Monthly Archives: January 2016

Tips for Downsizing

Many people are finding that they no longer need the large home or number of possessions that they have accumulated.  When children grow up and leave home, buying a condominium where someone else cuts the grass and clears away the snow may become more appealing.

Of course, there are many steps that you need to take when transitioning from a home full of belongings to a smaller, more manageable space.  There are also many options to consider when selling your personal property.

The first step is to decide which items you want to keep, determine if any will be distributed to family members and evaluate what is left to be sold.  There are a number of factors that will influence your decision.  If you are moving to Florida you may want to leave all of the brown furniture behind.  Rattan furniture with light colored fabrics will fit in better there.  With the cost of shipping, it might be better to buy a furnished condo or purchase new items when you arrive at your new home.

Hartford, CT home downsizing sale in 2014

Hartford, CT home downsizing sale in 2014

When you have decided what will be sold you need to determine how to sell it all.  Quality and quantity both matter.  If there are just a few valuable pieces like antiques, gold jewelry, Sterling silver, coins and important collections we advise people to sell them at auction.  If you have a large amount of items that aren’t antique an estate sale may be a better option.  Almost anything can be sold at an estate sale, from bath towels to cars.  Sometimes both methods are used with better items being sold at auction and the rest being offered at an estate sale.  An estate sale company will have a minimum value where it is profitable for them to run your sale though.  If you only have a few items, you may want to run a tag sale yourself or donate them.

Pricing items at an estate sale is more complicated than you might think.  If you price things too low, you lose potential profit.  If you price things too high, you have a lot of disappointed people come through and find you are left with a home full of remaining items.  Running another sale the following week won’t draw as many buyers if you overprice items.  You really have only one chance to do it right.

Prices can vary greatly between locations.  We’ve run sales throughout Massachusetts and in other New England states.  Items will command a higher price in some areas than in others.  If you are running your own yard sale or donating only a few items it might not make a big difference but it can be significant with an entire estate.  If you are unsure whether an items is valuable you should get it appraised.  You don’t want to find your item in a newspaper article showing that someone bought something at a yard sale for $5 that’s worth $50,000.

The owner of a company who assists Seniors who are relocating, a realtor who often works with Seniors who are downsizing and I are running presentations on downsizing.  The “Thinking of downsizing?” seminar will take place at the Oxford Senior Center on Thursday, February 11th at 12:30 and at the Paxton Senior Center on Wednesday February 17th at 11:00 AM.  Hope to see some of you there!

Contact us at: Wayne Tuiskula Auctioneer/Appraiser Central Mass Auctions for Antique Auctions, Estate Sales and Appraisal Services  (508-612- 6111),




Rock and Roll Memorabilia

In previous columns I offered a top 10 list of antiques and collectibles that are selling well.  Items included early Asian antiques, historical memorabilia and antique paintings by listed artists.  More modern items included comic books, toys, sports memorabilia and advertising signs from the 1960’s and earlier.  Gold coins and jewelry and Sterling silver serving pieces continue to bring strong prices.  There are many other items that are still desirable, but didn’t make our list.  Rock and Roll memorabilia deserves a closer look.

Ringo Starr recently auctioned many items from his personal collection.  His copy of the “White Album” numbered 0000001 had a pre-sale estimate of $40,000 to $60,000.  It sold for $790,000.  A Rickenbacker guitar gifted to Starr by John Lennon went for $910,000.  Ringo Starr’s 1963 Ludwig drum kit used to record Beatles classics like “Can’t Buy Me Love” and “I Want to Hold Your Hand” brought $2.2 Million dollars.

Having direct ties to the performer greatly affects the value of memorabilia.  Because the items listed above were consigned directly from Ringo Starr, the provenance was impeccable.  “Merriam Webster’ defines provenance as “the history of ownership of a valued object or work of art or literature”.  Other items with great provenance that sold well were Elvis Presley’s first recording which was purchased at auction by rock artist Jack White.  A recently discovered guitar used by John Lennon and George Harrison fetched $2.4 million at auction.

You may not have anything this valuable but there are many other pieces collectors want.  People often ask me about the value of record albums.  The wear on the record and the dust jacket greatly affects the value.  Many records were played over and over by the owner.  Collectors want records that are in fine condition with little wear.  Some of the earliest Beatles albums and other early Rock albums typically bring the strongest prices.  However, there are some 78 rpm Blues albums that can be worth even more than Rock records.  There are different versions of albums and the cover and label can also make a big difference in value. Promotional copies were often distributed to radio stations, reviewers, and others to help get some publicity for a new release.  Gold and platinum records are awards given to artists and others who were involved with the production of records with high sales.  Copies that were presented to the artist and the popularity of the record and the artist factor into values.  An RIAA label on the gold or platinum record means that it was issued by the Recording Industry Association of America.

Eddie Money saxaphone from Rock and Roll collection that brought thousands in our September 2011 auction

Eddie Money saxophone from Rock and Roll collection that brought thousands in our September 2011 auction

Rock and Roll promotional posters aren’t uncommon to find.  Psychedelic designs from the 1960’s advertising popular bands in concert are some of the most valuable.  The artwork from these posters is highly desirable and some sell for thousands.

There are many other pieces that can be desirable.  Contracts, clothing and other personal property can be valuable.  Photos of the celebrity together with the piece that you own can prove that your item was used by them.  Having a great piece of Rock history with the right provenance can send your piece to the top of the charts.

We continue to add more photos of items in our January 28th live antique estates auction.  We often need to run estate sales on short notice to meet client deadlines.  Please keep checking our website for updates, join our email list or follow us on social media to keep updated on upcoming events.

Contact us at: Wayne Tuiskula Auctioneer/Appraiser Central Mass Auctions for Antique Auctions, Estate Sales and Appraisal Services  (508-612- 6111),