Having recently been requested by a friend to appraise a collection of books which she had been given, we approached the task with a certain degree of reservation, preferring generally to avoid the pitfalls likely to be encountered when conducting business transactions with friends. In the event, since any funds raised were to be donated to Shropshire Cat Rescue, in which charitable organisation we, together with our friend, share a mutual interest, our concerns were laid to rest, and the appraisal duly took place.
Following examination, the collection was divided into three batches, the first of which comprised items judged to be of no commercial value whatsoever. The second, items of low commercial value which could safely be priced up and offered for sale in the SCR Charity Shop while the third, comprising for the most part, exhibition catalogues and other art related volumes, we ourselves expressed an interest in purchasing, having first properly considered and dispassionately advised upon their likely marketability which in many instances we judged to be extremely low.
In the event, our offer was accepted, an immediate donation of funds thereby accruing to the charity, which capital sum we then offered to supplement by way of commission as and when the transaction should generate a profit for ourselves. Apart from the fact that this was a transaction executed between friends, it does in it’s essentials illustrate the basis upon which most such deals are done. Of the thirty seven items in this consignment, some few may sell reasonably quickly, others less so, and many may never sell at all, such is the narrowness of the market at which they are aimed. This is the essence of dealing, the ability to recognise what is worth buying, when to buy it, and at what price. The whole matter in fact having far more in common with gambling and the Stock Market than retailing as normally perceived.