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7 ways to cash in on spring cleaning

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Learn the value, earn the value

One man's junk might be another man's treasure -- but a true antique, by definition, is generally at least 100 years old.

Local auction houses are a good place to sell antiques found during spring cleaning. Most auctions start bidding at $1, but LaPedis suggests putting a reserve, or minimum bid, on your item. "Otherwise, it might come back to bite you if the right buyers aren't in the audience that day," he says.

To sell to an antique dealer, get at least three appraisals and never take your first offer. "If you start to hear the same number over and over again, that's probably what it's worth," LaPedis says.

Keep in mind that dealer appraisals will be lower because they need to sell at a profit. An objective appraisal for the full value of the item costs $50 to $150, LaPedis says.

Whatever you're pricing, do your homework. "There's also a lot of books on every single collectible and antique you can imagine. And the Internet is amazing," LaPedis says. The Antique Appraisal Association of America in Boulder City, Nev., maintains an online list of appraisers by state.


 

 

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