Many local auction rooms sell collectors’ and dealers’ postcards cast-offs, as well as bulk lots of liquidated property, business clearances, collections from people who have died or given up collecting.
Fortunately specialist postcard dealers rarely get to know about these sales thus there’s always a good chance you’ll find plentiful lots worth hundreds or even thousands of dollars selling for just a few dollars.
1. You’ll find some auction houses selling complete rubbish inventory in bundles which no one can resell; others promote trash lots mixed with one or two quality items, usually to confound bidders and create a bidding frenzy. Yet others sell top quality items only, usually complete collections or entire enterprise stock from people who have given up collecting or selling or perhaps they’ve died or gone out of business.
* Know how dishonest dealers operate. Most dealers know what they are doing as well as the dishonest few will remove quality items, the process is named ‘picking’, from anything they buy, and bundle the remaining back into auction. The best they sell themselves, often in Sunsetsofyore.
* Visit as many auctions as possible that package regularly in big bundle items. Many auction properties have special collectibles sales every few months and can be an awesome source of low cost, high profit goods. Try to get some backside catalogues and look for realisations of prices fetched at previous deals. You could, for example , obtain a past year’s Spring and Summer season Postcard Sale catalogue and a subsequent list of realisations, particularly prices achieved. You can sometimes get these catalogues coming from auction staff, some may still be available to print from your auction company’s Internet site. Compare lot numbers from the before catalogue with actual finishing prices listed in the afterwards catalogue. You’ll get a good idea of how close the auction industry’s estimates were compared to finishing prices. Being able to confidently forecast finishing prices means you can budget on the day and in crisis you might even consider placing commission bids without having to go to in person.
* Try always to turn up on the day, not just to view but also to bid. Opinions vary and it’s certainly not unusual for an auctioneer to describe something as ‘old’ which usually in collecting terms is better called ‘modern’. You can’t find the money for to bid on items you haven’t viewed, you must not rely on another person’s opinion, irrespective of their standing in the postcard planet.
* At offline auction try to check lots right away before bidding starts. This is because lots are sometimes tampered together with, often mistakenly, usually deliberately, and what you viewed last night may be totally unlike the lots you’ll buy nowadays.