While visiting a major collector of similar materials as ours in Las Vegas, we noted his walls and cabinets were sparser than at his previous North Hollywood home. I asked Peter, “What happened?” He said, “I started my exit strategy, Jerry. Do you have one?”
At the time, I didn’t, and as we sat down to lunch, he gave me some sage advice as to the best methods.
When jotting down notes for this column I received a call from a nice young lady 12 years my junior who said she had a lot of “stuff” and did not know where to go. I advised her to organize it and call for an appointment. Being unfamiliar with many of her collections, to assist this lady, I’ll share some of Peter’s comments and strategies that might help others as well.
First, the best solution is to give it to a family member, be it your kids or siblings – if they have an interest. In this way, you can remain caretaker of the things you have loved collecting and be assured your treasures will remain in the family and be well taken care of.
We often hear, “Oh, goodness there’s a problem, as my kids don’t want this ‘junk.’” You find that really hurts, but most realize its no doubt generational. So, since that is not always a solution, let’s discuss other options.
Did you have a source or sources that you frequented to purchase? If so, return and possibly sell back items or ask if they know someone with the same interests. It worked for us.
Watch for shows, markets, and shops for candidates to sell to in bulk at attractive prices. “Bundling” is a good way to sell quantity. To bundle is to offer a much lower price for several items than one single piece, e.g.., one for $10, or all for $7 each.
Classified ads sometimes work but aren’t always recommended, as you don’t want “tire kickers” traipsing through your house.
Nearby consignment shops are another avenue, as they are growing in popularity. You’ll want to be careful to select one that is well organized and has fair fees for their services.
One of the best ways to sell your goods is through a regional auction house as they have live sales, but they also list your goods on the internet. This allows hundreds to view each piece – and we always found “water will seek its level.” In other words, it matters not what you paid, it only matters what another will pay. Auction houses also have standard rates and generally will pack and pick up after a careful inventory.
Lastly, if you still have some unwanted goods, donate to a local charitable organization. You’ll feel good doing a good thing to support those in need – and your donation is tax deductible.
All the above are suggestions that Peter gave us and helped us in our transition and allowed us to retain a few personal treasures. We mention this as it is a very emotional time to decide to divest of your collection that gave you so much fun in the search, research, pride in ownership, and meeting so many new friends.
But we found it also rewarding to sell things that other people wanted.
To those who are not ready to give up your hobby, consider the following: Continue to purchase authentic, original, excellent condition pieces, so when its time for you to sell it will be easier to make the sale.
In closing, don’t feel bad that your kids don’t want your “stuff.” In our experience, we find that 75% of our callers state, “Our kids have other interests.”
And by all means, remember all the fun days that building your collections gave you. Hasn’t it been a good ride?
Jerry Glenn, former owner of Legends and Reminisce gift shop, currently is appraising trading card collections.