Are antique clocks easy to find and purchase in today’s difficult economy? The answer to the question is a resounding yes! And you find better deals on nicer clocks than ever before. The problem, for most people, is determining where to buy that Antique Clock. We will look at some possible venues for clock purchases and I will give you my recommendation at the end of the article. So, if you can’t wait skip down to the last paragraph now.
Are old clocks a good investment? I’m not an investment advisor nor do I pretend to be one on the internet. However, good deals can be had on antique clocks which can in turn be sold for nice profit. Buying an old clock is just like any other endeavor that you may be pursuing for profit. There are good deals and not so good deals. The first rule of clock collecting is do not buy the clock if you don’t like it. But, Kelly, you say, I think I can make a nice profit if I resell this clock. If you’ve done your homework and know the value of the clock you are purchasing as well as the possible resale value then go ahead. However, what happens if you can’t flip the clock as fast as you think? Wouldn’t be better to have a clock around that you actually like? It is actually easier to sell something that you are passionate about and if you didn’t like the clock to start with….well it may be harder to sell over a longer period of time. Time to move on…
Buying an Antique Clock via Classified Advertisements
You can buy darn near anything in the classified ads. Antique clocks are no exception. There is Craigslist, which is actually an electronic classified advertisement on the internet and your local newspaper or Thrifty Nickel. The thing with classified advertisements is you have no way of knowing the reliability or credibility of the person selling you the old clock. Also, it is often someone who doesn’t really know what they have and you may have to spend additional research time just to determine what it is they are selling.
Another thing to take into consideration when using the classifieds as a clock buying source is the driving distance. For local newspapers it may not be that far but it could be quite a distance. With fuel prices rising that must be taken into consideration. One final thing to remember when buying through the classifieds…make sure the clock that the seller is selling is theirs to sell before parting with any money. Always get a signed receipt, which should include a description of the clock, clearly stating any identifying marks, particularly maker’s name on the dial or identifying marks on the movement, the date of purchase and the amount.
Buying an Old Clock in an Antique Shop
Antique shops are often a good place to find antique clocks. You can usually examine the clock before purchasing. Also, in some shops, the owner may have some knowledge of the clock and be able to share that with you. Be sure to examine the clock for quality when purchasing from antique shops. Many times these clocks come from “junkyard” type auctions where they sell everything from cheap bookshelves to old clothes. This will often lead you to question the quality of the clock.
Local Auctions: Can you get a Quality Clock at a local auction?
If you check out your local newspaper or yellow pages directory you will find any number of auction rooms and auctioneers listed. Often you will be able to find a nice clock at these auctions; however, it is very hit or miss. Do you value your time? If not, then you can go spend many hours hanging around these types of auctions and you may or may not find an antique clock. Some of the larger firms could have specialist sales for clocks two or three times a year, some will have some sort of antique auction at least once a month.
Buying Old Clocks at Yard Sales or Tag Sales
Ok, I know this may sound cliche but you really can find some interesting things at Garage Sales. I remember buying a non-working Elgin pocket watch for a quarter. I brought it home, cleaned it up a little, opened the back and wrote down the serial number, and listed it on eBay. A day later someone bought it using Buy It Now for $50. I was ecstatic. However, that was much luck as anything. I know people who have gotten fantastic pieces at fantastic prices at Yard Sales, however, much like the local auction; it takes a lot of time and a lot of patience.
Estate Sales for Antique Clocks
You may find these listed in the classifieds of your local newspaper or see the signs up at the entrances to neighborhoods. These are usually someone’s heirs who have hired a company to go through their loved ones possessions to catalog all the items and offer them for sale to the public. Sometimes it is someone who is older who has decided to downsize or move into a smaller home. In either case you can find some great items at these sales, including old clocks. These can be a little less cumbersome and time consuming that Yard Sales or Local auctions because the service that is hosting the sale will often publish or provide a listing of all the items being sold. This will save you a great deal of time if you are looking for a specific item or a specific clock.
Buying Antique Clocks Online
This is my preference for purchasing antique or old clocks. It allows me to make the best use of my time and it also allows me to narrow my search very quickly to exactly what I am trying to purchase at that time. A website that specializes in antique clocks provides good information about the clocks, background on various clocks and clockmakers, and of course a nice listing of clocks with lots of pictures of the clocks. Another thing I like about sites like this is that they often have rating systems or reviews that you can read on the sellers. Believe me when I say, if you sell someone an antique clock online for $500, or whatever the price may be, if it is not as described there will be complaints or poor rating scores given to the seller of the clock. These rating systems can give you a level of comfort that you will not and cannot find with a local auction house or a classified ad.
One question I usually get about buying clocks online is with regard to shipping. Remember this: you are buying a clock from a reputable seller who has shipped many clocks to many buyers all over the world. They know their clocks and they know how to pack them. You will pay a shipping charge in most cases, however the money you save in time, fuel, and research alone will more than pay for the shipping cost. So, as you can imagine my preference for buying old clocks is online.