Friday, January 18, 2008
The Importance of Cultivating Friendships in Antiques Business
One of the points I've been trying to drive home to you in my book and in previous blog entries paid off for me today. Passing the word on about what you're doing no matter where you are is so very important to your success. If you tell people that you are interested in Antiques, Collectibles, and Paintings, you will find that almost all the time it will be a conversation starter and many times it will lead you to something.
This not only applies to friends and neighbors but to other professionals that are already collecting or in the business of buying and selling. A good percentage of the items I have had for sale have been sold to people that are already in the business, and the same can be said for items that I've bought.
I've previously written about a Frederick Morgan painting bought from a dealer I have been friendly with. I bought it for $16,000 and sold it at auction for $115,000. But I guarantee you that the dealer I bought it from made a good profit on it when he sold it to me. Remember, if we buy right, there will always be buyers, and often our buying price will make the seller just as happy as we are, depending upon what they paid for it.
But there is another side to this story, and it happened to me yesterday. I was home working at my computer when John from Direct Auction in Chicago called me. You see, I have been doing business with them for many years now,and over the years we've become friends. John and I often share conversations about the stock market and the metals market, and what we think it is going to do. He also knows some of the items I collect or deal in. So, I was really pleased yesterday when he called me, knowing I had an interest in Lotton Glass. One of Charles Lotton's vases had been up for auction at his place and didn't sell. John described the vase to me, and I bought it on his description. I'll be picking it up before the end of the week.
If you can form relationships with as many people as possible, most of your work might already be done for you. They'll spot items that you could very well be able to turn into a profit, if they can be purchased at the right price. They might even know someone looking for the very items that you have to sell. This has happened to me more than you would think possible. Showing gratitude to the people who help you is also very important. I believe that a 10% finders fee is fair whether they help you buy, or sell an item. Often they will say they don't want anything, but be sure you pay them anyway, and I think you will see them return time and time again.
This is a people business. I have seen some be successful who were very secretive, but I know many more that have become tremendously successful by being outgoing and friendly. When John called me about this vase, he showed me he cares and is willing to go out of his way to do the best for his customers on both ends. Thanks, John.
Yesterday something else special happened. I met with Marsha, one of our 31 Club members, over lunch so I could look at a painting she had just purchased. I think she might have bought a treasure, because she did manage to find the work of a listed artist. As I look further into it, we'll have a better idea, so keep your fingers crossed for Marsha.
Discover how the 31 Club, together with our book, can be the tool that helps you begin building personal wealth using antiques, collectibles and fine art, rather than the conventional methods of using stock, bonds, and real estate investing. You won't find results like these through your bank or your stock broker! Find out more about joining our growing community of antique and art wealth builders here.
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If you haven't yet had a chance to see what we've got listed in the 31 Gallery & Marketplace, click on over and take a look. You might even find a real bargain. We've got many high quality items priced reasonably. If you have a high quality piece you'd like us to find a buyer for, why not consign your item to us. No high fees when you sell with us. Contact us here.
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