Today I met an old man...


Bench Warmer
I met an old man, probably in his middle eighties today. He was looking for a place to buy a watch battery and he also tried to sell me a novelty pocket knife with babe ruth's likeness on it. I declined on the knife because it isn't worth anything (I found this out with a quick ebay search.) but I did ask him if he has any baseball cards. To which he answered, "Yes, but I haven't taken them out in years." I asked him what years they might be from he said probably the 30s, 40s and 50s. Then he turned around and left. I quickly handed him a business card of mine and told him to call me if he ever wanted to sell them. Now, i'm wishing I would have gotten his number or driven him home. It's not that I want to take advantage of him, but what if this guy has an untouched collection of Goudeys or something ... It would be amazing...

Which leads to my question for vintage collectors / investors:

When buying a large vintage collection from someone (especially someone who doesn't know exactly what they might have) what is a fair price to buy it? Half book, 1/3 book? More or Less?

I pride myself in being an honest, Christian man, but i'm also a business man. What, in your opinion, is truthful and fair, but still leaves you plenty of room to make money or avoid someone else from getting the collection you discovered...
I guess "fair" is in the eyes of the beholder. If the guy has the right stuff, he could probably make more than 1/3 or 1/2 of "book value."
fair is doing it on consignment :D I don't like taking advantage of anyone, especially an older gent, but if he does bring it in just be sure to now the conditions (you know why yada yada). I don't see anything wrong with taking 20-25% off of the reasonable expected sales value, more if it is a large dollar investment.
Well i'd go with Brett. Consignment is a good option but then again if you can get them for a good deal and still make your money back thats good just don't take advantage of the guy . That i doubt you'd do though .