The Scout Patch Auction
Specializing in rare Scouting collectibles

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Selling Scouting Collectibles

There may come a time when you need to sell yours or a relative's Boy Scout collectibles. This has become easier than ever before. Whether you have a whole collection or just a few items, the following are some things to consider and a few pointers.

Selling Basics

The first step is understanding what is salable and what is not. Although all items can sell, some are considered more desirable than others. Currently the most popular are Order of the Arrow items, most have 'WWW' on them. Other top items are specialized Jamboree patches, pre-1930 uniform insignia and rare Council Shoulder Patches.

Those items that best fit in a binder, for example patches or small pins, are the items most often collected and therefore have the greatest value. Bulky or heavy items are awkward to store and collect and typically have less collectors interested in them.

The next step is to make a list. It does not need to be specific but should generally describe how many of what types of items you have. As you go through the items, develop a sense of how much you want for the items. Take some digital pictures of the items. They can be grouped together and taken from a distance. Once we see them we can help you identify and value them. In one case a customer had some patches from his father including a very rare OA item we told him about. He showed us a picture of some other patches he didn't think were worth anything and we pointed out one to him that sold for $1,500. Use our expertise to help you make money.

Options for Selling

There are two general ways of selling items. The first is an outright sale. The second is on consignment. There are advantages and dis-advantages to both.

With a straight sale all items are sold. They are sold quickly and you get your money right then - clean, simple and fast. Understand that the purchaser bears the financial risk of carrying the items. As such the amount paid may be less than full retail depending upon the items. The general practice is for a straight sale to be 50% of the retail value.

The second way is to sell on consignment, typically through an auction. In an auction, the current market value will be paid. Some items will go for more than expected, some may go for less, some may not sell at all. In general though, if you use a good auction service, you will receive the full value.

When selling on consignment, you pay a commission to the auctioneer for his work. The rates vary with some charging as much as 25%. Because of our large volume, The Scout Patch Auction's rate is 18%. Large collections (over $10,000) or collections with a number of high value items can have a lower commission rate.

In looking for an auction, the following are some things to consider. Choose one with a national distribution. Be wary though of those advertising large numbers for mailing. The number of people sent to is less important than the number who actually buy.

Choose an auction that handles your type of collectible. Different auctions have different specialties. TSPA focuses on rare Scouting items, particularly Order of the Arrow patches.

After choosing the auction, write or call before sending items. Work out the terms and understandings. Then follow the auctioneer's instructions for shipping (usually some form that is insured.) Your items will be listed on an upcoming auction. Once the auction is held, items sold and shipped you will be paid! If you have any questions, please feel free to call or write us: Scout Patch Auction, (734) 434-8772. Our fax number is (734) 434-7227. Our e-mail is info.

We have helped people sell over $5 million worth of Scouting collectibles. Our first consignor is still with us twenty years later. We look forward to serving you as well.


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