I have a suggestion to sellers. If youíre trying to sell a collection and there are items of sentimental value to you, set them aside from the rest of the collection.

Show the collection to the dealer and let them make an offer on that part. Then show the dealer the sentimental items you want to keep to see if they have any value. Chances are, the value is minimal (see my earlier piece about the 90-10 rule). A dealer will tell you if you happened to take something of great value out of the collection or if the material is trivial in value.

Sometimes when I buy a collection, the seller (often a family member) will ask, ďCan I take that cover out that was addressed to my Uncle Joe?Ē Itís in an album and we spend the next 10 minutes hunting down that item. I waffle between mild irritation of hunting for that item and at the same time, understanding the sentimental value of why they want that item.

My best advice to sellers is to pull any items out ahead of time. Then confirm with the dealer that your choices donít have significant monetary value (if that is more important to you than sentimental value). The dealer will be happy that the sale is concluded more quickly. The seller will be happy that they kept the items with meaning to them. Everyone wins!