How To Sell Personal Property On Consignment
Consignment is when you give your property to a professional (usually a shopkeeper) to sell for you. You continue to own the property until it sells.
Together, you and the person accepting the consignment set the offering price and the minimum you will accept. The shop owner keeps a percentage of the sales price (generally 20 to 60 percent) and gives you the rest.
If you are considering consignment:
- Look for a shop in an upscale neighborhood. It is likely to bring the highest price.
- In case of loss, make a photograph or video record of each item from different angles before delivering it for consignment.
- Ask the dealer to describe in writing the information he or she considers important about each item.
- Set the price for each item with the dealer.
- Ask for a copy of the consignment contract which includes the asking price for each item, how the amount you receive is calculated, and when you receive your money. The contract should also cover what happens if the property is destroyed or stolen, and who, if anyone, has to carry insurance. If your items are worth a lot of money, ask to be named as an "Additional Insured" on the dealer's property and casualty insurance.
- Make sure the items are clean and in good shape. (Caution: with an old item, "clean" does not mean squeaky clean: sometimes the value of an item comes from the dirt that has aged it.)
- Be realistic. Prices depend upon the value of the item and the demand for it.