Appraisals and Selling
I get a lot of emails like the following -- "Hi Dave, can you help me? Attached is a picture of a Roycroft item. Can you tell me what it's worth? And what is the best way to sell it?" I welcome these emails. I like sharing my knowledge, and responding gives me another opportunity to write witty stuff.
Legal Disclaimer -- I am not a licensed antiques appraiser. I cannot make any guarantees, implicit, explicit or otherwise, on values. My estimates are just my OPINIONS as a COLLECTOR. If someone else gives you a different number, then use their number.
Appraisals -- I can do it two ways:
1. I'll just give you a range off the top of my head based on what I see in the picture and my general feel for what similar pieces are going for in the current marketplace. My estimate may be different from the exact values listed on my site based on condition (as I see it) and the current market (I usually don't decrease my site values when the market dips). The only thing YOU have to do is say"THANK YOU DAVE!" (if you don't, I will not be happy and I will not give you any more free info)
2. I can spend time digging through my resources -- a huge stack of ten years worth of auction catalogues and notes on eBay results -- adjust those prices for appreciation based upon when they sold, and come up with an estimate. I may also ask a few collector friends and/or other dealers what they would be willing to pay for it. Cost for all this work is $25.
Regardless of how I come up with a number, recognize that your piece is ultimately worth what someone is willing to pay for it -- not what I say it's worth. That means it may sell higher or lower than what I think because many intangibles are involved when it comes to the actual sale.
Selling -- you've got several options:
1. Sell directly to a collector. You'll get the most in your pocket this way, but it's difficult and could take a while.
2. Offer it to me. I will pay more than just about anyone else for certain things, and as you can see from the rest of the site, I am very candid about values. And if you sell to me, your piece will end up in a warm and welcoming Roycroft-friendly home, have plenty of Roycroft friends to hang out with, and be treasured by yours truly for years to come!
3. Consign it to an Arts and Crafts auction. Just go to my links page, click on Rago or Craftsman Auctions, talk to David Rago or Jerry Cohen, and they will take care of everything. Keep in mind that seller's premiums (usually 20%) will apply so it'll cost you. On the flipside, their catalogues are hugely subscribed and your piece will get national exposure with all the big money buyers.
4. Put it on eBay. Lots of bidders and lower seller's premium.
5. Offer it to another dealer. Try some of the dealers listed on my Links page. You can also do a Web search on "Arts and Crafts" or "Roycroft" to find more. Keep in mind that dealers generally like to double their money on things so you will not get full retail.
6. Ask me to broker a private sale. I know several collectors with money to spend who are always on the lookout for nice things. If your piece is really good, I might be able to hook you up and save you the auction hassles and seller's premium.