Suzy and all
It has been my experience, more often than not, that estate sales, or
ANY "sales" of rocks, is becoming more of an attempted rip toward the
buyer, than it is for sellers.
Sellers want to get FULL, Beverly Hills + retail prices, for rocks
that were collected free on public lands, or purchased at low cost
I find that most sellers are not naive at all, when evaluating their
rock collections, though they my act as if they are oblivious...
In fact, many sellers OVERVALUE the collection. They only slightly
reduce the price after they cajole and manipulate negotiations,
similar to a skilled used car salesperson. Sellers do this in all age
groups, from 18 to 90+.
A few weeks ago, a 92 year old rockhound was trying to play me like a
fiddle and sell me his old stock of "prime" slabs for $18 per pound.
The slabs were actually worth about $7 per pound, MAX !. He refused
to lower his cost..... I then simply joked around with him and his
grandsons for a few minutes, politely said good bye and good luck.
Unfortunately, I'm sure he'll eventually sell all those slabs to some
unsuspecting, inexperienced rockhound and for the $18 lb and he'll
convince them they got a great deal......
Sellers, more often than not, have spent a tremendous amount time
researching and evaluating their rocks, through friends, neighbors,
old rockhounds, the Internet, etc etc, prior to their big "estate"
and or ANY rock collection "SALE".
Sellers predominately price their rock collections, according to what
they IMAGINE their estate and or, garage sale market will bear. They
also may tack on an extra 20% to 30%, for sentimental value reasons.
If the collection is very large, I have experienced sellers who will
stealthily high-grade out rocks, after the sale has been made and
keep / steal from the very buyer they just sold the collection to.
This is usually done after the exchange of cash has been made and
occurs during the loading process or during any absence or watchful
eye of the buyer.
I would not be surprised if Ron, from Mills Gems, in Los Osos, would
discover that his recent experience of the stealthy bystander, who
stole rocks from his recently purchased collection, was actually a
friend of the SELLER, in collusion, so to speak.. a bit of a stretch,
but you never know these days !
In short, I have found that good deals are few and far between and
that rock sales are now treated like the "antique road show," whereby
sellers are looking for high prices on LOW value items and they
attempt to get those high prices, through the guise of implementing,
a multitude of used car salesman tactics.
More often than not, it is a BUYERS BEWARE world today.