Thursday, May 15, 2008
Buying Fine Art and Antiques from Auctions & Estate Sales - Four Presumptions Not to Make
What a great radio show I had with Auctionwally. I have been answering the phone ever since. In this increasingly more difficult economy, people are beginning to listen more closely to what we are saying, and discovering it makes great sense and might be a solution for their financial dilemmas.
Our Member, William called the show, and I was so glad to hear from him. He is eager to be the winner of the 31 Club race to the million dollars. We speak with one another often on the phone or by e-mail, and he is learning at a very quick pace. Being a newcomer to this industry, he wasn’t sure how long it would take to master the skills for success. But, he simply went out, on perhaps, his first treasure hunting venture and promptly purchased a painting for $40. We’ve discovered it has a retail value of $3,500. Not bad for a newbie.
This is exactly why I make every effort to preview the paintings before I go to an auction or even a house sale if I am able. I can learn more about it and make an offer or bid based on knowledge. I truly believe that it is in the area of paintings that you can find the one treasure that can change the way you are living. So often, I’ve found that sellers do not have the resources to truly evaluate a painting. This can apply to individual sellers or auction houses. If they don’t subscribe to an art service, but only depend on book guides like “Davenports”, they may come no where near the true value of the painting they’re trying to sell.
Let’s go to the call I got yesterday from our member, Cecil R. and use this as an example to see how this kind of thing plays out. A friend of Cecil’s, who knew he had an interest in paintings, called him to tell him about two Charles Partridge Adams paintings up for sale through an auction house in Owensboro, Kentucky. In the Davenport’s guide, Adams is listed, but the price for his works are moderate. When we went to a service like Ask Art, we found that within the last month or so, a small oil on canvas of his sold for $12,000.
So, now you’ve got two paintings by Charles Partridge Adams listed in the local paper, and I’m fairly certain they were listed in the Antique Trader as well. Wouldn’t it seem like everyone, including their aunt and uncle, would know these were being sold and would surely show up and outbid a newbie? Well, everyone must’ve stayed away thinking that these fine paintings would surely sell for more money than they were willing to spend, especially with the market for paintings being so strong. Yes, indeed, everybody stayed home, and this opened the door for Cecil, to snatch those two paintings for (drumroll………………………) $700 apiece!!! Cecil might just have made himself about $18,500 -- conservatively.
With that example, let me stress a couple of things. First, Don’t presume that just because a painting is listed in an estate sale ad or an auction ad, that it’s priced just right.
Second, consider that the name of the artist, alone, might keep many buyers away. Buyers will often stay away when they’ve had a “rational” conversation with themselves that goes something like this: “Since it was listed in the ad, everyone and their uncle will now know it’s for sale. So, they’ll be plenty of interested and capable buyers lined up to buy. They will all bid the painting up beyond my reach, so I’ll just stay home and not waste my time. In that way, I’ll save on gasoline and be able to sit on the couch and watch TV today, since it’s raining anyway.
Third, never presume that you know what is going to happen at a sale, whether auction or estate sale or house sale. You might be right, but – what if you’re not? What if you’re completely wrong, and you never even bothered to step foot out of the house?
Fourth, before you decide not to go at all, take my experience into your mind before you decide. You see, I have found that even when I’ve gone for a particular piece and it’s been bid up or priced higher than I’m willing to pay, I have usually stumbled upon other treasures that I would have missed, had I decided to stay home.
Your success will be based upon the number of items you have the opportunity to buy. So if you don't get out of the house to buy, your chances of success are very limited. Get out of that house. Your treasures are awaiting you.
Join with like-minded 31 Club Members and put a turbo charge on your treasure hunting skills. Get FREE Mentoring. Learn Inside the Industry Secrets. Learn to make high profits and continue to grow your money buying and selling antiques, fine art, and collectibles. My 220 page book, 31 Steps to Your Millions in Antiques & Collectibles is FREE with your membership. The book is also available on Amazon.com. If you buy the book on Amazon, then the membership is FREE.