Most everyone who reads the Kristall Buzz blog knows that it is maintained by the Swarovski expert dealer Crystal Exchange America with occasional contributions by the well-known Swarovski book author Jane Warner. One of the most common questions that we hear is…..”I own Swarovski Crystal figurines x, y, and z; What is the value of my Swarovski collection?” Well, this is a huge question, and I am going to try to address the issue of Swarovski Value in this article.
First, I want the owner to completely forget about the price paid. The original purchase price has absolutely no bearing on selling price, nor insurance replacement. If anything, the price paid could be a sore spot in realistically determining a present day value as the collector / owner will be focusing on ‘profit’ (or loss as the case may be) in their mind and not the real question which is ‘What is the value of my Swarovski figurine?’
The simplest scenario is when the collector needs to know the Swarovski value to obtain adequate insurance. If this is the case, we recommend purchasing these Swarovski books from www.wbrb.com . The Swarovski ERV in the book is specifically determined for collectors to use for insurance purposes. However, collectors need to remember that the replacement cost fluctuates and that the concept of replacement value needs to be revisited annually. Providing an example….if a figurine is found at a reliable brokerage site at $500, it may have an ERV of $525 or $550.
However, when most people inquire about value, they are asking what they can obtain by selling the Swarovski figurine. When selling, there are a couple of considerations.
- Are you urgent to sell (must sell now and must sell fast)?
- Can you sell at a more leisurely pace (3 to 12 months to conclude a sale is ok)
If you are in an urgent situation, you can typically expect the selling price to be less than if time is on your side. If you have just a couple of Swarovski figurines, this may not be of significant consequence. However if you have a substantial Swarovski crystal collection (ie 100 or more figurines, some of which are Swarovski AE or Swarovski NLE), liquidation prices can be quite painful to the pocketbook or personal expectations due to prior hypes on value, oftentimes only about 10% or 20% of the price you could purchase the figurines for at a Swarovski broker, like Crystal Exchange America.
So, our last scenario is what Swarovski value via what can be obtained from a leisurely sale. To determine this, we first need to know actual current trading prices. One can view completed transactions on eBay as one source. When I say completed transactions, that may be a from a “Buy It Now” or “Auction” style listing that was actually successfully concluded. This does NOT mean unsold figurines. Another option would be to look at the figurines available with a reputable online dealer, like Crystal Exchange America. They focus on secondary market sales of retired Swarovski, but do indeed have some current figurines at discounted prices. If looking at their prices, remember, these are available prices, not sold statistics. So, to be conservative, you may want to assume that they are selling at 10% less (not because the company is discounting, but because the cheapest ones sell, and the sold ones disappear from the web site when they are no longer available). Using these two references and doing some mathematical averaging, you can roughly determine true trading prices.
Now that you have a trading price for the Swarovski crystal figurine, you can do some final calculation to see what you can get by selling your Swarovski figurine. Crystal Exchange America operates on a 20% commission (minimum commission is $25), so on a figurine that sells for $500, the seller gets $400. Ebay also has a number of fees associated with using their service:
- Final Value Fees, which i believe are 10% of the selling price
- Listing fees, must be paid even if items do not sell
- Fees to use PayPal, which is practically required by eBay, around 3% or 4%.
Using eBay is more of an effort to use for the seller, but is indeed a logical option to get world-wide exposure selling a Swarovski crystal figurine. In our example of selling a figurine for $500, if the crystal owner would sell the figurine on eBay, the seller would obtain about $425 (using an estimate of 15% for overhead to cover listing fees, FVF, and PayPal fees).
So, one can see that the frequent question “What is the Value of my Swarovski Crystal Figurine (or collection)?” does not have an easy answer. And the answer that goes with it is definitely a function of how the individual wants to use the term “value”.