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(11,230 posts)
Sat Feb 17, 2024, 08:34 PM Feb 2024

I'm getting ready for Mom's estate sale after her move to assisted living.

I spent a good part of the day putting her "collectable plates" in their original boxes.

She loved the things and thought them a good investment. I found a few of the sales receipts from when they were purchased up to fifty years ago. I then checked eBay. Most are selling for 50% or less than what she paid for them.

My theory is that the target demographic has died off.

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(44,073 posts)
1. Yes that is one way to look at it.
Sat Feb 17, 2024, 08:41 PM
Feb 2024

Harry Rinker, who in his life wrote antiques price guides for Worman's I think was the name, later wrote one book about collecting. He said there is a demographic element to the junk we collect. We tend to buy in our peak earnings years - 40 to 60 - and we tend to buy things we remember from childhood which includes things as far back as our grandparents and then into our parents and ourselves. And he said, he was surprised when the internet entered the world how much of the old stuff was lurking in attics, basements, storage, garages.

The demographic has died off, and the Boomers have oversupplied collectibles. THere's a glut. Rare items, though, one-of-a-kind, can still go for good bucks.


(11,230 posts)
4. Mother grew up dirt poor.
Sat Feb 17, 2024, 08:50 PM
Feb 2024

She met Dad while working as a waitress at a cafe in town. From their marriage license, she was way too young to get married or be out on her own.

She worked all her married life and "her money" went for pretty stuff.


(17,555 posts)
8. I'm glad she got to enjoy her pretty stuff.
Sat Feb 17, 2024, 10:11 PM
Feb 2024

My mom loved her Hummels that she ‘bought’ when dad was in the Army stationed in Germany in early 50s. As time went on we learned she actually bought their allowance of cigs from the PX and since neither smoked she traded them for figurines. I think there’s a word for that kind of transaction!

Hope your mom settles in well into her assisted living.


(21,507 posts)
3. The young people don't care about fine China and formal dining
Sat Feb 17, 2024, 08:47 PM
Feb 2024

I work as a senior move manager moving seniors from their homes into assisted living places. After they move we clear out the rest of their stuff and end up donating China because we can’t find buyers. The donation places are filled with fine China.


(20,361 posts)
11. Most fine china can't be put in the microwave or dishwasher
Sat Feb 17, 2024, 11:40 PM
Feb 2024

Even generations that appreciated it didn't use it every day. The china was only brought out for special occasions. Use it every day and someone's going to drop a dinner plate that costs $80 to replace.

Everyone has a right to their own tastes. My grandmother had crocheted antimacassars on every armchair. My mother didn't. Generations younger than boomers don't ever know what they are.


(22,168 posts)
5. My mom had a large collection of original Kewpie dolls
Sat Feb 17, 2024, 09:00 PM
Feb 2024

There were about 50 or so. I found a dealer in Annapolis who sold them at auction. My siblings and I split a check for $22,000.

Thanks, Mom!

marble falls

(58,741 posts)
6. Collectables are such a racket. I have been pretty shocked how shabby first my grandparents, then my folfs ....
Sat Feb 17, 2024, 09:04 PM
Feb 2024

... and now my own stuff is. I was at my MiLs and counted over 100 pcs of Wedgwood, including a few rare releases. And we are trying o get our kids to take stuff they do not want.

I've started putting pieces of furniture up on consignment. I'm letting the shop set the prices.


(11,230 posts)
9. I console myself with the knowledge that she dearly loved her pretty stuff.
Sat Feb 17, 2024, 10:17 PM
Feb 2024

It was a poor investment but it brought her joy.

She is convinced it is all valuable, so I spent hours putting it all back in the original boxes. Now, if I can just figure a way for her not to know how little it brings at the sale.

marble falls

(58,741 posts)
10. I don't knock anyone's collections. Just rue that they get get broken up as a collection and get a nickle ...
Sat Feb 17, 2024, 10:39 PM
Feb 2024

... out of a dollar to sell.

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