Your probably thinking to yourself, well yes, no shit Jer! This seems obvious enough though you would be surprised at just how many signed photos, paintings and lithographs get left behind at thrift shops and estate sales.
So I personally have a rule of thumb. If it’s original, signed and or professionally framed and it’s less than $5, or $10. It’s going home with me! Period!
You don’t need to be a connoisseur of fine art to make money buying and reselling these things either. I’m pretty sure this is why so much of it gets overlooked. You just need to know the basics of identification. Can you tell the difference between a textured vintage lithograph and a painting? Because this is where most resellers get stumped believe it or not. The vast majority of vintage, mass produced framed prints out there look convincing from a distance. In fact there is a type of print which is textured to give the impression of being an original painting. These prints to someone who doesn’t know any better can throw you for a loop.
So lets take a look at a few pieces of original and limited edition prints that I have personally acquired and sold recently.
This professionally framed Randy J Braun photograph was purchased for $0.99 at a thrift shop. The first tip off that this photograph, or print was valuable was the frame itself. The frame was a heavy custom metal, museum quality frame. cheap prints usually don’t get this type of treatment!
Anyway we sold it for $55 within a week of listing it. Our customer was thrilled and so were we! If we wanted to push it we probably could have listed this for $85 and got it just as quickly.
This piece is a little different than what most people would think of when they think of framed art. It is a framed piece of artwork none the less. I picked this one up in a lot of merchandise won at an estate auction. I most likely have a $2 or $3 dollars invested into it. We listed and It sold in about a month’s time for $55 as well!
Finally, lets take a look at 4 painting I purchased and listed within the last week. These paintings were acquired in two separate lots of 2 paintings each. I purchased each lot for less than $10. I didn’t know much about the artist, or the paintings upon purchase. Though they were so inexpensive I couldn’t pass them up!
As it turns out these paintings could be worth hundreds, possibly even thousands of dollars! In fact not one of this specific artist’s original painting has sold for less than $300 at auction and there have been a few that sold for thousands! Unfortunately I don’t have the time or energy to have them certified, appraised and then wait months for them to be auctioned off. So I am selling them at a very reasonable $210 per painting. This leaves us sitting pretty, while also giving our customers allot of room to improve and profit off of them as well!
Believe it or not, I am not in this for the money exclusively. I am a firm believer that both the buyer an seller in any deal should be happy and comfortable with the transaction.
So my advice is simple, don’t avoid the framed art section of your thrift shop! Take a minuet or two to go threw their inventory you never know what your going to find!
Till next time, peace out!