turn when they started making some of their stuff in China and then realized that the main reason their customers were paying hundreds of dollars for a freaking basket was because it was made in America. When we get collections of these, we usually just sell them in the store as the online market is flooded with them.
The market on Chinese antiques is a strange thing. I researched a nearly identical pair of bowls that had sold for around $8,000 so you can imagine I had high hopes for mine. After nearly a year of fishing for a high price, I finally decided that the experts knew more than me and cut them loose for a song. An interesting mention; most of the Asian antiques we do find go back to where they were made. The world is a small place these days and more than 25% of our internet sales leave the country!
The problem with selling large and heavy things on eBay is that the cost of shipping directly cuts in to what people are willing to pay for a given item. Since a piece like this could sit in the showroom for months or even years before finding a new home, we really don't have a choice and simply have to hope for the best.
A customer bought some lamps today and asked if we had any pieces like this for a science project. The collectible value of old glass is not what it used to be and this piece had a small chip, so I just gave it to her as finding things a good home is what we are all about! You'll notice it glows under a blacklight and is usually a degree or two warmer than room temperature and that is how you know it's uranium. *Wiki: Uranium glass is glass which has had (radioactive) uranium, usually in oxide diuranate form, added to a glass mix before melting for coloration.
These little metal models were used both to train observers to recognize ships by silhouette and also as position markers on tactical maps. Collectors want to buy things that not just any collector will have and these were only available in small circles. They were not in the best condition so the price was reflective of that.