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Chinese Snuff Bottle Discussion Forum 中國鼻煙壺討論論壇
April 19, 2018, 10:02:22 pm
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How to Value Bottles for Sale from a Newbie

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Author Topic: How to Value Bottles for Sale from a Newbie  (Read 111 times)
oliver
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« on: July 10, 2017, 08:46:23 am »

Hi Everyone,

I'm not sure which forum to post this in, so I figured I'd post in the lounge.  Smiley

My question as a newbie is how do you determine a fair selling/buying price for various bottles? Is it based on auction house prices, experience, or general trends for each category? I certainly know that price is often connected to desire, especially at auctions, and I myself have fallen prey to that strong emotion when collecting as well.

I know this is a very broad question, but I ask because I have some of my nicer bottles that I'd like to post for sale eventually so that I can continue to grow my collection, but haven't got a clue how to price them other than finding comparable ones that have sold in Christies and Sothebys. I suspect there's no clear answer to this, but would love to hear how others go about determining this for their own collecting process.
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forestman
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« Reply #1 on: July 10, 2017, 12:28:53 pm »

Hi Oliver,

The simplest answer may be to let the market value your bottles for you. There are enough knowledgeable buyers watching Ebay that good bottles do achieve good prices. I would add that you might need to be known as a seller of better bottles to get the best prices.

It's a question of how much confidence you have to let the auction process work as opposed to trying to sell for a fixed price which may be set higher than is realistic or lower than it may achieve through the auction process. You can always set a reserve price.

The problem with comparing prices achieved by the major auction houses is that they can achieve premium prices which, had the same bottle been sold through a lesser auction house, wouldn't be achieved. There is also provenance to consider which can add considerably to the price achieved if it is solid and reliable.

A good source of prices achieved is through liveauctioneers which has records going back a number of years. What is interesting when you look through past prices is how varied they can be. You see crap selling for far more than it should and, probably to a lesser extent, good bottles going for less than they should. I guess some crap bottles can catch out the less knowledgeable buyer but more normally a smaller auction house with crap bottles at high estimates fail to achieve any bids.

Regards, Adrian.




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Joey
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« Reply #2 on: July 10, 2017, 04:05:43 pm »

Dear Oliver,

      I think that Adrian has given a very good answer. But why sell good bottles?
Weed out the lesser examples and keep the better ones.
Best,
Joey
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Joey Silver, collecting snuff bottles since Feb.1970

George
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« Reply #3 on: July 10, 2017, 04:53:26 pm »

Hi Oliver,

The simplest answer may be to let the market value your bottles for you. There are enough knowledgeable buyers watching Ebay that good bottles do achieve good prices.

Just want to say how true this is.. Have no fear starting the bidding out at 9.00 for a 1000.00 bottle. The nature of the eBay bidding beast will result in a hammer price very close to the current value of a piece.
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oliver
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« Reply #4 on: July 10, 2017, 05:46:33 pm »

That's such a great response thank you so much Adrian and everyone. That's so helpful. I can always post the link in our sales section so that the members have the opportunity to find them first since I'm not well known.

That's a great point Joey! Unfortunately I've learned that I only have two tiers in my collection right now, good/collectible and not worth anything at all. So if I do sell anything, by default it's one of my better bottles, but as I'm learning there's still room to collect better examples like you said, and that's what I'm hoping to be able to do. Smiley

Thank you George, I do find it hard to trust the system but this is certainly reassuring to hear!
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