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Old 27th July 2020, 10:11 PM   #11
Ian
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Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: The Aussie Bush
Posts: 3,040
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Dave,

I'm in a similar situation. Basically I don't want to leave my wife with the substantial chore of disposing of my collection. None of my step-children want to take it on, and my wife has zero interest in edged weapons. As a result, I'm selling my collection off. It's been a slow process.

There are always market conditions to consider and simply sending stuff off to an auction house does not guarantee it will be sold. Often times the items are bundled into lots (unless all your items are worth more than $500), and sometimes these are knocked down for ridiculously low amounts. You can't always put a reserve price on items, especially if they have an estimated value of less than $8001000. Of course, this all depends on the auction house, but remember they are in the business of selling items and collecting their 20% commission.

Online sites, such as eBay, offer a little more control of the sale price, but business online has been slow in my experience. Saturating the market with a large "dump" probably means you won't get as high a price as you expect.

Private sales, such as on this forum, again move items slowly.

If you have a large collection, I highly recommend that you start selling them now and get as much done as possible without leaving it all to your heirs or a close friend.

Taking good quality pictures for online or private sales is a worthwhile effort now, even if it means that your heirs need to dispose of items after you're gone. Photographing swords is a somewhat tedious process, at least for me, and experience with a program to crop the pictures and adjust contrast, etc. is useful. I would suggest using a digital camera rather than your phone. There are useful photography hints on this Forum's home page.

In bequeathing items to family and friends, I have specific instructions in my will as to what goes to whom, with careful labeling of those items with tags indicating my wishes. My executor could always ignore my wishes, but I doubt she will.

Alan's words of caution are well taken and I have tried to avoid any confusion about what goes to specific people. Good communication with my family and friends, and a follow up email documenting my conversations with them is the best I can do. At least that keeps everyone informed and there is a "paper trail" in the event of conflict.

Hope these suggestions are helpful.

Regards,

Ian
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