Antique Ansonia Clocks
What's Your Antique Clock Worth?

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Buying an Antique Clock

Factors that can affect how much to pay for a clock:

This can help you determine a fair price to pay.

How much should you pay for a clock you are interested in buying? A number of factors may influence your decision, including:

• historical price information: knowing what similar clocks have sold for in the past may help you decide how much to pay.

• guarantees: does the seller offer any guarantees of authenticity, customer satisfaction or money back, offer of credit or time payments, or other enticements buy? You may decide it is worth it to pay a little more for a clock in exchange for guarantees or credit purchases.

• shipping or transportation costs: packing, shipping and insurance costs can add substantially to the price you pay for a clock. Be sure to consider any extra costs associated with your purchase when deciding how much to pay.

• the amount of time you have to buy the clock: if there is an urgent need or time limit to acquire the clock, you may decide to pay more than the lowest price possible.

• the value of your time: how long would it take to find a similar clock at a lower price? Perhaps it won’t make sense to spend another ten hours of comparison shopping just to save $25 or $50.

• a clock’s relative desirability or rarity for its class: it’s always more of a seller’s market for clocks that are considered rare or "hot" right now in the marketplace. You may have to pay a premium to get what you want if it is hard to find or commands a high price.

• a clock’s condition: a clock in excellent condition will sell for much more than the same clock in average or poor condition. An unrestored or unaltered, all-original, clock with its original case finish; a clock which has its maker’s label or signature intact; a clock with its original glass and decorative elements; a well-preserved, clean, working movement – all can increase the value of a clock considerably. Depending on your collecting goals, you may want to pay less for something in fair condition or more for something in excellent condition.

• a clock’s provenance: if the seller can prove that the clock belonged to a celebrity or someone of historical importance you may want to pay more for the clock.

• identifying marks: if a label, signature, or other marking can tie the clock to a well known clockmaker or manufacturer, you may decide it is worth paying more for that clock than for a similar clock without such documentation. Beware: reproductions of old clock labels can be purchased for a few dollars, signatures can be forged, labels can be switched, works from one clock can be "married" to a different case. Don’t be the victim of an unscrupulous dealer or unknowledgeable seller. Don’t rely only on verbal guarantees – get it in writing!

• resale value: obviously, if you are buying to resell a clock and want to make a profit, you will have to pay less than what you think you can sell it for.

• Auction Prices can help you find out what others have paid for similar clocks at different types of auctions. They provide a guideline as to the value the clocks have on the open market, in an auction setting. Try to find a number of similar clocks that have sold at different auctions so you can compare the largest number of sales records you can find.

Many factors can influence what a clock will bring at auction, including the stature of the auction house, the weather that day, the number of people at the auction, and so forth. The same is true of online auction results. Whether a clock has a reserve price, quality of description and photographs (if any), which category it is offered in – these factors and others can affect Internet-only auctions as well. Don’t rely on just one or two auction records – try to find three or more that will help to establish a low and high range for the type of clock you wish to sell.

Hot Tip: Most auction houses will give you a free evaluation of what they think your clock will sell for at their auction. Send them detailed photographs and a good description, and be prepared to wait two or three weeks to receive their written opinion. This is not an official appraisal – simply their opinion of what they think they can sell it for. Also, it is usually difficult to accurately judge a clock’s identity, authenticity or condition from photograph only. If they see the clock in person, their opinion may change.

• Retail Prices can help you find out how much dealers are asking for similar clocks. Unlike auction prices - actual sales, which are a matter of public record - you may never find out the final price the dealer actually received for the clock, or how long it took to sell. Dealers are used to negotiating on price, so don’t be afraid to ask for a discount.

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