Allan Blackburn column

Allan Blackburn.
Allan Blackburn.

As we move into Autumn, I am always faced by questions from our visitors about how they can sell their treasures.

Maybe it’s the change of the seasons or maybe it’s the children going back to school and people have a little more time on their hands.

I think, possibly, people see the change of the seasons as a time to start clearing out; they get ready for the winter months and start thinking about Christmas.

Whatever the reason, it’s always in September when I get asked common questions like: “How can I find out how much my things are worth?”, “What’s the best way of selling them?” and “How I can receive a fair price?”

There are lots of ways to buy and sell items so for the next three weeks I’ll try and advise on the different methods.

This week we’ll look at Car Boots and Antiques Fairs, and next week I’ll talk about the internet, newspapers and magazines, auction houses and antiques centres.

Obviously, there are pros and cons for any of these different ways of buying and selling and there is no right or wrong.

You just need to decide what the best method is for you, and be careful.

With a car boot sale generally you have no come back.

You MUST be aware of reproduction items and damaged goods.

It is a good way of selling your average collectables, (pitches are often cheap and you can get rid of a lot of things at once, which is handy if you’re clearing out a garage, for example) but don’t expect to make a fortune.

If you feel sentimental or expect a certain price for a special piece, then a car boot is simply not for you!

Antiques fairs are a step up from the car boot and they can be a good place to buy if it is a regular fair.

Regular fairs provide a place of some safety, in that you can come back the week / month after, if there is a problem with a piece you have purchased.

However, at travelling fairs choice can be limited and prices can be high, so it’s really not ideal unless you absolutely know what you are doing.