Best buys

PUBLISHED: 09:11 10 March 2014

Auctions, February, EDP Norfolk

Auctions, February, EDP Norfolk


Two of the most frequently asked questions we hear are: “What is selling well” and “What should I buy?” What our clients are really asking is: “What can I buy cheaply and make money on?”

The answers to these questions do, of course, differ depending on whether you are buying an investment piece and playing the long game, or whether you are looking to buy something and turn it around to make a quick profit. Before buying you need to give thought to the type of item you are looking to buy, its use, the demand for it, where the best place to sell it is to maximise its price and the rate of commission you are willing to pay to sell it.

So, what are the best things to buy?

In my opinion they are items that are produced locally to you by local people and have a local significance – be those pictures, ceramics, silver clocks, furniture or advertising.

To maximise the potential return from your item – for a long term investment or quick re-sale – wherever possible you need to look to buy it out of area. This means hard work and constantly searching auction catalogues online and even eBay. Last year a small collection of 12 pictures appeared in a Norfolk saleroom by the artist Charles Harmony Harrison of Great Yarmouth (1842-1902) who painted pictures of life around him, particularly on the Broads. His pictures sell on average at about £400-£800 depending on the subject matter. The collection had been compiled within the previous three years from salerooms across the country at very little cost.

All the images were of local scenes. One in particular stood out of St Benets Abbey and it sold for £480 plus premium of 15pc. It had been bought only four months before in Penzance – a place in which no one was aware of the artist and in which the image had no relevance for only £20.

So remember, there is never a guarantee to profit but by stacking the odds in your favour through hard work, research, buying out of area, selling locally and choosing the right auctioneer to sell your item you can certainly reduce the likelihood of loss and maximise your potential for profit.

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