Thursday, February 14, 2008

Say When You Don't Know. (Get Good Directions)

Chinese monochrome yellow bowl, mark and period of Daoguang (1821 - 1850)
Valued at $6,030 at
Guest & Gray.

I jumped into my truck yesterday morning, Mapquest map in hand, all eager to finally get to that appointment I had counted down the days for, thinking about how profitable this one visit could turn out to be based on my phone conversation. You see, I'd been priviledeged to be asked by a wonderful couple to visit their home to assess many of their items. They were moving -- and downsizing at that, and will be needing to sell off a good portion of their treasures.

"Yes, today just might be a fine day," I thought to myself as I turned the corner of their street. I arrived at the location indicated on my map, only I couldn't find the house. I drove up and down the street but didn't see the address so I reached for my handy cell phone to call them. I flipped it open only to realize I didn't have their number with me. I must've left it on the kitchen table.

I drove up and down the street a few more times, thinking someone might see me, until I wised up a bit and asked myself, "Who in their right mind is going to be standing out here in this frigid Chicago weather?" Well, I guess there were some people who weren't in their right mind, because once I parked my truck and started walking from one end of the street to the other in knee deep snow and wind chill temperatures well below zero, I did run into some neighbors. Only no one knew who I was talking about. Being the southern boy that I am, it still amazes me how many people up here have lived in the same house for years and still don't know their neighbors. At this point, I had no other choice but to return home and call them.

I burst through the door to my home and dialed their number. Would you believe I got a phone company recording telling me how sorry they were that all the circuits were busy at this time? I tried again, but got the same message. I hung up, just about ready to give up in defeat. Then the phone rang.

"Mr. Lambert, where are you? Did you decide not to come," the lady asked? I gave the short version, which my wife says I never do, and then asked if it was too late now for our visit. She gave me instructions this time, and I soon recognized that they were nowhere near the location I had on Mapquest. I suddenly recalled Cindy telling me about trying to get to a wedding with her trusty Mapquest Map and ending up on a dead end street staring into an empty lot. Had I thought of that earlier, I could've saved myself the trek through the knee deep snow.

I finally got to their home and was greeted by a wonderful couple in their eighties, who immediately made me feel comfortable. I looked around their home and was amazed at the elegant decor. It looked as if it had been decorated by a much younger couple, as it was mostly contemporary furnishings and looked like I was walking through the pages of a contemporary home magazine.

They were glad to show off their treasures, but to my surprise, there was very little that I could value on the spot. Their smaller pieces were Oriental pieces and English pieces, mostly from the 18th and 19th century. These aren't my strong suit, so I took a lot of notes and said I would do some research and get back to them.

They had a wonderful set of four plates and many items that I loved, yet here's what my experience tells me and this is what I want to share with you today. I could have made offers, but I am sure that they had a very good idea what those items were worth. Had I given them a low figure, just to be safe, I would've lost all credibility and probably not have been asked back. . By saying that I would research the items, they were more than glad to ask me back. The next time, I will be prepared because I'll know what they have for sale.

This is so important. Never try to convince a person you know something that you don't. They will see right through you. But if you're honest and tell them you'll find out, they will be more than willing to work with you.

I headed home, once again, and this time got caught in bumper to bumper traffic that I'd never seen at that time of day. I was stuck in that car forever. I'm thankful that I had enough gas in the truck to sit it out, but I wasn't that lucky with the cells on my phone. Oh well. I'm sure I'm not the only one who has had a day like this.

Take a close look at Today's Photo by going to Guest & Gray. The bowl is engraved with a dragon. Look around the site so some of these items will stick in your mind.

Learn about Antiques & Collectibles, and Learn to Invest in Antiques & Collectibles. Join the 31 Club. When you join today, you'll receive my 200 page book, 31 Steps to Your Millions in Antiques & Collectibles, FREE.

"...I spent about 15 years in the antiques and collectible field
and I can tell you this is one of the best books you will ever
read about making money with art, antiques and collectibles."

-Skip McGrath, Auction Seller's Resources

"It has been a great pleasure knowing Daryle for more than
10 years. I share his excitement in releasing this book. He is
a man of his word."
Riley Humler, Cincinnati Art Galleries
Consultant, Antique RoadShow

Want to read more about the 31 Club? Read an article here.

If you have any questions about the book or the club, e-mail me at

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.

Go to Our

If you wish to leave comments use the ANONYMOUS button and then you don't have to sign in to leave your message. Chime in and participate with us.


Guest & Gray

No comments:

Post a Comment