Home Forums General General Valuing a wargamers estate

  • This topic has 15 replies, 10 voices, and was last updated 1 year ago by Avatar photowillz.
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  • #161917
    Avatar photoJames Ewins
    Participant

    Folks,

    I’m in the sad position of having to value a friends collection as part of a probate application. It’s a huge collection dating back 40 years, all genres, books, painted unpainted, production and master molds from the company he used to run, etc. Has anyone had to do this before? Where do you even start?

    Thanks

    JDE

    /
    Chief Sarcaster at http://www.exmouthwargames.org.uk/
    Assistant Dogsbody at http://legionaryshow.co.uk/
    /

    #161918
    Avatar photoRussell Phillips
    Participant

    I’m sorry to hear that 🙁 I’ve not used it, so can’t speak to how good it is, but there is an online tool to value a wargames collection here:
    https://collectioncalculator.com/

    Military history author
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    #161930
    Avatar photoTony S
    Participant

    Yes, a sad duty.  My condolences.

    When’ a good friend passed away a few years ago, we simply got together for a private, memorial/wake kind of thing.  We then just divided up his collection, although a lot stayed at the club.

    The nice thing is that we still use his figures and terrain, which always brings back fond memories of someone who left too soon.

    #161931
    Avatar photoPhil Dutré
    Participant

    If you have to value a wargaming collection, without the intention of selling the collection, that’s very hard. Most items don’t have an inherent value, only ‘collectors’ value, which can be very volatile.

    You of course need to look for truely valuable items: first edition books,  some really rare collector’s items worth 100 euro/pounds/dollar or more. Everything else I would just count and multiply by a value per item. I guess for a probate application +- 30% doesn’t matter that much, esp if it might be outweight by other more valuable items in the estate.

    The inconvenient truth is that most wargaming collections aren’t worth that much. Books? Almost worthless, esp softcover, but of course not special editions. Figures? 25 cents per figure in large masses? Even less? The price you bought them for so many years ago  isn’t the price you can sell them for.

    Tiny Tin Men Blog: http://snv-ttm.blogspot.com/
    Wargaming Mechanics Blog: http://wargaming-mechanics.blogspot.com/

    #161937
    Avatar photoSane Max
    Participant

    Figures? 25 cents per figure in large masses? Even less? The price you bought them for so many years ago isn’t the price you can sell them for.

     

    I would suggest that’s true for some figures. My Games Workshop Skaven on the other hand are currently selling at about £6.00 each, if I was foolish enough to sell them. I am gradually pricing up all of my figures and putting slips in the boxes, so if I snuff it my wife and kids will have an idea how to sell them and for how much.

    #161944
    Avatar photoGuy Farrish
    Participant

    I’d suggest for Probate purposes the collection is virtually worthless, being used toys, out of of date moulds and fragile acid eaten books, therefore not commanding any financial value or troubling any thoughts of inheritance tax.

    If you’re valuing it for sale however…

    #161953
    Avatar photohammurabi70
    Participant

    It depends on the nature of collection.  It could be included as part of a generic £2,000 chattels description.  However, I once met a gamer who had 30,000 25mm figures in his collection.  At, say, £1 a figure on eBay then trying to pass them off as valued at £2,000 is a bit dubious and you state that it is a huge collection.  In general they will not sell for a great deal, as noted above, so I would advise limiting the value, especially as it is a ‘forced’ sale.  Use Ebay and give a generous rounding down to any calculation.  If it is big enough to make a separate line item in the probate application you should be able to substitute a documented actual value at a later date; your legal advisor should be able to give more accurate information to you.

    #161973
    Avatar photoBlackhat
    Participant

    James

    You should be able to ask someone like Stuart at Colonel Bills to give you a valuation on the collection, I think he does estate valuations.

    If you want to PM me about the moulds, etc with some details and the company details I can give you a rough idea of worth having bought and sold several ranges over the years.

    Mike

    Black Hat Miniatures -
    http://www.www.blackhat.co.uk/

    #161979
    Avatar photoJames Ewins
    Participant

    Thank you, everyone. Mike, I’ll be in touch at some point about the moulds, much appreciated.

    /
    Chief Sarcaster at http://www.exmouthwargames.org.uk/
    Assistant Dogsbody at http://legionaryshow.co.uk/
    /

    #161983
    Avatar photohammurabi70
    Participant

    I strongly advise using legal advice, even just as an issue of touching base.  I was trained in Executorship 40 years ago but never used the training.  I just managed to deal with one parent’s estate 15 years ago.  When the other died 5 years ago I discovered the modern requirements were too complex without taking legal advice; I did all the spade work but they made sure the forms got completed correctly.

    Used to run… ?  Is there an implication there is still a business to be sold, not just bits of kit?  Legal advice can be expensive but could save you a  lot of hassle.

    #161999
    Avatar photoJames Ewins
    Participant

    Oh yes, definately, for anyone in similar circumstances coming across this thread at a later date… get the legal advice. I have.

    Business was wound up years back when he changed job, but the moulds and some stock remained as a retirement plan.

    /
    Chief Sarcaster at http://www.exmouthwargames.org.uk/
    Assistant Dogsbody at http://legionaryshow.co.uk/
    /

    #162001
    Avatar photoPhil Dutré
    Participant

    Figures? 25 cents per figure in large masses? Even less? The price you bought them for so many years ago isn’t the price you can sell them for.

    I would suggest that’s true for some figures. My Games Workshop Skaven on the other hand are currently selling at about £6.00 each, if I was foolish enough to sell them. I am gradually pricing up all of my figures and putting slips in the boxes, so if I snuff it my wife and kids will have an idea how to sell them and for how much.

    I also have figures in my collection I can probably sell for 10 quid. But that’s for selected items, or specific ranges that still have a fanbase today. However, I would say that for large collections, containing a variety of manufacturers, scales, periods that isn’t the case. Especially historicals are not ‘collectible’ as some fantasy/scifi ranges are. Go to any B&B at a convention and you’ll see entire armies sitting there, unsold, unloved (not even by the owner since he’s selling them ;-)). So you’ll have to work with an average per figure, and that average is rather low, I’m afraid.

    Tiny Tin Men Blog: http://snv-ttm.blogspot.com/
    Wargaming Mechanics Blog: http://wargaming-mechanics.blogspot.com/

    #162004
    Avatar photowillz
    Participant

    Going on ebay will give you a good idea of the value of the items for sale, as overall you get a fair balance of pricing for wargame related items.  Though you will have to split large collections of wargame items into smaller units for sale to get maximum value.

    #162006
    Avatar photoGuy Farrish
    Participant

    Phil, don’t be afraid about a low price.

    Remember the valuation for Probate purposes (as opposed to anything else) is to provide HMRC with a figure to go towards the estate value for assessment of Inheritance Tax purposes. This is not about getting the best possible price for the beneficiary.

    The valuation should be the realistic price obtainable on the open market on the day of death, not the best possible price in private specialist deals with those inclined to pay top dollar. Ignore speculative offers for sale on ebay and high prices paid in the fevered atmosphere of auctions for named figure painters’ work (which seldom retain value at resale anyway) and look at the low prices paid for figures that need rebasing, repainting and are not in keeping with modern wargamer requirements.

    Don’t cheat, but don’t value at highest prices – realistic prices if sold on the day of demise on the open market. You aren’t disrespecting the collector, or undervaluing the gift to the beneficiary. They may sell later and through specialist contacts to collectors in private sales may achieve higher prices and that is fine but you are valuing part of the estate for tax purposes there is no obligation to assess value at the top of a specialist market. The requirement is a reasonable price in open market sale.

    Caveat: Not a practising solicitor, but I have done probate work, albeit 40 odd years ago.

    #162007
    Avatar photodeephorse
    Participant

    Guy has it.  I did my father-in-law’s probate last year.  There is no need to over complicate it, or get ‘top book price’ on anything.  In fact, the only valuation that I had to get documentary proof for was his house.  HMRC accepted all the other figures that I gave.  The entire process was time consuming, but not particularly complicated.  The online forms do help enormously.  I found no need for legal advice either, but then every estate will be different.

    Play is what makes life bearable - Michael Rosen

    #162009
    Avatar photowillz
    Participant

    I should have added collections are only worth what someone want’s to pay Guy, Deephorse and all others are correct collections of anything evoke what I would call the “Antique Roadshow moment” where an item is worth a vast amount.  Collections especially wargame items are not worth as much as we would wish them to be or more to the point what those left behind would want them to be.  Take information from several sources and as pointed out do a fair assessment but don’t not over price the value.

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