What Is It Worth?

Anyone who is selling their goods always asks the big question: what is it worth?

The simple answer is: what the market is prepared to pay.

Seems obvious, right? But there are two key factors which qualify this answer: the market and the cost of the sale.


1. The Market for Specific Goods

Generally, there are a number of categories that goods from a downsizing project or estate clearance fall into. These include:

  • Furniture
  • Decorative arts
  • Jewellery
  • Artwork
  • Clothing
  • Collectables / oddments
  • Books
  • Electrical goods / white goods
  • Motor vehicles

Each category identifies a different “market”. And within each market, there is either a wholesale or retail market. This means buyers who will purchase an item with the intention to resell it, or buyers who are searching for a specific item they wish to own and keep.

Generally, wholesale and retail prices are very different. The wholesale price is often a third of the retail price.

Often, one may take a substantial loss when selling the item as they are too hasty and wish to effect a quick sale. However, subject to the caveats involved in the cost of the sale, one can minimise the loss by exercising time and patience.


2. Cost of Sale

The retail price paid defines the maximum amount a vendor can expect to receive on an item. It is important to consider the cost involved to achieve that sale.

For example, a 12-seater mahogany dining table purchased in the 1970s could have cost $10,000 at that time. However, current retail market values for such a table may be a quarter of this price. In addition, to achieve that price one needs to connect with a retail buyer who wants the table. On top of that, there are the transportation costs involved in moving such a heavy piece of furniture. A buyer who is responsible for transporting an item will factor this in to the overall cost. Often times they will either pass on an item or request a discount for the trouble. This means even less profit for the vendor.

Another factor to consider is the cost of time. You may not want to part with the table until you find someone willing to pay the price you want. But if you are downsizing or having to hand over keys, you then have no where to put the table. While waiting patiently for the perfect buyer, it may become imprudent to move and store the table elsewhere.  Depending on how long it takes to sell the table, the cost of moving and storing it may exceed your profit.



How Do I Find Market Values and Selling Costs?

We have answered this question in a separate blog. However, there are many participants in each segment of the market who can provide valuations. Online searches can also indicate an “asking price”. But one should be aware can be a significant difference between asking prices and the value of an item.

Our overall advice is to do your research.