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Collection Dispersion Stories


Peter Bleed
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I am interested in assembling stories about how collections get dispersed. If anyone has information about how collections have been “dispersed,” I’d love to hear them. When do collections typically get dispersed. What have been good - and bad - strategies? What happens to the “objects “ when  a “collection” gets dispersed?

I would be very interested in hearing about things other than Japanese swords.

Peter

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Top collections are usually split into "riff-ruff" which is send to an action often way before the person's demise and the "core". Its bought as a whole by a really (rich) high end collector.

Selling the top stuff awhole at one auction is risky. It can be the event of the century, with super-prices, or can be so thoroughly slandered by the dealers on a "secret-secret" forum, it gets 30% of the real value.

If its a high profile auction, you'll see dealers staying late before the auction arranging who bids on what - and for a "regular" auction its just too much bother to force such agreement.

But if its a really great event, then no agreement will help. They'll bid in person but also by phone etc..

 

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Peter, many are ago, due to personal circumstances, I was forced to sell off a extensive collection of let’s say WW2 items. If I were to try and explain how it went and what I tried to do and ended up doing it would be a book of its own. I will try and figure a way to condense my story if this is what you and other members would like. I can tell you it was a eye opener to say the least. This was my start in life to find out and understand the difference between Friends and TRUE FRIENDS.  Let me know if this is what you are looking for and I will see if I can work it out.  Thank you.    MikeR

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Michael,

I sincerely hope that you will tell us the story. I also hope that you will do it in a way that you find agreeable and fun. For most of us, "collecting" is something we do for fun. We all have had "adventures" and made a range of discoveries. We all, also, have things to learn from the experiences of others.

Peter

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Just a point for consideration.

 

You often see items listed "consignment sale" on dealers websites. A few years ago i was looking to move a few items on so i thought i would give this a try. 

 

Sent the item away to the dealer and it appeared on the website, all good.

 

Item disappeared off website after a few weeks, no response from dealer to me.

 

I contacts dealer and dealer said it sold but buyer unhappy and sending it back.

 

Month later and still not back on website.

 

I contacts dealer again to ask him what is going on, he said he forgot to re-list and will do it in morn.

 

The next morn its back on.

 

2 months later and i ask dealer "any interest"?

 

He replied "no, very slow"

 

A few months later i ask "any luck", he replied "no"

 

I says "send it back to me", he replies "i tell you what, i will buy it now off you"

 

To be honest, i just wanted to sell and accepted his offer.

 

In the back of my mind though, i cant help thinking he sold it the first time and hung on to my money:laughing:

 

I cant prove anything, just a hunch.

 

Not a dealer from here by the way.

 

Will think twice before going that route again. 

 

 

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  Ok a few of you asked for my story so here it is. I collected WW2 US, German and Japanese weapons including, knives, bayonets, rifles, pistols, shotguns, holsters and other WW2 stuff for over 40 years at the time of my dispersal. Everything that I purchased was purchased for myself and was the best that there was out there at the time.  Do to a divorce I had to sell my whole collection. With this many years invested and the fact that I had all premium items I had many friends or so I thought. When it came time to sell many of those friends stepped up and expressed their desire for many of my items. With the type of person I was I figured that this was my opportunity to pass many of my beloved items on to “ friends” at a well below market cost so that they may enjoy them as much as I did and I could still be proud of the items as I “ thought “ I knew where they were going. I had offers well above my “ friends “ prices but this was my way of treating others with the way that someday I might be treated.  Soooo after passing many pieces of my collection on I started to see “ my stuff “ for resale at inflated prices. When I questioned my so called friends as to why did they tell me that they wanted my items for themselves they said that they knew I would sell them my things to them cheap and they could resell them ( for what I could have ) and make good money as there was a demand for items in the condition of mine. They had no Problem telling me that once I sold my items to them that they now owned them and could do what they wanted with them. This was a tuff one and very unexpected. After that I started to offer my not so friends- friends the rest of my collection for going rate. Of course they told me I was nuts. At this point I sent the remaining collection off to a well known reseller that charged me 10% commission. The ironic part was that I added 20% and some of the same people stepped up and paid the reseller the new price so I ended up making more money through him. 
  What did I learn: most friends are not friends they are acquaintances. I came through this with a new look on life and a new set of rules for those I call FRIENDS. For about the past 10 years I started collecting Japanese Swords, again only for myself, and the people that I have met here and at the Orlando Japanese Sword Show have restored my faith in what real friends are. Thanks everyone here for treating me as a friend and I will still pay it forward when my time comes but this time my Real Friends will appreciate my gifts

 I  told you it would be long but you asked for it. Hope you enjoyed it and maybe learned a little from my life’s experience and take the time to figure out what Real Friends are I know the difference now. 

    MikeR

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9 minutes ago, Michaelr said:

  Ok a few of you asked for my story so here it is. I collected WW2 US, German and Japanese weapons including, knives, bayonets, rifles, pistols, shotguns, holsters and other WW2 stuff for over 40 years at the time of my dispersal. Everything that I purchased was purchased for myself and was the best that there was out there at the time.  Do to a divorce I had to sell my whole collection. With this many years invested and the fact that I had all premium items I had many friends or so I thought. When it came time to sell many of those friends stepped up and expressed their desire for many of my items. With the type of person I was I figured that this was my opportunity to pass many of my beloved items on to “ friends” at a well below market cost so that they may enjoy them as much as I did and I could still be proud of the items as I “ thought “ I knew where they were going. I had offers well above my “ friends “ prices but this was my way of treating others with the way that someday I might be treated.  Soooo after passing many pieces of my collection on I started to see “ my stuff “ for resale at inflated prices. When I questioned my so called friends as to why did they tell me that they wanted my items for themselves they said that they knew I would sell them my things to them cheap and they could resell them ( for what I could have ) and make good money as there was a demand for items in the condition of mine. They had no Problem telling me that once I sold my items to them that they now owned them and could do what they wanted with them. This was a tuff one and very unexpected. After that I started to offer my not so friends- friends the rest of my collection for going rate. Of course they told me I was nuts. At this point I sent the remaining collection off to a well known reseller that charged me 10% commission. The ironic part was that I added 20% and some of the same people stepped up and paid the reseller the new price so I ended up making more money through him. 
  What did I learn: most friends are not friends they are acquaintances. I came through this with a new look on life and a new set of rules for those I call FRIENDS. For about the past 10 years I started collecting Japanese Swords, again only for myself, and the people that I have met here and at the Orlando Japanese Sword Show have restored my faith in what real friends are. Thanks everyone here for treating me as a friend and I will still pay it forward when my time comes but this time my Real Friends will appreciate my gifts

 I  told you it would be long but you asked for it. Hope you enjoyed it and maybe learned a little from my life’s experience and take the time to figure out what Real Friends are I know the difference now. 

    MikeR

 

Thank you for sharing Mike.

 

Some people...

 

I was taught by my father that you only buy from friends if you're paying above market rate.

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As apparent from MichaelR’s sad story, friendship and money often don’t mix well and it can be very painful.

I speak as an ex dealer in many things Japanese but over the years I formed my own collection of various things….netsuke, cloisonné, metalwork etc.

As a dealer my philosophy was to offer nice items at sensible prices and be happy with a reasonable profit. I always preferred to sell to other dealers.

Over the last two or three years I’ve sold all my collections…..all of it ……and now just enjoy swords again. I sold all of it to the small number of dealers who I had both bought from and sold to over the years. The reason I went that route 

- not all dealers are rogues. Those closer to the top of the tree are usually exceptionally knowledgeable, have a superb customer base and are keen to acquire good things especially if they come from a private collection

- dealers have no emotional ties to either me (nor I to them) or the items

- the money is “there and then”…..no waiting (that was my condition)

- no auctioneers delays, commissions, unsolds etc

- dealers generally  don’t whine when they make a mistake….they know it happens now and then

I’d had some superb fun putting the collections together…I was selling the items not the memories. I took a loss on some things, made a gain on others and roughly recouped the outlay overall. I was happy with that.

As years seem to pass more quickly now  I will soon be confronted by the need to sell swords…..that’s a different ballgame nowadays…..hmmmmmm
All the best.Colin

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Michael, thanks for sharing, I'm sure it not always easy to do that.

 

Many of us could relate to your (and others involved) personal circumstances at the time of liquidating your collection.

 

Not wishing to appear flippant, but I find it of much greater interest to know what actually happened, as in your case, rather than reading through the many threads about what members intend to do, or wish to do, or would like to do in selling/dispersing their collection. Notwithstanding, they are interesting in their own right.

 

On occassions, when negotiating a possible purchase, I make it known that I am a collector, not dealer (no offence dealers!) because that's what I am.  Like most, I am not going to on-sell.   I have the first Koto I bought, and everything after that. But one day I ... we ..... will find ourselves in a position that is not dissimilar to yours. 

 

I can say without reservation, the collector friends I have made on NMB are exactly that, friends and collectors, not opportunists.

 

Thanks again for your honesty and personal insight.

Rob

 

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