• a clock’s condition: a clock in excellent condition will sell for much more than the same clock in average or poor condition. An unrestored or unaltered, all-original, clock with its original case finish; a clock which has its maker’s label or signature intact; a clock with its original glass and decorative elements; a well-preserved, clean, working movement – all can increase the value of a clock considerably. Depending on your collecting goals, you may want to pay less for something in fair condition or more for something in excellent condition.
• a clock’s provenance: if the seller can prove that the clock belonged to a celebrity or someone of historical importance you may want to pay more for the clock.
• identifying marks: if a label, signature, or other marking can tie the clock to a well known clockmaker or manufacturer, you may decide it is worth paying more for that clock than for a similar clock without such documentation. Beware: reproductions of old clock labels can be purchased for a few dollars, signatures can be forged, labels can be switched, works from one clock can be "married" to a different case. Don’t be the victim of an unscrupulous dealer or unknowledgeable seller. Don’t rely only on verbal guarantees – get it in writing!
• resale value: obviously, if you are buying to resell a clock and want to make a profit, you will have to pay less than what you think you can sell it for.
• historical price information: knowing what similar clocks have sold for in the past may help you decide how much to pay.
• guarantees: does the seller offer any guarantees of authenticity, customer satisfaction or money back, offer of credit or time payments, or other enticements buy? You may decide it is worth it to pay a little more for a clock in exchange for guarantees or credit purchases.
• shipping or transportation costs: packing, shipping and insurance costs can add substantially to the price you pay for a clock. Be sure to consider any extra costs associated with your purchase when deciding how much to pay.
• the amount of time you have to buy the clock: if there is an urgent need or time limit to acquire the clock, you may decide to pay more than the lowest price possible.
• the value of your time: how long would it take to find a similar clock at a lower price? Perhaps it won’t make sense to spend another ten hours of comparison shopping just to save $25 or $50.
• a clock’s relative desirability or rarity for its class: it’s always more of a seller’s market for clocks that are considered rare or "hot" right now in the marketplace. You may have to pay a premium to get what you want if it is hard to find or commands a high price.
Buying Antique Clocks - Factors to Consider
Part 2: Where to Buy Antique Clocks
Part 3: Checklist for Buying Antique Clocks
Find out what dealers and collectors have actually paid for antique grandfather, mantel or wall clocks like yours. Covers American, European and Continental clocks of all types.