At Next Chapter Estate Sales and Household Transitions, we’ve had some interesting sales recently and have learned again what we have known from the beginning. When getting ready for an estate sale, you have to check, check and check.
First, you have to check every nook and cranny in every room. Look under beds, behind bookshelves, in the pockets of purses, inside kitchen canisters, and in every drawer. During a recent sale, we were about to open the doors for the sale when we realized there was a drawer in an end table that everyone thought we had checked. Good thing we did check it again. Inside was a small metal bowl holding enough coins to fill a small sandwich bag. This last minute find included a couple of pretty rare coins from the 1850s bringing the total of this stash to about $3,000 in value.
The next check is about checking markings, something we at Next Chapter have always done. We look for anything that might show the manufacturer, year it was produced, country or origin, and the like. It takes time, but it’s what we believe our clients pay us to do!
After we find a marking, our team uses a number of sources to cure our curiosity about the item. That includes checking on the internet, but also calling on a team of experts who help us with determining value. We check the value of anything that has any type of marking. We’ve been surprised too many times to assume the marking means nothing!
Taking the time to determine value has proved to be an important step time and again. At a different sale recently, our team uncovered a small teacup that was stamped as made in Occupied Japan. After checking a couple of sources, we found this non-descript little teacup is highly collectible, and something we did not expect to find in this particular 1950s bungalow in a small town. Good thing we checked for the marking!
At another sale, we found a pretty beaten up Tonka Dune Buggy. Based on the markings, we were able to find that the unassuming toy that looked like a throwaway item was a vintage piece worth about $35. Again, good thing we checked and checked again!
At Next Chapter, we like to think that check, check and check leads to the ultimate check . . . the one we can all cash! It takes time, but the end result is always worth it.