When it comes to moving sales and estate auctions in Toronto, our knowledgeable and trusted staff at SellMyStuff come across a variety of different antiques. For those selling or those just interested in purchasing antiques, there’s a few tips every treasure hunter should keep in mind.

1. Rarity

This is how common or uncommon a certain item is, and depends a lot on a few factors: how many were made, where it was made, and how many are expected to still exist. For some specialty items at estate auctions, like paintings or artwork, rarity becomes a crucial point of contention – at SellMyStuff we have a dedicated and highly-trained group of professionals who are able to appraise a variety of different kinds of antiques, and we can ascertain the true value of an item.

2. Condition

The older an item is, the more wear and tear that time and external forces will do to an antique. Damage to look for often includes dents, nicks, and scarring (especially for metallic or wooden antiques) but can also include fading and abrasion. Occasionally, some old antiques have been “fixed” or repaired in the past, sometimes with inauthentic or faulty parts – knowing the item and what to look for (for example, the screws or rivets in stools or chairs) in that specific item will help you avoid acquiring a “red herring”.

The condition of items is often scaled according to how closely a product resembles an ideal ‘off-the-shelf’ version. At estate sales and moving sales these conditions can range from excellent or mint, to good, to poor. Adjusting the price of these items according to condition is another example of how SellMyStuff lives up to its name as a trusted purveyor and appraisal service.

3. Authenticity

This comes into play with rare items that may come from a single supplier, company, brand, or individual. This is most pertinent with artwork, where the identity of the painter is often what gives a piece its value. Many paintings at garage sales may not be authentic, and at SellMyStuff we take due diligence to ensure the authenticity of such pieces. Additionally, we also come across faux or counterfeit products, where the brand of an item has been replaced, to hide its true origins (for example, with clothing like Gucci, etc.).

4. Kitsch or Avant-Garde?

This is often the first thing that strikes a buyer at an antique auction, and the last thing they consider when they finally make a decision to buy. Often antiques that come from another generation don’t really fit the aesthetics of today, and taking into account how well something will fit with your home is a very real concern. Serious collectors understand the need to balance the purchase of their moving sales items according to price, quality, and the general aesthetic of how good something looks. Sometimes those priceless cartoon cow milk pitchers just don’t do justice to your kitchen!