Tag Archives: estate sales information

Proposed Ivory Regulations – Estate Sales – Courtesy Of Judy Martin, ISA, CAPP

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Creates De Minimus Exemption; Clarifies Antique Exemption from Director’s Order 210

On July 29, the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) released proposed regulations affecting the sale, transfer, donation, or other disposition of African elephant ivory. The regulations, long expected in the personal property community, prohibit the “sale or offer for sale of ivory in interstate or foreign commerce and delivery, receipt, carrying, transport, or shipment of ivory in interstate or foreign commerce in the course of a commercial activity”. There are, however, several notable exceptions proposed in the regulation.

De Minimus Exemption

FWS has proposed a de minimus exemption for those items which contain a limited amount of ivory that is not the primary driver of the item’s value. Property that meets the de minimus exemption must meet the following requirements:

  • Items located in the United States, if the ivory was imported into the United States prior to January 18, 1990 (the date the African elephant was listed in CITES Appendix I) or was imported into the United States under a CITES pre-Convention certificate with no limitation on its commercial use;
  • Items located outside the United States, the ivory is pre-Convention (removed from the wild prior to February 26, 1976 (the date the African elephant was first listed under CITES));
  • The ivory is a fixed component or components of a larger manufactured item and is not, in its current form, the primary source of value of the item;
  • The manufactured item is not made wholly or primarily of ivory;
  • The total weight of the ivory component or components in the item is less than 200 grams;
  • The ivory in the item is not raw; and
  • The item was manufactured before the effective date of the final rule for this action.

FWS provides examples of items it expects to meet the de minimus exemption, such as “the ivory veneer on a piano with a full set of ivory keys”, “insulators on old tea pots, decorative trim on baskets, and knife handles, for example”. FWS also lists examples of items it does not expect to meet the de minimus exemption requirements, such as “chess sets with ivory pieces”, “an ivory carving on a wooden base”, “ivory earrings or a pendant with metal fittings”, or “figurines, netsukes, and jewelry”.

Antique Exemption

The proposed regulation retains an exemption for bona fide antiques, in line with Directors Order 210 as amended on May 15, 2014. This exemption allows for items that are more than 100 years old to be “sold or offered for sale in interstate or foreign commerce and delivered, received, carried, transported, or shipped in interstate or foreign commerce in the course of a commercial activity”. The proposed regulation clarifies, however, that items which were “imported prior to September 22, 1982, and items created in the United States and never imported” are not required to demonstrate that the antique was imported through an endangered species “antique port”. The enumerated requirements for claiming the antique exemption are as follows:

  • It is 100 years or older;
  • It is composed in whole or in part of an ESA-listed species;
  • It has not been repaired or modified with any such species after December 27, 1973; and
  • It is being or was imported through an endangered species ‘‘antique port.’’
    NOTE: Under Director’s Order No. 210, as a matter of enforcement discretion, items imported prior to September 22, 1982, and items created in the United States and never imported must comply with elements A, B, and C above, but not element D.

As part of substantiating that an item is 100 years or older, those wishing to sell may use a “qualified appraisal”. However, it is unclear under the proposed regulation whether the use of this term ties back to its use for Internal Revenue Service (IRS) noncash charitable contributions. It is also unclear whether the “qualified appraisal” referenced here must be performed by a “qualified appraiser”, as the term is used at IRS, or if other qualifications would be used to determine an appraiser’s ability to perform a “qualified appraisal” for the purposes of this proposed regulation.

Musical Instruments

FWS enumerates four requirements for a musical instrument containing worked ivory to be exempted from prohibitions on import or export. It also reinforces that owners of these musical instruments must provide documentation to support that the ivory was obtained legally prior to February 26, 1976, though FWS clarifies that:

[T]here is sufficient information to show that the ivory was harvested (taken from the wild) prior to February 26, 1976, even though the instrument may not have been manufactured until after that date. It also means that there is sufficient information to show that the ivory was harvested in compliance with all applicable laws of the range country and that any subsequent import and export of the ivory and the instrument containing the ivory was legal under CITES and other applicable laws (understanding that the instrument may have changed hands many times before being acquired by the current owner).

The stated requirements for musical instruments are as follows:

  • The ivory was legally acquired prior to February 26, 1976;
  • The instrument containing worked ivory is accompanied by a valid CITES musical instrument certificate or equivalent CITES document;
  • The instrument is securely marked or uniquely identified so that authorities can verify that the certificate corresponds to the musical instrument in question; and
  • The instrument is not sold, traded, or otherwise disposed of while outside the certificate holder’s country of usual residence.

Inheritance/Household Move

In line with Directors Order 210, items containing ivory that are imported or exported as part of an inheritance or household move are exempt from the prohibition, provided that they are for personal use only and accompanied by a valid CITES pre-Convention certificate. However, the regulation clarifies that ivory imported or exported under this exemption “could not subsequently be sold or offered for sale in interstate or foreign commerce or delivered, received, carried, transported, or shipped in interstate or foreign commerce in the course of a commercial activity, even if it qualified under the de minimus exception.” [Emphasis added.] This does not appear to preclude donations of items which are availed under this exemption.

Donations of Items Containing Ivory

Finally, FWS makes clear in the proposed regulation that “[t]he donation of an item consisting of or containing ivory also would not be considered commercial activity, even if the donor qualified for a tax benefit where the tax benefit is not income.” This makes clear that donations of items containing ivory are permissible under the regulation, and can be done to secure a tax deduction for the donor.

ASA continues to review the proposed regulation, and plans to file comments with FWS. For those who wish to file comments, they are due no later than September 28, 2015. To read the full proposed regulation, click here.

Estate Sales News is very appreciative to Judy Martin, ISA, CAPP for providing this article for us to share with you.

Estate Sales Information – Know What You’re Selling And What You’re Buying

Slide1In a January article on manta (we included that in part 1 of increasing your audience on February 23rd) they discussed the important topic of knowing what you are selling and being informed about value.

This is important to estate sale companies. When describing your estate sale you want to make sure that you have adequately researched the items you have questions about to be able to present accurate information and price accordingly.

Many buyers today are very educated on what they see at estate sales. If you want to get your seller the best possible price at the sale, make certain you have done your due diligence and don’t just use Ebay. There are many resources available for information on the internet to assist you. Don’t hesitate to contact a local appraiser (well worth their fee) to be a knowledgeable estate sale liquidator. Estate sale companies are experienced and knowledgeable, but like anything else, you can’t always know it all and being resourceful is good business and showcases your many estate sale liquidation qualifications.  ISA (International Association of Appraisers) , ASA (American Society of Appraisers), and CAGA (Certified Appraisers Guild of America) trained appraisers are available across the country. Look on their websites to find one in your area. We have provided a link to each appraiser group, just click on the link. Both Judy Martin and Julie Hall are appraisers and have written articles in the past for Estate Sales News.

Buyers, if you are attending an estate sale you too should be informed. Attempting to purchase an item (without knowing what it is or is worth) and making inappropriate offers is a good way to alienate an estate sale company and perhaps have them prevent you from attending any of their future sales. Remember they represent a seller, have a fiduciary, and it is not their personal property to give away.

Why Choose Estate Sales News For Your Estate Sale Information?

information iconEstate Sales have become prolific across the United States. Just look at the number of estate sale listing sites. Over 5,000 estate sale companies are now listed with over 6 websites for estate sale companies to list on.

Estate Sales News is the online estate sale news magazine covering the estate liquidation business, providing estate liquidation information and reporting on newsworthy estate sales. . We are not affiliated with an estate sale company. We aren’t looking to list your estate sale. We provide free, unbiased information to help you become an informed consumer either as a seller or buyer. Knowledge is empowerment and helps you make successful decisions.

Our articles are also geared at assisting estate sale companies as well. With such growth in what was once a very small industry estate sale companies need help to be the number one choice in their area.

Estate Sales News goal is to help an industry that has little to no regulation.  A business where some may take advantage of those who are not knowledgeable and new upcoming estate sale companies and even those who have experience may not utilize all the current marketing tools available. We want to help you be a successful company and provide successful results for your client and achieve good reviews from sellers and buyers for you.

We do not conduct estate sales so our agenda is about helping you.  With 25 plus years experience as an estate liquidator we are here to assist with advice in picking an estate sale company, buying at an estate sale with knowledge and etiquette and providing useful information to estate sale companies about how to get their sales the most public attention possible through various marketing methods.

Here on Estate Sales News you’ll learn about the ethics an estate sale company should have, how the process works, interviewing and choosing an estate sale company, what should be in an estate sale contract, staging a liquidation sale, how the sale can be advertised, handling crowds before and during the estate sale and the list goes on.

Please email your questions or comments to carol@estatesalesnews.com.

Carol Madden,

Editor

Estate Sales can save dollars for the younger generation

When you are just starting out buying furniture, pots and pans, linens, and many general household items can really take a chunk out of your budget.

Try doing your shopping at estate sales. Most are held on Fridays and Saturdays or Saturdays and Sundays so hopefully the timing is right for you. Because most household items at the sale unless truly vintage or antique are priced to sell you can pick up some wonderful bargains. Most times you will find items at 30%-50% below full retail. Those savings add up. Plus if you attend the sale on day two most estate sales companies will discount what did not sell on day one. You can always leave a bid as well.

Thinking of selling a car at an estate sale?

Car for saleSelling a car at an estate sale is usually fast and efficient, however, a few things to know and consider. Make sure the estate liquidator you are using has access to the car title or can reach you to bring the title quickly to the sale when the car sells. Most liquidators will ask for cash or in some instances accept a charge card. There are some companies that will also accept bank checks. It’s a good question to ask when you are interviewing perspective estate sales companies.

It is recommended that you have the car interior vacuumed an wiped down and the car exterior washed just prior to the sale to obtain the best possible price. Make sure all lights on the car are working and if there are any problems with the auto advise your liquidator when you sign up for your sale. That way it can be noted “as is” if necessary.

Don’t let these stories happen to you.

Megan Feldman published an article in Consumers Digest in November 2012 entitled The Truth About Estate Sales. In the article she chronicles some of the serious issues that happened when some consumers hired some questionable estate sales companies. They appear not to have been informed on what to ask, look for and expect. That’s why Estate Sales News is here. To provide helpful information.

Not all estate sales companies are alike so choosing an estate liquidator armed with information can prevent many problems.

Here is a link to her article.

The Truth About Estate Sales by Megan Feldman