Twice the Size - Half the Price

In life “Bigger is Usually Better”. But this is not always so when dealing with Antiques & Collectibles. Perhaps “Bigger is Better” when dealing with such things as Diamonds or Gold Bars. But when it comes to Furniture, in my business we often follow the expression “Twice the Size — Half the Price”.

The problem with large and heavy furniture is that it must be moved, and usually multiple times. Let’s consider an Armoire, for example. It will usually take 2-3 people and a truck to move this massive circa 1900 closet-substitute.

• If being sold at Auction, it must be delivered to the Auction Center.

• Once sold at Auction, it must be moved to the Buyer’s location, and it won’t fit into a car. Therefore, only those with a truck (usually the dealers) can remove it on Auction day, which seriously limits the pool of potential buyers and depresses the sale price.

• If it’s exhibited at an Antique Show, Flea Market, or other temporary location, additional moves and moving expense will be incurred.

• And eventually it will probably have to be delivered to the final retail customer, who wants it, but has no way to get it home.

The same applies to items such as Roll-Top Desks, Couches & Sofas, Living Room & Bedroom Furniture, Dining Room Sets, Pianos & Organs, and so many other large and heavy items. Each move means additional labor and/or trucking expense, which must always be factored into the original purchase price. Which is why so many people (such as me) prefer dealing in Art, Coins, and Jewelry rather than Furniture.

So, when dealing with large and heavy furniture items, my advice is:

• Keep it if you can.

• If you can’t keep it, offer it to family or friends.

• If they don’t want it, try to sell it privately, where you control the selling price, and where the buyer must pick it up.

When all else fails, send it to Auction, with realistic value expectations, and hope for the best. And when it fails to sell for what you expected, remember what I told you: “Twice the Size — Half the Price”.

WHAT’S IT WORTH: “But Mike, I paid $2500 for that Armoire 20 years ago. Yet it only sold for $100 at Auction. What happened?” said my client. My response: “It was too big, it was too difficult to move, and it was no longer in demand today”. Always remember this: It doesn’t matter what you paid for something. What matters is how much interest and demand there is for it today.

Mike Ivankovich is an Auctioneer, Appraiser, Home Downsizing Expert, and host of the “What’s It Worth? Ask Mike the Appraiser” Radio Show. Now in its 7th year, “What’s It Worth” airs live in the Philadelphia PA area on Friday mornings from 9:30-10:30 AM EST on WBCB 1490 AM, and on the Internet at: You can also visit his Radio Show Web Site: If your local station doesn’t carry “What’s It Worth” tell them they need to add it to their programing mix. If you know anyone who needs any Personal Property Appraisal work, or if you need a Speaker for an upcoming meeting or event, call Mike at (215)-264-4304, or visit: