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Posted By: Koolmotor Selling off a collection. - Mon Apr 28 2008 03:22 PM
I'm considering selling my collection and just wondering what some of you had for thoughts on this subject.

I live in North Dakota so the remoteness somewhat excludes an auction. Ebay is way too slow but would probably bring a good return. Hauling everything to a high visible auction company is probably more work and time than I care to get involved with (unless they would pick the collection up).

Finding someone to buy and pick up the entire collection would be nice, but how does one determine a fair price? I could roughly determine a total retail price, but what kind of sale price in relation to percentage should one ask?

Posted By: gasoildude Re: Selling off a collection. - Mon Apr 28 2008 03:32 PM
First off how many idems are in your collection? The bigger auction companys would maybe pickup the collection or have a auction near you. I would contact Dan Matthews about this & he could line you down the right path. Plus you would get good money out of your idems. Here is his contact info-
Matthews Auctions, LLC.
111 S. Oak St.
Nokomis, Il. 62075

Phone: 217-563-8880
Toll Free: 1-877-968-8880
Fax: 630-206-0395
Email: info@matthewsauctions.com

Hope this will help you. Good luck on your sale
Posted By: Flyingaman Re: Selling off a collection. - Mon Apr 28 2008 07:02 PM
I would re-afirm contacting Dan and getting his input. Even though he was still working for his former employer, he handled all aspects of the General Petroleum Auction. What I saw was a very honest reliable hard working man who I now consider a good friend. I have told my wife if anything ever happens to me, call Dan. Good luck with which ever way you choose to go.

Posted By: powerlube Re: Selling off a collection. - Mon Apr 28 2008 07:26 PM
Just some random thoughts...
Ebay would get you the most $$ for your collection for common and duplicate items. However that is a lot of work. If you consigned it to a professional ebayer they would charge 25% or so and handle everything.

For rare items, Auctions seem to get some huge $$ however some auctions charge the seller 10-25% or more (for single items) They may ask for help in paying for the mailing and advertising of the collection.

Private party, I think would be interested but mostly dealers unless you found the 'right' guy who had to have your whole collection. Even then $$ may be an issue. Not many guys can drop the $$ to buy a whole collection.

Variety is also very important. If you have 100 cans or signs from the same company just different variations, that would be tough to sell at an auction unless they did lots which probably would get you lower then retail.

Restored pumps would not get retail unless they were very well done on ebay or at auction. Most the pumps I see at auction are bought at close to unrestored prices.

Globes are great to sell at an auction, especially when they are bought onsite, no shipping hastles. Ebay I think does good here as well but a pain to ship all that stuff.

Scott Wright-
Posted By: Alex Re: Selling off a collection. - Mon Apr 28 2008 08:27 PM
Koolmotor. I, too, have thought about selling my Texaco collection and have wondered the best avenue. I think Scott hit it on the head.
Posted By: SuperAmerica Man Re: Selling off a collection. - Mon Apr 28 2008 08:41 PM
Keep in mind that depending on how you sell you may have to report the income, in addition to paying other costs/fees...

Cash is always best.


Posted By: Jamison Re: Selling off a collection. - Mon Apr 28 2008 09:43 PM
Koolmotor, it would not hurt at all to post pictures of your items on this site and put the price that you would like to get for it. If someone wants it then they will pay for it, if not then don't sell it and maybe look to putting it on ebay. Like Kim said, it won't cost you anything to post pics on here and you want have to pay taxes on it. Just my 2 cents.

Posted By: avio Re: Selling off a collection. - Mon Apr 28 2008 11:31 PM
Hey George. I need that Ace High sign when you decide to sell off!!
Posted By: toychaser2005 Re: Selling off a collection. - Mon Apr 28 2008 11:40 PM
koolmotor if you got cities service stuff or any globes im intrested
Posted By: Seth Robbins Re: Selling off a collection. - Mon Apr 28 2008 11:47 PM
Not to step on anyone's toes (Dan's included) but now that I am out of the day-to-day mail-order, I intend on having more than just my February auction. I have gone further than North Dakota to pick up consignments in the past! Providing there is enough merchandise there, I would love to pick it up and build an auction around it. Call 405.627.1052 if you'd like to discuss further, if not that's fine too. Thanks, Seth
Posted By: Koolmotor Re: Selling off a collection. - Tue Apr 29 2008 12:25 AM
I'm completely overwhelmed by the responses both here and through email. I need a little time to sort through the ideas before I make any commitments. For those of you that are interested I had a post of my collection on the "Showcase and Stories" board. Here is a link:

I've sold the Bowser 310, Tokheim 34, and the National 90. I'm repainting the Wayne 40 Black and White, found another Wayne 40 and also painting it the same. Will place a pair of Cities Service globes on them(here is the link to the globes)

I suppose this thread looks like it should be placed in the For Sale or Trade section - sorry.

For those of you that emailed me - thank you - and I will maintain your emails.



[This message has been edited by Koolmotor (edited 04-28-2008).]
Posted By: KZ1000 Re: Selling off a collection. - Tue Apr 29 2008 10:23 AM
Koolmotor, I sold my entire Gulf collection a few years back, I put a current value on each item, added it all up and that was the price I wanted. (NO NEED TO ASK A PERCENTAGE OF VALUE) I made a couple calls to Gulf collectors letting them know it was up for sale, a week later Rich Gannon (the quarterback) called, asked a couple questions and bought it for cash. My point is There are MORE private collectors with the cash to purchase than there are dealers that will give you what it is worth. Auctions are OK but the fees for mailings, pick-up, pictures, advertising, etc. will drop your profits tremendously. you did the right thing by letting it be known it may be available, sit back and let the calls and emails roll in. Good Luck, Rick

Visit 15th Annual MASS GAS BASH
September 7th 2008
Posted By: Seth Robbins Re: Selling off a collection. - Tue Apr 29 2008 01:52 PM
Rick....while I agree selling a collection, a piece at a time retail is the way to get the absolute top dollar, it is far more time & effort than simply having it auctioned off. Most times, the "homeruns" will offset the "dogs" to a point where you will get close to retail for everything.

Also, as far as fees go, I'm not sure how it's done everywhere else, but I charge a flat 10% and that includes everything. I picked up collections in California, Illinois, Cincinatti, & St. Louis this year for my sale. I mailed out 20,000 color brochures, rented a facility, hired a staff, hired an auctioneer, the whole bit for the flat 10%.

Case in point, in '06 when we sold all of the good globes. I asked the consignor what his hopes were, and he said $100K was his worst cast scenario, $150K was his dream and $125K was what he figured he'd net. After it was all said and done, I sold his 80 globes for $148K gross, and charged him $14,800 in commission, netting him $133,200. He was happy, I was happy. I showed up and his house one day and picked up every globe and then a few months later handed him a check. No fuss, No mess.

I'm not trying to convince anyone, it sounds like this fella is going to do just fine sellig his stuff, just wanted to articulate that an auction isn't nearly as expensive as some think and is pretty painless on the seller.
Posted By: okoil1 Re: Selling off a collection. - Tue Apr 29 2008 02:10 PM
How do you handle the tax bite to the seller by handing them one large check from a public sale?
Posted By: Seth Robbins Re: Selling off a collection. - Tue Apr 29 2008 05:10 PM
You've consigned Jim....how did you handle the tax bite?
Posted By: KZ1000 Re: Selling off a collection. - Tue Apr 29 2008 06:12 PM
Seth, I was by no means bashing auctions, I was also not suggesting he sell piece by piece. There are Buyers out there that would pay a premium to get an "Instant Collection" He would get cash, No fees, no Tax issues, Auctions do bring surprising prices for certain items, but the majority of items in a standard collection will not bring nearly what they are worth.
Posted By: Seth Robbins Re: Selling off a collection. - Tue Apr 29 2008 06:24 PM
Oh yeah...that's the magic of an auction, some stuff gets killed, other stuff goes way too high. I wouldn't say the "majority" won't bring what it's worth, but there are items that will go for below-bargain-basement prices. In the end, it's one day and one check and that appeals to some. But obviously, if you have the time & patience to sell off a piece at a time, that's your ticket. I will say the lowest & the highest end items seem to do really well at most auctions. It's the 300-$500 items that seem to suffer.
Posted By: Wes Hague Re: Selling off a collection. - Tue Apr 29 2008 07:10 PM
Seth, I have never met you, I have been around this stuff all my life. I have sold on Ebay for 10 years....I go to auctions and flea markets and have bought and sold at both, I think Ebay is a good thing, their fees time it's all said and done plus PayPal = 10% to get your money for most buyers... If you charge 10% to do all the work, when the sale is done the guy gets a check I think is a bargin. It doesn't matter who sells the stuff, there is at least a 10% cost for expenses and nobody gets top dollar for everything...I have never sold my stuff at auction because I have fun selling it myself,,, it's everyone's choice,,, But I still say, if you charge 10% for the whole deal it's a bargin..I didn't know auctioneers worked that cheap....
Posted By: okoil1 Re: Selling off a collection. - Tue Apr 29 2008 08:25 PM
In a given year the total proceeds of my consignments have never exceeded $5000. Normally my purchases have offset my proceeds. Therefore I have never had to deal with the tax bite.

So, I'll restate my original question. What are the tax liabilities on a substantial consignment? (for example $138,000)
Posted By: gearhead Re: Selling off a collection. - Tue Apr 29 2008 10:28 PM
if one can find a reputable auction house outlet that will do it all for only 10%... take their offer .. its a good... no a great deal!

do the math! with everything figured in... you cant begin to sell a collection for any less, no matter how you do it ..

any auction outfit around here wants a minimum of 20% or more and many are up to 25-30% and then some also charge a discusting 10-15% buyers premium!
Posted By: Seth Robbins Re: Selling off a collection. - Wed Apr 30 2008 12:09 AM
Jim...the tax liabilities on $138,000 depend on many factors all of which are up to the discretion, record-keeping, honesty, etc of the seller.

For example, let's say you had bought all of your merchandise under a corporate heading as "office decor" and had added them to your depreciation schedule for your taxes. Let's say, you depreciated them out fully over, 5 years or so, and then you consigned them to an auction. By law, whatever you received from this sale, would be considered RECAPTURING of the depreciation and would be subject to capital gains. That is of course, if you report the income on your tax return. Which, if you were receiving anything over $10,000, once you took the money to the bank in any form (check, cash, m.o.,etc) they would fill out what's called a large-currency movement report that would go straight to the IRS.

If the items you are selling are considered an "estate" then I know the rules are different. Generally, guys have the amount they paid for an item noted + related expenses, so after it sells, there's an established profit-figure which they will pay regular income tax on, providing they report it on their Tax Return. I'm not real sure what you are driving at, but when I have an auction, the income is noted in my taxes along with the dispersements back to the consignors, so one way or another, it's being reported.
Posted By: Seth Robbins Re: Selling off a collection. - Wed Apr 30 2008 12:19 AM
Also...to clarify, my offer to take consignments at 10% commission are based on a sale that charges a 10% Buyer's Premium.
Posted By: Jarvis Re: Selling off a collection. - Wed Apr 30 2008 12:39 AM
Now you have me wondering. What is the normal for a auction house to charge?

I am not for sure but i think Rex Benson paid for advertising, place to do the auction, ads on oldgas and magizines. Dan can correct me if i am wrong but i was thinking he did. If so what would a guy expect to pay to have an auction?

I know there are some advantages to selling with an auction house for example the Harbor sign wouldn't have done what it did if on ebay.
Posted By: racecop Re: Selling off a collection. - Wed Apr 30 2008 03:02 AM
You have some very nice items. I would check with the people with the Iowa Gas Show in Des Moines, Iowa. This is the one of the biggest gas shows around and it draws collectors from around the country. Check out www.iowagas.com
Posted By: Wes Hague Re: Selling off a collection. - Wed Apr 30 2008 10:43 AM
Hey Seth, I'm glad you clarified the buyers prem. of 10% plus your 10%,,,, now it makes sense... I'm from Canada and I know there isn't anyone up here that would get an auction done for 10% all inclusive,,we have very few auctions here that have a buyers prem.There is a large auction in Sept. here in Canada it's in the $750-$1 millon range and there is NO buyers prem. and I'm pretty sure the seller is paying either 15% or 20% ?? The auction house does all the work and pays all the bills..
Posted By: cdncon Re: Selling off a collection. - Wed Apr 30 2008 02:12 PM
what auction in sept are you referring to wes?

personally know of no one up here that will do auctions for only 20% all in, with no buyers premium! but then again probably dont know as many as yourself!

note: appears that stapleton is selling of his b/a collection.
Posted By: Wes Hague Re: Selling off a collection. - Wed Apr 30 2008 03:37 PM
It's in Sept., 19th and 20th. Shackelton's Auctioneers, at their place in Springfield ON. ( between Woodstock and London , south of the 401 hwy. approx.15 miles on the Putnam road,) the items belong to Ed. Hoysa from the Burlington area, a long time collector..Shackelton's Auctioneer's partner in these petroliana auctions is the famous Gordy Sackrider ( Sackman) who is the ringman for RM Auctions, Dean Kruse Auctions and many more, including his own..

[This message has been edited by Wes Hague (edited 04-30-2008).]
Posted By: Seth Robbins Re: Selling off a collection. - Wed Apr 30 2008 03:42 PM
I feel like the 10%/10% sort of spreads the risk both to the buyer & the seller, which is important when you are doing a consignment sale. A lot of guys can stomach letting you have 50 signs to auction, if they know the worst they will be out is 10%. I know a lot of people don't like the Buyer's Premium, but I think without it, a lot of auctions just wouldn't take place.
Posted By: Wes Hague Re: Selling off a collection. - Wed Apr 30 2008 03:54 PM
I don't understand what risk there is to the buyer by adding a buyers premium, to me all it does is it gets the buyers to help pay the auctioneers instead of the seller paying the other 10%... or do I understand that right ? The seller is the one who gains if the auctioneer wants 20% in the end. He pays 10% and the buyer pays 10%..It doesn't work that way in any other business that I'm aware of..Besides Seth, why should the buyer have ANY of the risk, he's the customer, it was already good enough for him to show up and purchase the goods.

[This message has been edited by Wes Hague (edited 04-30-2008).]
Posted By: Seth Robbins Re: Selling off a collection. - Wed Apr 30 2008 05:24 PM
I guess risk is/was a poor choice of words. Granted, my view of auctions is jaded by the fact that ALL of my sales are consignment-based, rather than one single estate. Generally, if I have a 500 lot auction, I own 100 pieces or so and maybe 10 other guys own the remaining 400. What I'm saying is, that most guys wouldn't give me the opportunity to auction there items if they had to shoulder the entire 20%, therefore, 99.9% of the buying public would not have the opportunity to then purchase the merchandise. What I'm trying to say, by splitting the 20% between the buyer & the seller, the quality & quantity of available merchandise goes up, so you are able to have more auctions. Obviously, when I attend one of Dan's sales as a buyer, I wish there were no buyer's premium, just like everybody else... BUT I understand that it is almost like a consumption tax, where I realize if I wasn't paying the 10% BP, chances are, I wouldn't have the opportunity to buy the stuff because the seller would've just privately sold the merchandise, rather than shoulder the entire 20%. What I'm saying is, by this hobby pretty much adopting a 10% Buyer's Premium as industry-standard, it has ensured itself more auctions which translate into more buying opportunities for the collective, rather than just a few guys that can afford 6-figure collections buying up all the merchandise. I hope that better explains my view....if not, we'll keep trying!!!
Posted By: Rick Brown Re: Selling off a collection. - Wed Apr 30 2008 05:35 PM
I recall reading not to long ago in Antique Week that legally a buyer premium belongs to the seller, and that most auction houses are in error when they collect and keep a buyer premium.
Posted By: cdncon Re: Selling off a collection. - Wed Apr 30 2008 06:09 PM
rick it would be better if it worked that way.

the only sense to a buyers premium is... sometimes but hardly ever does it ever lower the sellers cost but rather as our experience notes, in most cases it just simply ups the auction houses overall profits.

seth, the auction outfits that have added said buyers premium around here... have not and we stress, have not lowered their 20-30% seller rates one little bit to anyone! plus go figure... all auctions attended with same, get that much or more of a lesser bid from us because of this whatever given buyer premium increase on top of our bid. not to overlook... many auctions are passed by because of this action!

in addition when all is figured in, said and done... one cannot sell large amounts for less than 20%, so cant understand their apprension and or fear!

[This message has been edited by cdncon (edited 04-30-2008).]
Posted By: Seth Robbins Re: Selling off a collection. - Wed Apr 30 2008 09:06 PM
Maybe I don't understand the last post, but no matter what the expenses are, I only charge the sellers 10%, no more, no less. If I didn't charge a buyer's premium, they'd have to pay 20%, so whoever it "belongs" to, it still goes to pay the bills of the auction. My point, which is really just a personal theory I guess, is that the less the sellers have to cough up in commission, the more likely they are to allow the merchandise to be sold at a public auction where everyone has a chance to buy. About 7 years ago, when I instituted a BP and dropped the seller's commission, my auctions went from an average of $200K to an average of $400K. In other words, better stuff=better money. The bigger auctions, RM/Barrett/Kruse/Leake generally have a bigger BP and generally get more money than anybody else, go figure?

Seriously.....if you've got merchandise that you want to have auctioned, send it to me, if it brings a $1000, you're gonna get $900. No tricks or gimmicks.

[This message has been edited by Seth Robbins (edited 04-30-2008).]
Posted By: souperhigh Re: Selling off a collection. - Wed Apr 30 2008 09:53 PM
I have paid $200-$300 at Russo Steele and Barrett Jackson just for the right to bid.And at 10% on each side from seller and buyer I do not know if you even come out on top after all the work and flyers guys like you and Dan do to get ready for a auction. Much less the cost of the building, the credit card cost, and pay your help.
Heck, on line I bid knowing I will pay 15% but with $4.00 gas upon us I sure can not drive there for the extra.
If you break it down to hourly wage you would qualify for assistance in many States.
I will be at yor and Dan's auction's or online while I am alive.
Just my 2 cents.

[This message has been edited by souperhigh (edited 04-30-2008).]
Posted By: Pogo's Garage Re: Selling off a collection. - Thu May 01 2008 01:38 AM
George, thanks for posting the information about your collection. I see its gotten off topic, lets get back to the sale of George's collection, and move the debate to a topic related thread........
Posted By: Jarvis Re: Selling off a collection. - Thu May 01 2008 02:19 AM
It has gotten of track but if i was "selling of my collection" these are some things i would want to know.

Very interesting.

My question is for Rex... i know he doesn't post anymore but did Rex pay for all the advertising, place to hold the auction, flyers and etc. and if so why?
Posted By: Pegasus Re: Selling off a collection. - Thu May 01 2008 03:12 AM
Trust me........EVERYTHING IS NEGOTIABLE. The auctioneer's % fee for selling a $100,000 collection is likely to be quite different than on a $2,000,000 collection. And who covers the various auction expenses is also negotiable. I'm guessing that Dan or Seth or Aumann would be more than happy to cover all the expenses if they could get a contract on the $2,000,000 collection!!!

Posted By: Wes Hague Re: Selling off a collection. - Thu May 01 2008 10:14 AM
Well Seth, it's been about the last 7 years that gasoline collectibles have been really hot selling everywhere ( USA & Canada) I'm not sure the real reason why, maybe it's the age group( baby boomers)with more disposable income. Souperhigh, don't feel too sorry for poor ole Seth, I'm sure he has his business profits figured out just fine for him..he needs 20% for his sales that he does and it works for him.. ( no tears here ),,,just a little humour guys..
Posted By: souperhigh Re: Selling off a collection. - Thu May 01 2008 09:26 PM
George, Nice talking with you today. Very nice collection.
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