Research Tells the Story


Research Tells the Story

It was just a photograph.  Well, it was an old photograph to be sure, but there was nothing unique about it – nothing separating it from the others in the stack and certainly nothing to get all excited about.  Yet at auction, it sold for more than $200.  The question is why?  The answer is simple but often ignored by those who bring these kinds of items to market.

What makes an old photo worth over $200?  Research.  Knowing where to look for information, taking the time to look, and understanding the value of looking for it.  Without that research, there would have been no direct marketing to the buyer, no story to tell them, and our seller would have been deprived of the photo’s true value.

Research Gives Value to the Buyer

What about the buyer, how does research benefit them?  By telling the story, an informed buyer is a better buyer.  They can be confident in what they are buying without guesswork or costly assumptions.  They will know such things as the origin, age, history, provenance and condition – things which allow the buyer to make informed choices.  “Knowledge is power,” as the saying goes.

Research Brings Added Value to the Seller

The seller places his trust and confidence in the auctioneer to maximize value for his treasures.  In large part, an auction company should know what it is they are selling to get the most value.  Merely presenting an item for sale and letting the auction determine its value doesn’t always extract ‘maximum’ value and while the auction does determine a value, is it true value?  As in the case of our photograph, would merely placing it in an auction allow it to achieve its’ true value?  Probably not.  An auctioneers’ knowledge of what he or she is selling gives credibility to the sale and added value to the seller.

Summary: Research Tells the Story

Thousands of items are sold each day which don’t reach their true value because research was undone and knowledge unobtained sufficient to provide a story.  The story should contain accurate, thoughtful descriptions, well-staged professional photographs and any available history and provenance.  Lacking these things, a frankfurter becomes just a hotdog and as anyone who watches TV shows like “Antiques Roadshow,” “American Pickers,” or the like knows, the story makes all the difference.

When selling, find a reputable firm who takes research seriously and whose members have obtained advanced education enabling them to take the guesswork out of selling your precious valuables.  When buying, follow sellers who bring you quality and who have demonstrated an ability to accurately tell the story.  In doing so, you’ll have a much better collection of the things you like.

Our motto at 345 Auction is “Bid on it, Buy it, take it home and Love it!”  Bid.Buy.Love –