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SELLING AN ANTIQUE DESK

We are often asked what is the best way to sell an old (antique) desk.  Three possible ways to sell your desk are described below.

Note on Values:  We can provide broad guidance on prices and values, where to sell such a desk and what to look out for.  Please note that any information we provide on values and prices is provided without warranty or obligation and we always advise taking professional advice from as many sources as possible before making any commitment.   Any indications of value that we give will be as realistic as possible taking into account current market conditions and will reflect selling prices for the options outlined below.  Amy indications of value that we may give will not be suitable for insurance or ;probate purposes, where the opinion of a professional surveyor or value should always be sought.

Route 1 - Online.  The DIY sell it yourself approach.  These days there are so many options for selling online.  If you are prepared to take some photos, write a good honest description and perhaps help to deliver the desk (or make arrangements to have it delivered to the new buyer) then this can be a good way forward.  The issue with this approach can be knowing what price to set for your desk - however a small amount of online research should quickly reveal the "going rate" for similar pieces

Route 2 - Auction.  Using a professional auction house can be a good route, particularly for "rare" or "unusual" desks.  A professional auction house will provide an estimate of value and their terms of business.  This can be a useful route for those wishing to have a sale with minimum fuss and without the need to deal face to face with the buyer.  It may be a good idea to shop around between auction houses to see who have the most favourable terms and commissions - not all auction houses are the same!  Also beware any hidden fees for transport, storage or photography.   Local auction houses can help with most transactions however if you believe that you have a really rare or unusual desk then it may be best to contact an auction house of national or international repute who can market the desk more widely. 

Route 3 - Sell to a Dealer.  Antique delarers often buy desks direct from private clients.  They should offer at least the same price that would be obtained at auction (but without the fees)  and handle all the paperwork and transportation.  The sale can be a simple transaction or a sale on "consignment" - whereby the dealer will market the desk alongside his regular stock and then take a fixed amount or percentage once the desk sells at the amount agreed with the vendor (this route may realise a higher price but can take longer).  Ideally it would be a good idea to approach a number of dealers (perhaps by email with photos, dimensions and a description of the desk) to get the best price.  For a rare high value desk it may be best to approach dealers with a national or international client base.
 


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