Saturday, October 27, 2007

LET'S TALK - What is True in the Antique and Collectible Markets Today

I have been thinking about how to report some things that have been bothering me for some time about our business. The truth sometimes hurts as the old saying goes, but I am still going to venture into the high water.

Yes, there isn’t a better way of making money in the world than through Antiques and Collectibles, and I have pointed that out to you several times. Yes, the top of the market is flying off the charts, and that is true also, but you must equip yourself for these markets. Being knowledgeable will be your only advantage today over others that are trying to make money in this field. You should try to keep most of your business in the higher end items to assure your success, I did say that too. But remember, we have plenty of time, and it is on our side, if we have done our research. Then why are so many people complaining?

I will try to answer that if you will be patient with me, but it isn’t one thing that got us here, and it isn’t going to be a quick fix. To try and answer this, I will have to state the facts as they exist in our markets today and that will offend some people. For those that think differently than me, I would gladly debate the issues with them at any time.

Today, I will only have room to address where we purchase the things we buy, hoping to resell them at a profit. Tomorrow I will finish on where we sell our items and what some of the answers for us might be.

Twenty years ago, if we went into a home to assist a person by buying the items that they had for sale, they were glad to see us. Today those same people consider us the enemy. Why is that? Maybe because in the past, the sellers were completely at our mercy and basically they had to take our word for what their items were worth. You guessed it - today they have the internet and antique road shows to get information from. No longer can a person enter a home and offer five percent of what an item is worth and think the seller is going to say, oh thank you. Those days have passed and the ones that are still trying to operate this way have given all of us a black eye.

This is why I say that one of the most important things that we can do in this business today is to maintain our integrity. Most people today think of an Antique Dealer as just a few notches below a used car salesman.

Yes, we do have to purchase items at twenty five to thirty percent of their retail value, knowing that in the market place they probably will only return us fifty percent, but the customers will accept this as a fair price. Buying something that is worth thousands of dollars for five hundred dollars isn’t fair if you are being considered the expert.

Next, lets look at the Estate sales. They no longer price things for the dealers to buy but at retail or higher, and most dealer have no where else to buy so they pay those prices hoping to eke out a profit. I can guarantee that this is a hard way to make a living.

This pricing is done because most estate sales charge the sellers a percentage based on the total money collected for the sale. So it is to their advantage to charge as much as they can to make the sale worth their while. I can understand this,but I am just explaining to you what is happening today. We may want to rethink how we do business, and I will be sharing that with you tomorrow. Today our markets may have too many middle men for all of us to make the money we want doing business like it’s been done for the last fifty years. But there might be a new way.

The other thing that is happening is that most estate sales have a connection to auction houses where they send the better items to be auctioned, while still charging the seller the same commission on those pieces but usually being guaranteed that they will be sold.

Regular auctions pretty much speak for themselves. With their commissions so high and so many people trying to make a living or second income from the antiques and collectibles business, the chances of finding a bargain at these sales will be difficult., You can figure that at auctions the competition would be fearsome, and it is.

These are tough markets, and you will only find bargains at these sales or auctions on rare occasions. Just one more reason to be more knowledgeable than most of your competitors, knowing that the real money is made on quality not quantity. Where have you heard that before?

After we have finished with the education provided by the 31 Club, we will be on the top of the heap and others will marvel at what you have accomplished and wonder where all that knowledge came from.

Be sure to visit our web site for more information about how you can join the 31 Club and start your own race to your millions! Read more about it here!"The Guy in the Red Tie" --- Daryle Lambert

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1 comment:

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