Friday, July 11, 2008

Buying the Real Thing: Antique, Collectible & Fine Art Items

This authentic Apache Indian Necklace, is offered at 31 Gallery & Marketplace along with Indian Blankets and Indian Axes.

What are the real things today? Each day I’m having a more difficult time distinguishing between the cheap junk marketed to the American Public from foreign companies and the things of true value I remember as a kid.

Yesterday, I spent many hours shopping with my family and friends. We visited shops in Gatlinburg, and Pigeon Forge, Tennessee and in Cherokee, North Carolina. I was surprised as I saw hordes of people spending their money on imported items that weren’t worth ten cents on the dollar at the time of purchase. The foreign companies that are producing these items are more than pleased to sell them to us, and then turn around and buy American items of value with the 90% profit that they’ve just made selling us their junk. Not only that, but we are losing jobs at the same time.

Our dollar has lost most of its value, not by what is happening overseas, but by the purchasing of items that immediately lose 90% of their value as soon as we take possession of them.

While in Cherokee, I saw items that looked like American Indian items such as bead work, bows and arrows, garments and many figurines. But you know what? They had nothing to do with the Indians. When I turned them over, I couldn’t believe my eyes; “Made in China”. The same was true in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, but there were even different names like Hong Kong, Korea and Japan. If we buy their merchandise with our dollars but sell our best back to them, we are sure to go broke in this country.

This is why the 31 Club is stressing that our members should only deal in antique, collectible, and fine art items that will retain their value, and even appreciate over a period of time.

Let’s go back to the basics when we discussed keeping a list of everything we sell and who it goes to. This will become more and more important to you as your success increases. A satisfied customer is the most valuable asset you have besides the merchandise itself. I sell over 50% of the items to repeat customers. Remember the gentleman I sold all the Kentucky art to? Well, since he bought those paintings from me, they have doubled in value. Do you think he might listen to me if I call him again with a painting I thought would be a great buy for him? Likewise with the lady that bought the Lotton Glass from me. Now the selling price of one vase of four would return her the entire purchase price for all four if she chose to sell it now. I doubt very seriously that if they had the “Made in China” label on them the story would be the same.

For my friend Colin, who’s with us, one of the most important parts of our trip was going to see the Indian Reservation and buying some authentic Indian items, but I could see the disappointment in his eyes as we moved from shop to shop and found only inexpensive fakes of the real deal. Let’s take pride in our country and not let our money go overseas for cheap imitations.

Your future in the Antique and Fine Art business will depend on you being able to recognize quality in your buying and developing a reputation for dealing in the best.

I am in the final countdown for returning home, and I am totally ready to jump back into making the “31 Club” the best opportunity there is for our members.

Put a Turbo Charge on your Antique & Collectible Treasure Hunting Skills. Join Daryle Lambert's 31 Club.

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Check out the new Paintings and new items in our Gallery and Marketplace here.

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