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Is Martin's Auction in PA still a good place to sell?

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  • Is Martin's Auction in PA still a good place to sell?

    I have two carriages I bought at Martins in the 80's/early 90's.At that time lots of folks from Virginia and states up and down the east coast travelled to the auctions to buy. They were 'events' and lots of fun.

    I don't have driving horses any more and the carriages are just sitting -- I thought I might take it back up some day but that is looking less and less likely -- I have one suitable horse but have not been at all inspired to train her to drive and my other horses are probably not good candidates.

    My question is now with internet sites specifically for horses/driving as well as ebay and craig's list is it worth the time/$ to take the carriages 4 - 5 hours to Martin's? Do they still get good crowds/fair prices?

    I am not a big fan of internet selling -- don't shop that way myself -- don't particularly have time or want to deal with all the email and visits to our place by perspective buyers I don't know.

    Anyone with recent experience buying/selling at Martins?

  • #2
    Originally posted by cbv View Post
    I have two carriages I bought at Martins in the 80's/early 90's.At that time lots of folks from Virginia and states up and down the east coast travelled to the auctions to buy. They were 'events' and lots of fun.

    I don't have driving horses any more and the carriages are just sitting -- I thought I might take it back up some day but that is looking less and less likely -- I have one suitable horse but have not been at all inspired to train her to drive and my other horses are probably not good candidates.

    My question is now with internet sites specifically for horses/driving as well as ebay and craig's list is it worth the time/$ to take the carriages 4 - 5 hours to Martin's? Do they still get good crowds/fair prices?

    I am not a big fan of internet selling -- don't shop that way myself -- don't particularly have time or want to deal with all the email and visits to our place by perspective buyers I don't know.

    Anyone with recent experience buying/selling at Martins?
    We go to Martin's pretty regularly, and I can honestly say prices are all over the place, even for the upscale carriages.

    It will depend upon your carriage being:
    • antique AND desirable (4 wheel undercut, or elegant 2 wheel)
    • original condition
    • OR recently restored and looking "right out of the paint shop" (although that is no guarantee it will sell for higher than an original condition)
    • hitting the right market/at the right time
    Perhaps if you can tell us what type of carriages they are, we might be able to offer some more constructive advice.

    I've sold a few carries off the internet, but the most recent carriage we purchased (an antique ladies pairs phaeton with a documented provenance, stories and photos from the 1920's ) we purchased through the CD-L. The owner was several states away, but was able to ship the carriage with friends who were coming to Martin's. We picked it up there while we were enjoying the auction.

    I would almost suggest that CD-L might be a better place to sell - especially if you don't want to pay that seller's fee to the auction house.
    Last edited by gothedistance; Mar. 30, 2011, 11:04 AM.

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    • #3
      Have to agree with GTD, prices are totally unpredictable at Martin's. Most antiques are going lots lower than they did when you were buying. Even with the best names on them, good condtion stuff. I might take a vehicle there, but would be totally prepared to bring it home again. You can't even know if prices would be better if cataloged or in the field session. I get surprised every time I go. Catalog would let folks see it ahead of the sale to attend. Field session is always a surprise at what is there.

      If you really want to move them, have some control of the price, internet selling is the way to go. You could try some classifieds with ADS or CAA, on their website and magazines. The CD-L is a good suggestion, we have sold stuff using it, for the price we wanted. Even Craigslist might find you a buyer, if you put photos in the ad. Selling stuff myself, you do have to work at it a bit. Maybe a consignment carriage shop would work if you have no time for people to visit.

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      • #4
        From the buyer's perspective:

        I recently purchased a Kuhnle marathon from the CAA website. For me, and many other people, online is the only method of finding carriages.

        I also checked out ADS regularly, Ebay, carriagedriving.net, the harnessroom.com, horsecarriages.com until I found what I was looking for.

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        • #5
          I might add that I had a very pleasant interaction with the seller. Driving people seem to be good sorts!

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          • #6
            I'm just getting ready to look for a used marathon carriage myself and will be shopping online.

            I'm near PA though, when is the Martin's sale please? Might be worth going to if I can, though I don't have a truck to bring a carriage home with me. Are there shippers for hire at auctions?
            Being terrible at something is the first step to being truly great at it. Struggle is the evidence of progress.

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            • #7
              Here's Martin's website on the Auction Calendar page. Next is April 29-30

              http://www.martinauctioneers.com/auction-calendar.html

              With a down economy, people will stop bidding sooner so prices may stay lower, better for buyers than sellers.

              You could call Martins about delivery or just talk to a bunch of people while wandering around the auction. You might just find someone going your way who might drop your carriage off for gas or small fee. There are also frequently knowledgeable folks around who will help a newby get a decent first carriage. They did for us back in the early 70s.

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              • Original Poster

                #8
                Thanks for the responses...

                it is why I asked.

                Carriages are good condition but not mint. One we had restored in the 90's when we bought it. We did strictly pleasure driving with local carriage club. Carriages were not used hard. One is antique and the other newer but a pleasure vehicle based on an old design -- not a competition vehicle.

                So to prove how out of it I am, what is CD-L?

                Comment


                • #9
                  The CD-L is just another chat group
                  you have to sign on to join and then you can get either individual emails, a daily digest or look at it through the archives (Thats what I do)

                  Its been around since sometime in the 90's and it does allow for free for sale and wanted etc posts

                  the biggest request on those is to please state a location

                  this is the site that explains how to sign on
                  http://www.carriagedriving.net/index.php?m=c&inc=31


                  Ive sold some harness, some parts, a couple of carriages, and some blankets through the CDL - all across the country and never had a problem

                  A couple of people have had issues but then the offending parties name ends up getting blasted all over the internet, so it doesnt happen often. Also the driving world is a fairly small community so it always seems that you know someon who knows someone - etcetcetc

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                  • #10
                    Worth a day trip if not far--**education**

                    I would say if you're serious about selling, and you are not far away, you should go and take a look and just enjoy the atmosphere at Martin's. As in the past, the better carriages and antiques tend to go on Friday and the Saturday auction is everything else! Lately there has been a trend where the seller has been unhappy with Friday's price, called 'no-sale' and then moved the same item out side and sold for more. Specifically lots of the meadowbrooks and marathons! Roberts Carriages from Quebec did this to almost 20+ carriages last year I think.
                    Last edited by paohatch; Mar. 29, 2011, 06:01 PM. Reason: typo
                    Pao Lin

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