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What to do with that treasured collection

Created date

February 25th, 2015
doll collection
doll collection

Whether it’s a desire to remember the past, build wealth, or simply an interest in a topic, collecting is a passion that dates back centuries.

Making the move to a more simplified lifestyle like the one offered at Erickson Living communities, is often preceded by the need to downsize prior to your move.  So what will you do with a collection you may have spent years building? For some it may make sense to pass on a treasured collection to family or friends to preserve for future generations. For others, donating to a museum, school, or charity is best.  

And then there is always the question: Is it sellable?

If you are fortunate enough to work with a senior move management firm, they can assist you with finding the best outlet for your collection. Most have trusted resources that include antique dealers, auctioneers, consigners, and eBay representatives. For those who want to sell their items, having an expert to guide you is invaluable.  

Barry Gordon, founder of online auction firm Max Sold, puts it bluntly, “Things are worth what people are willing to pay for them.” The buying market determines the value of a collection, not the seller. Holding out for an optimum offer may leave the seller holding onto the collection. This leads to the decision to give it away or, worse, pay to store it until a suitable buyer is found. Many sellers are emotionally tied to their collections or believe they hold the next Antiques Roadshow discovery, which may delude the “fair market” value perception.

Antique or collectible?

eBay defines an antique as “any work of art, piece of furniture, decorative object, or the like created or produced in a former period, or according to U.S. Customs laws, 100 years before the date of purchase.” A collectible is something you have gathered as a hobby or for memories. Whether a collectible has value is determined by its condition and rarity. 

As you consider how you will handle dispersing your goods, when the time is right, consider this—Bevco Auctioneer Charlie Bevard advises one should collect something they like, not something they hope will make them a fortune.

Downsizing tip

Start unemotional  

Downsizing your family photos may seem like the most important area to tackle, but it’s also the hardest! Start with an area that you can easily address, such as a junk drawer or your Tupperware collection, to build momentum and success.