Oftentimes, an important part of what I do is helping people to "figure out what they have." They may have some stuff that they know is "old" but aren't really certain what it is or whether it has much value. Maybe they have been collecting Star Wars figures for years but haven't really paid attention to the market and so can't really say which ones are the valuable ones or why. Or maybe they are cleaning out the attic and aren't even sure which ones are worth something and which aren't. I had a client recently who would just lay things out on a table for me and just ask me to pick the ones that I thought would bring a good return. He really had no idea and was just happy to have me there to help. Much of it was indeed old, but what caught my eye were the tools. Turns out he had some Snap-On hammers and other auto-body repair tools. These were in really good condition and I knew would sell for quite a bit brand new. Sure enough, they all sold quickly and brought very good prices.
This is something that happens at all levels of the market. Even professional appraisers are familiar with the "walk through" - being asked by a client to walk through the house or estate or a collection to identify those items that could be particularly valuable. I recently had a conversation with Deborah Miller, someone who I was in the Peace Corps with long ago and who now runs her own clothing and fashion appraisal business. (You can find her website here.) She explained her own experience with clients who just are wondering "What do I have?" This can be such a rewarding part of working with others when you can help them realize that what they have has significant monetary value, in addition to the sentimental value or meaning that an object might hold for them. With a professional appraiser like my friend Deborah, the expertise and experience she can bring means that items of exceptional rarity and value can be reliably evaluated and assessed. For a reseller / consigner like myself, my assessment is perhaps more useful for items of a more modest value. For now, I am a generalist, happy to handle and evaluate a wide range of objects from collectible Star Wars figurines to antique candlestick holders; from Snap-On tools to Roseville pottery.
The EBay marketplace is huge and I have successfully sold all of those things just mentioned and many, many others - from first edition novels to Spode glassware to Civil War-era Wells Fargo envelopes. If you aren't sure what you have and are curious what it might bring on EBay - give me a call. I'd be more than happy to do a "walk though" with you.