We all have stuff and things in our homes, apartments, or condos, consisting mostly of furniture, appliances, kitchenware, and dishes of all kinds. Then there are the items collected or donated over the years. Many of these items are valuable for one reason or another. For some people, the decision to downsize our household is personal. Sometimes we have too many. For some, there is no choice due to aging or the inability to take care of themselves. After going through this process, it can be very difficult for some. Difficult decisions have to be made.
Furniture, no matter the size of the household, there will be parts that are not needed. If you know the history of the coin and it is a very old coin (1700-1800), you want to hold onto it until you find more information. There are still hidden gems hidden away in a person’s home. Most of the furniture in a generational house dates from 1890 to 1940. The so-called ‘Brown Furniture’ are reproductions of pieces by famous cabinetmakers. Many of these pieces were thrown away or burned. Unfortunately, the 1950s saw a lot of furniture destroyed by new generations who wanted something more modern. It was basic, mostly made in Canada and used real wood. Today, many people strip furniture, sand and stain or paint pieces, turning what was dark into a colorful and unique masterpiece. Don’t be so quick to throw away furniture from this period. It might not have much resale value in its current condition. With the right person and a little work and paint, you can breathe new life into it.
Furniture from the 1950s used many different materials, including metal and plastic. The style was for cutting edge designs, a space age effect. The end of World War II brought new furniture buyers. The period of the years 1950-1960 is the most sought after. Canadian or Scandinavian made teak furniture is very popular. Condition is everything; people pay high prices depending on its function and usage. This category is called Mid-Century Modern. From the 1950s to the 1980s, as the country’s wealth grew and globalization took effect, Canadian manufacturers began importing exotic woods, such as Brazilian mahogany, which is now listed as a species requiring strict regulation. to prevent its extinction. More and more buyers are beginning to appreciate furniture made from finer woods. Examine what you have and try to find as much information as possible. Actual furniture depends on the taste of the potential buyer. It’s best to research Kijiji to see what other people are asking for similar pieces. Don’t be surprised if there is no interest/inquiries about your coins. Indeed, the quantity of furniture sold on the secondary market is very important.
Tableware & Glasses, Unless you have a complete set from a known vintage maker of fine china / fine china, most dinnerware sets do not have a high aftermarket value. There are parts that command high values, and researching the manufacturer and model on the net is in your best interest. Broken, chipped, cracked or stained parts are not evaluated. They can be thrown away. The main reason for the drop in dinnerware values is that newer generations don’t want something that can’t be put in a microwave or dishwasher. It should be hand washed. Be very careful when deciding which dishes/mugs to give away. We had a customer who had an Aynsley Cabbage Roses cup and saucer. Each set is worth approximately ~$1,500.00 to $2,000.00 in Canadian funds. A search on Etsy.com will give you a better indication of potential value.
Appliances, unless they are old wood stoves or coolers, older appliances may only be worth the scrap value. New appliances less than five years old are not rated and are typically sold at 60% to 70% off their original purchase price. There are many people who have decided that the cost of moving major appliances could be the same as buying a new one. Researching brands and models on various market sites will give you an idea if you keep them, sell them, give them away or discard them. Many newer appliances are more energy efficient, resulting in additional savings for the homeowner.
Electronic, Old televisions, unless they come from a famous movie star house, are worthless. They may have glass tubes, which may have value. And should be removed. New TVs less than five years old are valued at around 50% to 70% of the purchase price. Newer and larger TVs come down in price with higher quality screens. If a television or electronic item is not worth repairing, remember to recycle the item properly. Vintage or Tube Stereo equipment is valuable and sought after. Older Console turntables in a cabinet made popular in the 50s and 60s are worthless. The glass tubes could be valuable. Vintage radios are still sought after by collectors. It’s best not to try plugging in old radios/stereos to see if they still work. The surge in current will cause any component to explode quickly, turning what might be valuable into trash.
Lamps and accessories, Some vintage fixtures from the 1920s to 1930s with intact glass are wanted. Victorian/century owners are looking for them. Some brass floor lamps might be worth more for the scrap value than what you might be able to sell them for. Google’s image search will give you some ideas of what other people are asking. These are more decorative objects that give an accent to his home.
Cutlery, Silverware and Serving Utensils in Silverware, Many of our knives, forks and spoons are either stainless steel, silver plated or silver. Actual value is in coins marked “Sterling” or .925. Very old UK coins will have hallmarks, identifying the country, the assayer and sometimes the goldsmith. These coins are worth more than the melting value of silver. Silver plated coins, if in full set, have a certain value and are plentiful on various auction sites.
Persian and oriental rugs, the condition is everything. If a rug is identified as being from the 17th, 18th or 19th century and from a specific area and woven by hand, it is potentially very valuable. Late 20th and 21st century rugs were machine woven, wool/silk dyed under a controlled source and may have some decorative value. Worn or torn carpets stored in an uncontrolled area may be damaged by carpet beetles/moths. The larvae can destroy a carpet in a few weeks. It’s important to know the condition of the carpet to see if it’s worth the cost of a professional cleaning or repair.
People’s tastes change over time. What was fashionable 50 years ago is gone now. Markets and needs are very unstable. Today’s economy is changing rapidly. The values of all items have dropped. There is no magic in selling or downsizing. It’s all trial and error. And it will also take time, which must be taken into account. Is it worth an hour of your time trying to sell a $5 item?
Cautionary note: With any electronic or electrical item, consult a licensed professional electrician if there is a safety concern. Old lamps with wiring covered in material may pose a risk of fire or injury. It’s not a good idea to plug a 50 year old TV into storage for ages to see if it works.
- Review requests that have been sent to the ‘researcher’ Carmel sent in a request for a vintage “Underwood” typewriter and cash register. Unfortunately, they only have real value if the typewriter was used by a famous writer, and there is documented evidence that he used the typewriter to create his works. The typewriter and cash register are easy to find and plentiful and only have scrap value.
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