Selling to Antique Stores or Consignment Shops

If you only have a few items you're interested in selling, and these items (such as antiques, jewelry, furniture, or collectibles) have significant value, consider working directly with an antique store or consignment shop to sell them. These shops may pay you a negotiated price up-front, or you may have to wait until the consignment shop sells your items before you receive your money. Either way, you can potentially earn cash for your unwanted items.

Check the Yellow Pages for a list of consignment shops and/or antique dealers in your area. Assuming you know that the items you're hoping to sell are valuable, get them appraised independently so you know exactly what they're worth before negotiating a sale price.

A fun way to become more educated about the values of antique items is to watch Antiques Roadshow on PBS. This show travels all around the country and offers Americans the opportunity to have their mysterious treasures and family heirlooms professionally appraised on TV.

You'll find a variety of consignment shop agreements. Some charge a straight commission (as much as 50 percent of the purchase price on items sold). Other shops charge space rental plus a commission, while still others charge a flat space-rental fee.

For items that don't sell quickly, some shops require that you remove the merchandise or mark it down within a specified time. Be sure to ask what the policy is for the consignment shop you are considering. Also, make sure to get the terms in writing.

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