Downsizing or Liquidating an estate

What You Need To Consider

Most companies that deal with downsizing help with planning, moving and organizing but don’t seem to deal in antiques or collectibles. The first danger is that in helping you to dispose of years of accumulation they could throw away something valuable. The first step should be to sort out the valuables from all the other stuff. I have a saying “don’t throw what you don’t know.” I have not seen any of them recommend an appraiser of antiques or fine arts. I think the procedure most of them use is to get bids from antique dealers or call in an auctioneer. These procedures work but will not necessarily get you top dollar. First, not all antique dealers are knowledgeable or deal in every type of antique; but if they can get it at a low enough price, they will take it. Also, an antique dealer has no incentive to discuss how much the items are worth because they want you to take what they offer so they can make a good profit.  If the downsizing service you hire offers to do a tag sale, make sure they know about antiques and collectibles or be prepared to get little money for your valuables. Depending upon which dealers you call in and how generous they are, you may or may not get a good price. The problem is you have no knowledge and you are relying on them to be honest; but the amount of profit they make on your item is at stake. Some auctioneers sell high quality antiques all the time and others sell a mixture of stuff. You really have to know the auctioneer, his reputation and what types of antiques he sells at what price level to make a good decision. Most auctioneers want to give you an estimate of value on your items but don’t want any reserve. That leaves the door open to the best offer. In some instances, an auctioneer will give an estimate; but when the auction takes place, the items can sell for much less. Of course, there are instances where the reverse is true too. The point is the auction route can be very quick but you are taking a risk unless you set a reserve.

In antiques knowledge is key because once you know what the item is and determine its worth you are then in a position to make the best decision and get the best deal. The process requires calling in a knowledgeable person who is not interested in purchasing the items but will give you a fair and honest opinion of value. Remember too you want an opinion of sales value.

The reason Showcase Antique Center decided to do consignment was to offer an alternative to auctions and dealers. We sell your items for a fixed fair price. If they don’t sell at the price we agree on, we can always reduce the price or send them to auction. The big difference is that we know what the items are and what they are worth. We have over 22,000 customers on our database looking for many different types of items. We will work with you to evaluate which of your items are antiques, jewelry or collectibles that might have value. We are happy to work with other professionals to make the liquidation or downsizing as smooth as possible. If you have questions or need further information, please feel free to call Showcase Antique Center at 508-347-7190 or email me at

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If you have any questions, please feel free to call us at (508) 347-7190 or email us.

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Showcase Antique Center, Inc.
Marketing for Dealers & Consignors since 1990
The Estate Sales Alternative
371 Main Street
At The Entrance To Old Sturbridge Village
Sturbridge, MA 01566
Tel: (508) 347-7190
See our antiques for sale on line
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