What good are price guides on antiques when people won’t pay those prices?

Question by debodun: What good are price guides on antiques when people won’t pay those prices?
The term ” book price” intimidates potential buyers, so why are there so many price guides published? I’ve noticed on Ebay that things like glassware, pottery and other “collectibles” usually sell for 10 to 50% of the current book prices.

Best answer:

Answer by pickles
have u tried kovals books

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5 Comments/Reviews

  • Marilyn B says:

    I agree with you. I have a beautiful, antique walker-spinning wheel from the 1800′s that–according to an appraiser from Country Living magazine–is worth between 325 and 350 dollars. But actual dealers that I have approached say they will give me only $ 100 and tag it for $ 200. I’m keeping it.

  • arklatexrat says:

    I’ve noticed that, too. The antiques market is really weird right now. Real, high-quality antiques are getting harder and harder to find (Katrina didn’t help!). I don’t know if it has anything to do with it, but dealers seem to be pushing toward “vintage” items which are more mid-century. It’s driving up the price of newer “junk”, and down the price of the antiques that don’t fit that “look”.

    I also think Ebay has just shot the market to Hades. Instead of people having to travel all over to find what they were looking for, now they can just sit at home and buy/sell it. Things are coming out of the woodwork from new sources as people realize they have a family heirloom that’s worth something. All this new competition drives the prices down.
    The advantages of being a local dealer are the savings on shipping costs (especially if you can offer delivery service on large items) and quality. Potential buyers can inspect the pieces in person and see what they are really getting, and they have access to personal customer service. Thumbnails on Ebay won’t get you that. I suppose if you are a buyer trying to get your “book price”, those are some negotiating points you could use.

  • fallen says:

    Price guides are just that guides. Price also depends on location, market, availability of similar items, etc. Also a higher price can be asked if item is placed in a store rather than sold on e-bay or by an individual.

  • K D says:

    The problem is that too many people watch the antiques roadshow and think they are sitting on a fortune. The fact that alot of the people on there DONT have anything valuable never desuades them.

    They all use buzzwords too….Shabby Chic is my favorite…lol means that it may be old and in bad shape but MAY be worth something someday…lol

    Like that one guy said. Something is only as valuable as someone is willing to pay.

  • Auctionwally says:

    The old saying ‘something is only worth what someone will pay for it’ is so true.
    I run a free antiques appraisal blog, and what I do is give prices on what I think things will reach at a reasonably well attended and well advertised competitive auction.
    As far as price guides go, what they do is get an average around the country of what the ASKING price is for certain items.
    You can ASK whatever you want, but what you get is the only thing that counts.
    My source site is my antiques appraisal site called What’s it Worth and anyone is welcome to submit a free online appraisal request.

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