Fixing up a fixer-upper is like peeling an onion… you just cry until it’s over and hope you don’t cut yourself before you’re done. Am I right??
I had written previously about the kitchen sink in my fixer-upper, asking what folks think it might be worth.
Turns out I almost seriously overlooked this asset!
I originally assumed I would need to beg $50 for this, or even pay to have it hauled off. But this assumption proves that even in the most soul-crushing, bone-tiring, anxiety-ridden times of home renovation, it pays to make more coffee and do a little extra curricular homework.
Far from my view of this sink as a chippy, impractical, oversized pile of metal, there are many out there who are actually looking for a vintage drainboard sink. And dual drainboards are better than a single drainboard on one side! Many sinks out on the vintage drainboard sink market don’t even have the metal cabinet base! My item here appears to be some kind of a collectible with an inherent value. But what is the value?
Obviously, I want to make as much money on things going out the door as I want to save money on things coming in the door. The obvious options to me are:
Craigslist (local option)*
- Pros: easy/free to post an ad; the buyer hauls the sink away; “quick” cash; I can walk away and feel like I made good money
- Cons: local forums fetch lower prices due to locality of customers
eBay (fancier remote option)
- Pros: I can probably fetch a better price here than Craigslist due to larger audience
- Cons: need to deal with shipping, and remove shipping cost from my price to be competitive; buyer could be dissatisfied with quality and have a case to return sink
*There are other local options like a local brick&mortar antique store, which I discounted because it would have the same low price ceiling as Craigslist and I would need to deal with dealers.
So what are the price ranges for these two options?
Craigslist: based on ads for similar sinks for $995, $300, and $1500, adjusted for size and quality/cleanliness of the sinks, I think I could reasonably post an ad for $800 and expect about $600. Hey I might not get anything like that, but based on other ads I don’t think this is outrageous.
eBay: found similar sinks listed for $300, $900, and $1000, but these have not sold yet so these are only partial data points. However my sink is in considerably better shape than all of these, so I would be comfortable putting up an ad for $1200 and see what happens. I would need to talk to USPS/UPS about shipping costs, which might impact my asking price. If shipping is more than, say, $300, that would tip the scale back toward Craigslist.
http://www.historichouseparts.com: for reference I checked this famous restoration site and found a couple similar sinks that have already sold for $875 and a whopping $1800 (and check out how ugly that one is). Most of the vintage sinks on this site did not have the cabinet base, and these were in the $300-$500 range. Most sink basins were not in great shape by admission (not re-finished), which was reassuring. It turns out HHP is located in Rochester, NY and operates locally only, so this is not an option for me. But it is good to see what a professional dealer thinks these are worth.
Bottom line: due to my extreme distaste for dealing with shipping, I think I will put this up on Craigslist first to see what hassle-free price I can get. If that does not work, I will try eBay. My mom, an antique dealer, attributes price mainly to “luck.” Thanks Mom!
(PS my mom helped me with my price estimates, not just her ‘luck’ comment.) 🙂