Antique Safes Selling and Moving

The "Found" or Inherited Antique Safe

You moved into a business location or a newly-purchased home and you found a big old safe sitting there.

Usually it's locked, but not always.

First, the general rule is that the definition of "antique" generally covers items at least 100 years old. A thirty year old safe isn't an antique, nor is a fifty year old safe.

If it's locked shut, the safe is useless without the combination.

It occupies space you could be using, too. If safe is in a rental property, the safe you find is also costing you money daily, because it occupies space you are paying for.

You could

1) Stipulate to the seller or prospective landlord that the safe must be removed as a condition of sale or rental.

Before you move in, that is.

2) Stipulate that if the safe is to remain, that it must be rendered functional and usable, and that the combination be given to you.

If you opt for this, be sure to go to the safe and operate the combination and open the door before signing off.

What if you didn't think to do 1) or 2) before moving in? Now you have a situation to resolve.

You could

1) Just forget about it -- leave the safe locked, work around it, and just let it occupy space you can't use.

If you don't care, this is the cheapest way to go.

If you do this, consider: If it's a business location and you or your employees are present, what to do if a hold-up occurred and the crook demanded that the safe be opened? Maybe the robber will believe it if you say nobody knows the combination. Maybe not.

2) Hire someone like me to get it open and working again.

It might cost some money, but it's nice to have a usable safe in a home or a business.

3) Hire a safe moving company to haul it out.

This can be expensive. Moving heavy safes is not the same as moving a refrigerator, as many do-it-yourself safe movers have learned the hard way. Even furniture movers are usually somewhat lacking when it comes to moving a heavy safe.

4) Call a safe company, offer to give them the safe in exchange for opening it and hauling it away.

Most realistic safe service companies won't bite at this so-called "opportunity" unless the safe is a truly desirable unit. People in my business see this ploy for what it is, a cheap way to get free hauling.

a) Satisy curiosity about possible contents (usually but not always nothing)

b) Be rid of the big old thing at no expense

Safe dealers might sell a haulaway safe the next day, they might not sell it for ten years, or they might never sell it. Until they do they're out the opening, repair, and moving labor. So no matter how you portray it to the safe company, remember that they've been offered great opportunities like this before.

c) Advertise it and sell it yourself

Until a safe is functional, you really don't have much to sell. (I never fail to be amazed at people who spend money for old locked up safes, then later act surprised, even shocked, upon hearing my fee for opening it and making it usable.)

If you don't want to put any money into a locked unusable safe, the fastest way to get a result is to advertise it as being free to whoever will come and haul it away and have it opened at their own expense.



Corinnek said…
Do you ever come across people wanting to sell or give away their old antique safes? I am looking for a large one big enough to hold rifles. Thanks!
Jannah Delfin said…
I appreciate all of the information that you have shared. Thank you for the hard work!
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