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(11,267 posts)
Tue Dec 19, 2023, 08:59 PM Dec 2023

I stumbled on this forum and have a question.

My mother has collected painted plates, porcelain dolls, etc. for decades.

As soon as there is an opening, she will be moving to an assisted living facility.

Short of listing everything individually on ebay, is there a reasonable way to convert all of her collectibles to help fund her care?

11 replies = new reply since forum marked as read
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I stumbled on this forum and have a question. (Original Post) TomSlick Dec 2023 OP
Group the ones that are from same maker or have sinkingfeeling Dec 2023 #1
Thanks. TomSlick Dec 2023 #7
House clean out companies but you'll get 30 cents on the dollar bucolic_frolic Dec 2023 #2
Use some of the proceeds to hire a reputable elderly law attorney. rubbersole Dec 2023 #3
One of my partners is a good elder law attorney. TomSlick Dec 2023 #6
If you know that there are high end items in there DFW Dec 2023 #4
That's helpful. TomSlick Dec 2023 #5
You might find a house tag/estate sale business Marthe48 Dec 2023 #8
That's probably how I'll end up going. TomSlick Dec 2023 #9
It is surprising whatr has value and what doesn't Marthe48 Dec 2023 #10
Thanks. TomSlick Dec 2023 #11


(44,620 posts)
2. House clean out companies but you'll get 30 cents on the dollar
Tue Dec 19, 2023, 09:10 PM
Dec 2023

I agree with the above reply. Lots on eBay or Etsy.


(7,201 posts)
3. Use some of the proceeds to hire a reputable elderly law attorney.
Tue Dec 19, 2023, 09:41 PM
Dec 2023

The best thing we could have done. He was able to get our loved one the best care available at virtually no cost to the family. We sold furniture and China for less than half its ebay value because no one qualified to do it. Good luck to you.


(11,267 posts)
6. One of my partners is a good elder law attorney.
Tue Dec 19, 2023, 11:06 PM
Dec 2023

I've got the legal bit covered. The question is how much of my time I spend on liquidating her collections.

Mother loves the stuff. There are curio cabinets full of it.

Thanks for the reply.


(55,224 posts)
4. If you know that there are high end items in there
Tue Dec 19, 2023, 09:55 PM
Dec 2023

Or else want to find out, there is an auction house in Dallas that might be able to get you an informed estimate. I don’t know if they do china or porcelain, but they have a LOT of different divisions, so maybe. It wouldn’t cost you more than the time to take some photos and send them down there. Heritage Auctions, or HA.com is where you could look. If they don’t have a division that handles that area, they might be able to point you in the direction of someone who does.


(17,837 posts)
8. You might find a house tag/estate sale business
Wed Dec 20, 2023, 10:39 PM
Dec 2023

We enjoyed going to estate and tag sales. One company locally handled the majority of the sales. Usually had them for 3 days at the home, reduced prices 3rd day. I don't know what they did with the unsold items.

If we went early the first day, there was a line, and the sale company would only allow a certain number of people in. Later in the day, they weren't so strict.

You'll have to decide what your goal is-I saw you mentioned paying for your Mom's care, so you'll probably want to get the most out of her collection as you can. Check any time limits. Usually Medicare pays for some long-term care, but I think she'd have to be admitted from a hospital. It's been almost 10 years since we had to help someone and I imagine things have changed. Anyway, if you have limited time, that'll probably influence how you sell the collection and how much it'll sell for. Avoid telling your buyers you have to hurry. They'll try to talk you down. As for price, you can come down, but if you try to raise a price, you'll probably lose the sale.

If you are aiming to clear the house to sell it, you'd probably want to approach selling a different way, maybe an auction. Even if the auctioneer takes a percentage, your main goal, clearing the house will be accomplished.

I wish you good luck. My husband and I collected for over 40 years. He passed away in 2017. I took time to sort and last year rented a booth in a vintage store to downsize. That is working for me, but it might not work for your family. Good luck to your Mom. I bet she loved collecting her things, and got joy and pleasure from her activity. For a lot of things, we are caretakers, or curators. At some point, we have to bow out and let the next generation care for the treasures.


(11,267 posts)
9. That's probably how I'll end up going.
Wed Dec 20, 2023, 11:10 PM
Dec 2023

I simply cannot invest the time to deal with this in a fashion designed for maximum results. It would take a big return to cover my usual hourly rate. The problem is that we are in a small town in south Arkansas. I am concerned that the market will be too small.

I have always believed mom's "collectibles" have little real value. Mom was raised dirt-poor and always wanted to surround herself with pretty things. She loved the stuff and the money spent brought her joy. If I could get a quarter of the money she sunk into this stuff, I would be thrilled.


(17,837 posts)
10. It is surprising whatr has value and what doesn't
Thu Dec 21, 2023, 12:08 AM
Dec 2023

I get an email from Collector's Weekly, There are articles that talk about what is collectible, values and things like that. We also signed up for an email from Collectors Weekly that shows you price realized on advertising items.

Jewelry, even costume jewelry, even costume jewelry, usually sells strong. Look for gold or silver content marks (.925 is sterling, gold is a little more complicated, so you might check any jewelry you have questions about with a jeweler) On anything that you planned to sell check for a signature, maker's name, initials, because anything signed is more likely to sell. There are items made especially for collector markets and they don't hold their value. Walk through a vintage mall or go to a few auctions to get a sense of what the market is like in your area. There is an auction site you can access, and find licensed auctioneers in your area. If you go to auctions, try to notice how the lots are handled. We loved going to one auctioneer because the prices were low, but they were careless with the things and there was breakage. We always joked if we got an auctioneer to sell our stuff, we'd try to get the guy who got higher prices for the items.

You can try Facebook Marketplace, for either shipping or local pickup. The buyer always pays shipping. Or used to. eBay and Amazon are 2 of the many who use free shipping as an inducement to buy. There aren't any fees on Facebook Marketplace and it is good for selling big items, like sofas.

My husband and I bought and sold while we collected. We had a lot of experience in spotting a bargain or negotiating a decent price if we should something, Maybe you'll like the wheeling and dealing and start a second career One of the auctioneers I know has a shop, and is a lawyer, too. Another auctioneer runs sales and competes in bass fishing tournaments.

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