Things to know when selling!!!!

I ofter receive phone calls from people trying to sell there antiques. I love the buying part of this business but it can be sometimes frustrating and the main reason is “A lot of people have no idea what they have.”

I don’t just mean no idea of the value, No?? cant even tell me what it is made of, used for or how they got it. I sometimes think there are a lot of people out there who are half a sleep. I wounder how they manage in day to day life?

These phone conversations can be both fun and frustrating and one day I will have to wright a book about them. Some examples I get more often than others. I think #1 go’s something like this.

Phone rings………

Me:  “Good morning, Sarasota Antiques, this is Robert, How can I help you?”
Southern Man:”This the antique store?”
Me: “Yes Sir, How can I help you?”
Southern Man:”What?”
Me: (Louder and slower) Yes Sir, How can I help you?
Southern Man:”What?”  What did you say? You ain’t from around here?”
(50% of the time this statement is followed by “SON”  IE: “You ain’t from around here, are you SON?”) Some might find this threatening but over the phone from an older person, who probably cant run as fast as I can. It just makes me smile.)
Me: “No but I have lived in Sarasota for over 30 years. Are you looking to sell something?”
Southern Man:”where you out of?”
Me: “Sorry”
Southern Man:”What?…….. Wher’d you come from?…….Before?”
Me: ” Oh, London I was born in central London”
Southern Man:”OK England? Do you know the McFaderns? There from over there, Edinburgh? I think.”
Me: (now realizing this conversation could go on for several hours decide to not raise to the bait. Knowing full well that there are over 70milion people living in England and Edinburgh is in Scotland??? But that’s another Blog) “No sorry, I have been in Sarasota a long time, in the Antique business over 30 years. Now how can I help you ??”
Southern Man:”Well, I have these things, I got them from…. Well I have had them a long time…… Got them from????? My mother I think? but she got them from….. Well it must have been her mother or was it her aunt. Let me think. We had them when I moved to Florida? or did we go get them after mother passed?”
(Knowing this could go on for several minutes I interrupt.)
Me: “OK, sounds interesting. What are the they?”
Southern Man:”I don’t know”
(This always makes me lough. Make me think about check out at grocery store, “Paper or plastic” I DON’T KNOW!!!!!!)
Me: “Well can you describe the things to me?”
Southern Man: “Well they are in the garage, in boxes. I’m getting set to go back north, don’t want to take all this stuff back with me. When can you come and look???”
Me: “Well I normally try and find out what the items are before I drive all over Gods green earth. But why don’t you tell me where you live and If it close, well maybe.”
Southern Man: “I live in central Florida about 2hrs from Sarasota.”
Me: “Well before I drive for 2hrs, can you go to the garage and open some of the boxes. Maybe give me some idea of what it is I am coming to see?”
Southern Man: ” I thought you would just come and go though them with me. If you want you can buy the stuff and if it’s nothing, put it out to the street for the trash people”
Me: “Well, while that sounds like a wonderful idea, I don’t think it will fit into my schedule.”
Southern Man: ” Ok”  Hangs Up……………………..

Truth is if he had been just down the street I probably would have gone. But 2hrs drive to move trash to the street seemed a bit much. I often wonder WHAT WAS IN THE BOXES?????

I think what I am trying to say is, if you want me to invest time in looking at your items for sale. Please invest some of your time in knowing what they are or trying to describe them. Some times the best way to do this is to send some photos. This can be ether by Email or Text a photo. I am happy to look and try to help.

Thanks for looking at my Blog hope you have a wonderful day. If you are looking to sell give me a call or send me an Email.

All the best

Robert.
Sarasota Antiques
Email is   ukfurniture@aol.comYou can Phone or Text to (941) 809-2388

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You can’t sell that on Ebay??????

Did you know that you cant sell Ivory on Ebay but you can sell fur coats? Is there any sense in that? What is the reasoning?

Small Ivory music box in the form of a piano.

Small Ivory music box in the form of a piano. Circa 1790

There are several other things the online giant forbids that also don’t make sense.
German WW2 items specifically Nazi.

Ok Maybe I get that. Well no I don’t. I think its part of history and we need to remember, both the good and bad, especially the bad. That way I hope we don’t repeat those horrible episodes.

I fully respect that Ebay can use its own judgment to allow or not, but I think there should be one rule for everything. Don’t sell Nazi things and don’t sell Christian things. The Christians have killed and persecuted more than most. Partially the Catholics, add to the list of no’s, Roman things, I seem to remember the Romans killed a lot of Christians. The Spanish weren’t very nice to the Inca and then there are the New Englanders, killing all those witches. (Most as it turned out were not witches but that’s another Blog.) Modern history is full of horrific episodes and the list could go on and on.

I say all of this with a smile on my face, as a bit of a joke. or just food for thought.
I don’t condone the bad things that our ancestors did but rather learn from them and educate people to be more tolerant and understanding. I also don’t like being told you cant by big government or big business.

I don’t deal in war relics or fur coats, but I would not trash them ether. One man’s trash can be another’s treasure.

I have several pieces of antique Ivory for sale in my shop. All well over 100 years old and I had no part in harvesting the Ivory. The carving and workmanship is quite amazing showing a tremendous amount of skill.

I don’t condone hunting and I am glad the governments have outlawed the trade of any new Ivory. I would never purchase a new piece of Ivory and I also wound buy a fur coat.  If you don’t like them I understand I won’t force you to buy them. Please don’t tell me not to sell them.

French 18th Century Ivory modal cannon

French 18th Century Ivory modal cannon

The Signs of a Valuable Antique

Tiffany silver set of flatware

You’re going buy some furniture and accessories, so why not buy something that can hold its value. Antiques often have a greater chance of keeping there value than new machine-made items. Also, antiques add character, history, and warmth to your house.
Whether you are buying antiques because of their beauty, or because you are hoping that they will hold their value, the best rule is to buy what you like — and to keep your “RADAR” out for values. RADAR is an acronym
Rarity
Aesthetics
Desirability
Authenticity
Really great condition.
When you find an antique that meets these five criteria, you’ve probably found an item that’s likely to hold and possibly appreciate as the years go by.

If your buying or selling it is always best to goto a reputable dealer. Remember if its to good to be true it probably is. I cant tell you how many times I have heard “Well in New York I could get lots more” If that truly is the case then I know I would take it to New York.
Have fun hunting for that special treasure and good luck.

Meissen figurine Taylor on goat171 Painter 41 Gustav Franz

To find out more information on the photos go to Sarasota Antique Mall

Silver flatware set by Tiffany

Meissen Figerine circa 1790

What is Sterling silver?

What is Sterling silver?                               silver-tea-set

In recant months the silver buying business has been very strong. We have had many customers asking “What is Sterling Silver and what is the difference with Silver Plate?”

Firstly, Sterling is the term used to describe the purity of a silver item. Most silver items are not made of pure silver because it would be to soft. So a small amount of other metals are added to give more strength to the item.
Pure silver is rated as 99.9% Sterling is 92.5% That is 92.5% pure silver and 7.5% other (most often copper)
Sterling silver is the most common standard used it was established in Europe in the 12th century. Markings vary and it can be hard to tell if your item is sterling so my advice is to contact a dealer. Sarasota antique Mall is always happy to look at any item if you are interested in selling or not. www.sarasotaantiquemall.com or phone (941) 809-2388

Silver plate: This refers to an item that has been made of a less valuable metal and then a thin layer of sterling silver is applied over the surface to give the appearance of real Sterling silver This is usually to save money and yet have a good looking item. Silver plate items do not have any commodity value but may have an intrinsic value. Again it is sometimes hard to know if you have a plated item as the markings were often made to be misleading. Seek the advice of an expert.

Hear is an example of English sterling markings known as Hallmarks

Also some interesting infomation on some of the best American silver companys.

Tiffany

Gorham Sterling Silver

sterling silver hallmarks
From Sarasota antique mall

What are Antiques?

Over the years I have bought thousands of Antiques. In-fact today I am still looking and buying antiques. My business survives on buying. If I don’t buy I cant sell and if I don’t sell then I go out of business. Having now stated the obvious lets get on with the real problem. What is an Antique? This may to some be a retarded question, but I don’t think it is. I think there is a lot of confusion out there about antiques. I think the thing is we all have our own standard. Some might say, “Well an Antique has to be over 100 years old” others may say, “something that isn’t made any longer” the webster dictionary has it as.
1. Existing since or belonging to earlier times
2. Being in the style or fashion of former times
3. Made in or representative of the work of an earlier period

I don’t think any of these disruptions are wrong but I don’t think they fully explain what an antique is ether. The truth is that each of us have our own idea and standard. I like to think that an antique is over 100 years old and has some rarity, it shows a high standard of craftsmanship and quality. Something that has a high value.
I don’t always stick to these standards but normally a combination of these things work for me

There are many misconceptions about Antiques out there and some I find quite humorous.
Just because its old doesn’t mean it antique or valuable.
(The wooden toilette seat from the cabin in West Virginia)

Just because it came from Grandmas house doesn’t mean it antique or valuable.
(Very nice old lady. Loved to shop at Kmart. Gave this to me just before she passed on, about 6 months ago. It has a “Made in China” sticker on it? Don’t know why she would have put that on it?)

Just because it was Grandmas prize possession doesn’t mean it antique or valuable.
( Small glass dish with engraving “Best bingo player of 1948”)

Just because it Antique doesn’t mean it antique or valuable.

These are all things I have been offered to buy and the man who was trying to sell the toilette seat was quite upset when I was not interested.

People collect all sorts of things,”one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.”

I think that if you are wondering if you have something of value maybe an antique and your not positive. Ask an expert. Most dealers I know are happy to share there knowledge, when approached in a polite way. If you have an item you are trying to get more information on or are trying to sell give me a call. I don’t charge for my opinion and you never know you may have an Antique. Give me a call (941)809-2388