Since their introduction in 1895, Swarovksi crystal "products of precision" have been world-renowned for their timeless beauty and elegance. Animal figures are among the most popular pieces produced and collected. If you've inherited a major collection of Swarovski animals, or just want to divest yourself of a personal collection you've grown tired of, there are numerous avenues to pursue.
Dust, clean and inspect your collection to get it ready for sale. Like "location" in real estate, the collectibles' market is all about "condition, condition, condition.'' Your animals must look their best to bring top dollar.
Obtain an idea of the value of your collection by checking out other Swarovski crystal animals for sale. Sites like Crystal Exchange America or eBay.com constantly offer auctions of Swarovski. You can see what other sellers are asking and getting for their collections. Consult a comprehensive collector's guide like "Warner's Blue Ribbon Books" on Swarovski or Krause Publications', "Collecting Swarovski: Identification and Price Guide" by Dean A. Genth for a general guide to what pieces are most valuable.
Write descriptions of each piece, detailing the animal represented, item number, size and condition. Note any flaws, such as chips, cracks or nicks. In addition, designate if you have the original paperwork that came with the animal (certificate of authenticity, generic booklet or bill of sale) and the original box. Pieces with papers and their respective boxes bring higher dollars on the resale market.
Contact a broker like Crystal Exchange America (crystalexchange.com). Download the PDF selling form and fill in the details about your collection. Your Swarovski crystal animals are listed for free until they sell, or you decide to remove your listings from the site. For animals that sell for $125 or more, the Exchange takes a 20 percent commission. For items under this amount, the commission is a flat $25.
Contact members of the Swarovski Crystal Society through the company website (swarovski.com). Founded in 1987, this is an international group of over 325,000 Swarovski enthusiasts and collectors from more than 125 countries who enjoy sharing their passion. Through correspondence with other collectors, you can let others know what you have for sale.
Join the Crystal Fanatics Club, a "global network of Swarovski crystal collectors,'' which has been in existence since 1999. Besides being a great place to trade information about crystal animal figures, it offers members a Buy-Sell-Trade Board where you can offer your collection pieces for sale. At the time of publication, a one-year membership is $29.95, and is well-worth it if you can sell your entire collection to one eager collector.
Read the quarterly "Swarovski Magazine,'' which provides information on newly released and classic pieces, collector events, member lifestyle profiles and Swarovski-related advertising. This source can give you new ideas about potential buyers for your collection.
Contact a well-respected, established auction house that deals in fine furnishings, art and collectibles. The oldest and biggest are Christie's (christies.com), Bonhams and Butterfields (bonhams.com) and Sotheby's (sothebys.com). All offer free consultations and can take collectibles on consignment. A large collection like yours could generate much excitement at an upcoming auction.
Kathlyn Hyatt Stewart began writing for sociological abstracts in 1985 and had her first article published by "Cambridge Scientific Abstracts," where she was Senior Editor. She has copyedited numerous books and dissertations, proofread for ezines and local papers, and operates Gargoyle Books. Kathlyn has a master's degree in forensic science from National University and bachelor's degrees in English and psychology from University of Virginia.