by: Ryan Friedman
You need to sell. You’ve got some good material. Most auction companies say they’ll be glad to handle it for you. So how do you decide which one is right for you at this particular time?
There are a lot of different factors to consider but here are five of what I think are the most important.
1. Customer Service – I think this is by far sometimes the most underrated factor when choosing the correct auction house to deal with. I think open communication, prompt responses to questions, efficient and attentive paper work exchange, and just having the proper response to any inquiry. I’d rather see my item sell for 10% less in an auction house and have the best customer service experience than see my item sell for a little more and have the worst time maintaining contact with the company. Sometimes the aggravation and time spent don’t make up for a few extra dollars.
2. Timing Of The Auction – This is another factor that potential consignors sometimes don’t weigh as heavily as they should. Always remember that from the time you consign the item until the time the consignment checks are mailed out could be a 2-4 month process. Make sure to ask yourself when you think you need your money. The further you plan in advance, the easier the timing part will be. If you consignment is worth enough, sometimes auction houses are willing to do a cash advance if you need cash quickly.
3. Each Auction House Has A Niche – Depending on the type of item you have, such as a high end graded card, or a regional test issue set, a game worn jersey, wire photos, and even a very specific area like basketball game worn jerseys, consider that each auction house does have a specialty. They’re known for getting the best prices in that particular niche. The best way to see this is to search the auction results from the companies you are considering.
4. Imaging and Item Description – This falls into doing some research as a consignor. I do think that the images that the auction house will run with your item and the description are critical selling points to potential bidders. So how does each auction house go about handling these issues? 95% of all the bidders participate through the internet and the images they see are the best selling point. If you look closely at different auction houses, some do a better job than others in both photograph and descritpion. Think of it from a buyer’s perspective. If you have to struggle to get a good look at an item, don’t you usually move on?
5. Let The Auction Houses Sell You On Their Services – Let’s remember that if you are consigning an item of value, then you have total control on terms. Let the auction houses sell you on their services and how they will handle your item. If you have a $5,00 card or piece of memorabilia they are all going to want to auction it, so let them present their case. Don’t be afraid to ask questions about what incentives they can offer you and how they’ll market it.
Auction News and Notes: You may have had a few days to rest over the Memorial Day weekend, but the pace of the auction world is fast and furious.
There are some great deals to be had in the current auctions ending this week and next. With Father’s Day around the corner it just might be time to purchase some gifts for dad!
And for the collectors who are looking to unload some material for consignment to help fund some vacation time this summer, many of the major auction houses are accepting consignments for their upcoming July and August auctions.
Touchdown Treasures Pre-Summer Sports Auction features 140 lots of football memorabilia and closes tonight, June 4.
Collect.com Auctions is on the East Coast for a consignment trip. They’ve been to Boston, New Jersey and Long Island and will wrap it up this weekend in the Philadelphia area. They will travel to pick up collections.
Mile High Card Company Spring Auction is open. Highlights of the 1900+ lot affair include: 1968 Brooks Robinson Baltimore Orioles Game-Used Jersey, Babe Ruth Single Signed Baseball PSA/DNA 6.5 EX/MT+, 1909-11 E90-1 American Caramel Joe Jackson SGC 70 EX+ 5.5, 1968 Topps 3-D Bob Clemente SGC 96 MINT 9, 1952 Topps #311 Mickey Mantle PSA 7.5 NM+, 1955 Topps #123 Sandy Koufax SGC 96 MINT 9, 1929 Star Player Candy #21 Babe Ruth SGC 88 NM/MT 8 and more.
Memory Lane Inc. is actively buying and accepting consignments for their next auction. They are accepting sports cards and memorabilia, including graded cards, unopened wax, game used jerseys, and much more. MLI’s marketing is second to none and consignments get the attention of the widest audience of
collectors in the hobby.
Grey Flannel Auctions consignment deadline for their August 14th Basketball Hall of Fame Auction is rapidly approaching. Game-worn basketball jerseys already consigned include those originating with legends Dolph Schayes, Connie Hawkins, Michael Jordan, and Magic Johnson. They’ll also have championship rings from the Bulls, Lakers, and Celtics. At this time, they are only seeking a few premier
Sirius Sports Cards June Auction Starts Saturday June 5th and ends on June 17th. This auction will a wide variety of PSA graded and ungraded cards, as well as an assortment of memorabilia.
Ryan Friedman is the editor of Auction Report, a premier web site for news coverage and information on the top auction companies, dealers, and authentication services in the sports memorabilia and sports card business. Look for his column here each week.