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Frankoma Virgin Needs Advise

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I have two sets of plainsman frankoma dishes and need to sell the desert gold rutile. I have over 100 pieces, place setting for 12 along with misc. serving dishes. There is one bowl that I am unable to identify. It has the number 200 on the bottom and looks like four petals with a sunflower center. I would appreciate any help that you could give me on this piece and any idea of what this set is worth.

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That's a Dogwood Flower bowl. Listed at $12-15, but would probably go a bit higher.

For the dinnerware, Frankoma is fairly hard to sell right now. eBay prices are fairly low. However, I've seen some people getting reasonable prices on Craigslist.

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Hi all, I am new here. I am an architect but I have been buying and selling for over 47 years. I also owned an antique mall for 22 years.

It is always hard to sell a collection. Farnkoma has never sold well for me, not even the rare pieces. In this economic times things all across the board are down about 60 percent from their high and even then most things are not selling. I would recommend selling it all as a set. If you list it by the piece you will sell off the serving pieces first and not sell the rest. If you sell it as a set the serving pieces are a drawing card. You can not open a shop in an antique mall and expect to make money. It will cost you more in rent, fees and display cases than your set is worth. If you did that you would need hundreds of other things to sell and it could take years to sell it all. The swapmeet is the same way. If you try it you will pay for a space and if you don't have other things you will either sell the set for 30 cents on the dollar or go in the red. If you can keep it that would be the best thing to do at this time. It will be worth more when the economy turns around than the money in your 401 plan. If you need the money, selling things you own will not solve the problem and in the end you will have nothing and be in the same place. If you think you can sell it for book value to pay the bills it will never happen. Frankoma pottery has a very small following and, as all collectors, they are cheap and the market is flooded at the moment. If you need to sell it call all the dealers in your area and tell them what you have, but don't expect to get more than 20 or 25 cents on the dollar for the set. If you sell off the good pieces you will be lucky to get 10 cents on the dollar for the rest from a dealer. Remember nothing is selling and what does sell is the rare pieces, and Frankoma has always been one of my slow sellers. I am not trying to bum you out, but give you my years of experience. Malls charge so much and take a percentage of gross sales. Here in California the rent on a little space is around $300 per month. That makes the house get $450 out of every thousand dollars worth of sales. They take 15 percent of gross sales here on top of rent. I know rents are much less in most of the country. If you take it to auction, most of the auction houses take 25 percent of the gross sale. Most auctions now have a bidder premium of 15 percent. That means the buyer pays 15 percent on top of his bid. Collectors and dealers will not go more than 15 or 20 percent of book value on Frankoma pottery. There are many faster moving things to put their money into. When it comes to a private party selling things, they are always between a rock and hard place. In these economic times they are no place. My bet is you will be luck to find a dealer who will take it at any price unless you are in an area where there are a lot of collectors for Frankoma. I got $65 dollars out of the last 32 pieces I ran through auction 2 years ago. One of my friends who sells at the Rose Bowl and Long Beach stadium, which have over 800 sellers each, has had pieces for 5 or more months at $2 each and has not sold one piece. The 2 swapmeets I mentioned are world renowned and 2 of the largest. They are held once a month. That should give you an idea of how things are selling.

Good luck with selling your dinnerware.

Richard

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Hi all, I am new here. I am an architect but I have been buying and selling for over 47 years. I also owned an antique mall for 22 years.

I agree with pretty much everything you've said - with a few caveats.

First, the Frankoma situation is very regional. While I can see it doing very poorly in CA, it's not QUITE as bad in OK, KS, MO, TX, etc (still not great, but the demand is a little steadier).

Second, at least in the midwest, I'm actually seeing some of the rarer pieces bringing a decent price. Not great by any means, but at least acceptable. The sweet spot seems to be the semi-rare pieces - items valued in the $100 or so range. Again, don't count on getting book value, but you'll get closer with these items than with average dinnerware or serving pieces. Personally, I collect any of the animals of all types and I'm 100% in the buying mode now because I'm confident that the prices are lower than they should be now and will go up. That, of course, is speculation and not a guarantee by any means.

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