Are you stepping into the world of secondhand goods, or do you have some experience and want to learn more? One of the best ways you can discover the potential of your possessions is to work with professionals who can connect you with people who will appreciate the worth of your items. After our “Where to Consign + Sell Stuff event” on June 7th, we wanted to share even more with you all about navigating the current consignment and selling landscape! In this blog post, you’ll hear from four experienced professionals in the Portland, Oregon metro area—Larry Berman of Sixty/40, Juli Kirby of A Clean Slate PDX, Jennifer Campbell of Curiosities Tigard Vintage Mall, and Dave Smith of Smith Brothers China—as they share their wisdom from their careers in resale and consignment.

Larry Berman: A Decade in the Resale and Consignment Field

For ten years, Larry Berman has been active in the resale/consignment field. What began as a hobby and personal interest evolved into a successful venture with Sixty/40. When asked about his process, Larry says that he meets with clients to determine if their items can be consigned. Then, he lists and sells these items, connecting them with the right buyers. “Remember I am only the messenger,” Larry says regarding his advice for working with consignment or resale professionals. Don’t be disheartened if an item is deemed not consignable—it’s all part of the process.  Larry has also seen a new, growing interest in rightsizing in his field.

Larry’s most unusual sale was 100 reusable live catch mouse traps to a university research center. Of course, you never know what might be valuable and consignable!

Juli Kirby: Estate Sales and Consignment Services

Juli Kirby, owner of A Clean Slate PDX, came to the field after a family estate sale. After conducting a private estate sale for her grandparents’ home, Juli’s talent caught the attention of others, and her estate sale business began to flourish. Later, she expanded her services to offer estate consignment. Juli’s process involves close collaboration with clients and relies entirely on referrals. She says finding the ideal professional when working with a consignment or resale is key. “Ask a lot of questions and listen to your gut! And don’t be shy to ask for references! Those of us who have been doing this for a while and have made good relationships are always happy to connect you with past clients.”

Juli has seen a shift from the dominance of mid-century modern furniture to a renewed interest in quality antiques. “Many of our customers are currently mixing design styles in their homes in a beautiful way! The same customer who is buying a mid-century dining table or console table is also buying early 19th-century oil paintings, vintage Waterford goblets, and 1980s glass/brass occasional tables. It’s been fun watching this evolve over the past year.”

One unusual sale Juli recalls was a 5′ tall decorated cow from the 2002 Portland Cow Parade. Originally purchased at a charity auction, the art cow needed a new home when Juli’s client moved into a condo. “We found the perfect new family for the beautiful beast and it now lives in a stunning courtyard of a mid-century estate in SE PDX.”

Jennifer Campbell: Time-Traveled Treasures

Jennifer Campbell brings with her twenty years of experience in the resale field. Currently, she sells online and at Curiosities Vintage Mall in Tigard. Her journey began by selling leftover items from her parent’s estate sale. Jennifer works exclusively with clients on the Westside. She requests photos of items for research purposes before an onsite visit. She buys items outright and specializes in smaller items, purposely avoiding furniture or large, heavy items. One trend she is currently seeing is customers seeking out vintage accent décor and lighting. As a result, unique stories and personalities come through in the home even more!

Concerning the benefits of working with a resale professional, Jennifer says, “Having an expert on your side who knows where and how to sell your items is a great solution….Selling through a resale professional means you don’t have to start from square one finding answers to your questions and figuring out the ins and outs of online marketplaces.”

One of Jennifer’s most intriguing sales was a Canadian National Parks pass that was wired to the radiators of old cars.

Dave Smith: China Resale Across the Globe

Dave Smith and his brother Steve began Smith Brothers China nearly 40 years ago. Inspired by the Spode Shanghai china kept in their family while growing up, the brothers began to collect additional patterns. Eventually, they became friends with Robert Copeland, owner of Copeland Spode Company in England. This connection served as a catalyst for their expansion into other renowned English china brands, such as Minton, Royal Doulton, Wedgwood, Royal Crown Derby, Royal Albert, and more. Eventually, their venture extended to American companies such as Lenox and Castleton. At its peak, Dave and Steve’s inventory contained 35,000 pieces of china!

Smith has seen the evolving ecosystem of china resale, saying that the business has changed quite a bit. “We originally were in various antique malls, but [were] tired of the costs and the lack of protection for our items, so we currently have everything for sale through an eBay store under the name of ‘smithbrotherschina.’ This allows us worldwide exposure.”

Rightsize, Resale, and Reach Out

From china to decorative cows, you never know which of your unwanted items might become someone else’s favorite find. So, best of luck turning your clutter into cash on your rightsizing journey, and don’t forget to get in contact and join us for future installments in our “Ask an Organizer” series! (And if you missed our June 7th event featuring these amazing four guest experts, you can watch the video replay here.)