Selling Your Family Heirlooms: How to Do It

Choosing to buy high-quality products is always a good idea. Despite the higher cost, typically, these items can last for a really long time, if not forever. You get your money's worth and so much more in the long term because you do not have to repurchase the item within your lifetime. In many cases, these products that stand the test of time can also be resold at a much higher value. These are family heirlooms, precious items that were inherited from one generation to another. It could be land, a house, a car, furniture, fine art, and fine jewelry. These items can fetch hundreds to thousands of dollars depending on craftsmanship, rarity, and condition. A sports car from the '60s with original parts preserved can even be bought by collectors for up to $48.4 million. There is a lot of wealth that can be unlocked from selling a family heirloom. However, before you list the item on eBay or Craigslist, here are the things you need to know. 

Is It Valuable? 
Not all old things are valuable. Some are just old. In the case of books, for example, unless it is a first edition or a title that has long been out of print, it would not get you much money. It does not matter if the book has been in the collection of your grandmother since the 1970s. Most used copies of books would not make you rich. Jewelry, however, could be worth something. Pieces that are made in precious metals and gemstones can be resold. It is precious if it was made by a renowned luxury brand such as Cartier, Chanel, or Tiffany & Co. Even your grandmother's old china can be valuable, but only if they were the high-end porcelain sets that also cost a lot of money back in the day.One way to know which is valuable or not is checking auction and reselling platforms. You can see how much people are selling and are willing to pay for certain antiques. You can also meet with and have your items checked by antique appraisers. 

Where to Sell It? 
Once you have identified which items are valuable and which are not, you can start preparing for the sale. Nowadays, there are plenty of places where you can sell family heirlooms. You can post them on Amazon, eBay, or Craigslist. Going through this route, you will be in charge of everything. You will have to clean and maybe polish jewelry. You may have to hire professional photo retouchers specializing in jewelry to ensure that the images you post reflect their real-life luster. You will need to figure out how to ship your grandmother's old china without breaking. For more valuable pieces, you can go to reputable dealers and auctions. These places can ensure that you will get the best possible price out of it. For example, the auction of Elizabeth Taylor's jewelry at Christie's sold for a total of nearly $116 million. One of the auctioned items was the Taj Mahal Diamond, a heart-shaped diamond given to Taylor by Richard Burton for her 40th birthday. It is believed that it was owned by the emperor ShahJahanand was given to his wifeMultaz-i-Mahal. It was sold for $8.8 million. 

What to Do with the Rest? 
For the rest, you have a few choices. You can keep some stuff for yourself, sell them online, donate via charity shops, or let a liquidator do the cleaning out for you. Some businesses take care of all the stuff that the departed left behind. They appraise each item and identify which are valuable. Those that can be resold at a high price will be brought to an auction house to be exhibited and sold. The rest can either be sold at an estate sale or handed to retail shops. Do not expect a lot of money from these items, however. A lot of them will be sold for much less than they are actually worth. The goal is not to get money but to get rid of them as quickly as possible. Your family's heirlooms might be valuable, but, in most cases, they are not. After a loved one has passed and you are tasked to clean out their cabinets and drawers, do not be too excited with what you find. Do your research first. Contact appraisers. Only then should you start to expect to gain a fortune after reselling these items.

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