If you’re thinking about selling precious metals, whether Jewelry, Coins, Sterling Silver Flatware or Decorative Accessories, should you Scrap It ... Sell It Privately ... or Auction It? In this column we’ll discuss some pros and cons of each approach.

SCRAP IT: When considering the “Scrap” option, you should consider:

• Condition: Damaged items can be difficult to sell and probably should be scrapped.

• Common or Rare:” Common items rarely bring top dollar and scrapping is often a god option.

• Partial or Incomplete Set: Incomplete sets can be difficult to sell Privately or at Auction.

• Maker: Some maker names are considerably more valuable than others.

• Age? Later items are often more plentiful than earlier items,

• Advantages of Scrapping: Immediate Cash, No Commissions, No Waiting, No Uncertainty.

PRIVATE SALE: Any reasonable offer above the Scrap Value is a plus, However, Private Buyers usually expect to pay a wholesale price. If you want top dollar, be prepared to do the work and pay the expenses associated with finding a retail buyer.

• Advantages of Private Sale: Cash-in-hand, often at a higher amount than Scrap, but usually a delay while waiting to find a buyer

AUCTION: Auctions sell things in a competitive bidding situation, and more desirable items can often bring a premium price. However, there are three things to consider when selling at Auction.

• Commission: A 20-25% commission is standard for many Auctions.

• Absolute Auction: Most Auctioneers sell at “Absolute Auction” which means “No Minimums and No Reserves”. It will bring what it brings, and there is always risk when selling at Auction.

• Delay & Uncertainty: You may have to wait weeks, or months, before you are paid. And you never know what it will sell for.

WHAT’S IT WORTH: Each option has advantages … and disadvantages. Are you are a risk-taker or not. Some prefer the known amount of cash-in-hand today. Others are willing to roll-the-dice at Auction, hoping for even more money. Not long ago a client had a set of George Jenson sterling silver flatware. We sent it to Auction hoping for $1,800-$2,500, which was well over the Scrap Value. It sold for $8,500. My client hit a home run but, on a different day, the outcome could have been quite different. We specialize in how and where to sell precious metals and, if you need help determining what you have, call Mike at (215)-264-4304.

Mike Ivankovich is an Auctioneer, Appraiser, Home Downsizing Expert, and host of the “What’s It Worth? Ask Mike the Appraiser” Radio Show that 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: www.WBCB1490.com. You can also visit his Radio Show Web Site: