Saturday, August 2, 2008

31 Club - Daryle Lambert - Things have Changed

I know that you may get tired of me writing about the knowledge you need today to be successful in the Antique, Fine Art and Collectible markets but I hope that after reading this blog it will help you understand.

I went to a house sale on the North side of Chicago over the weekend and when I approached the sale, I could see that there was a long waiting line. Parking the car, I did as usual and started talking to the people standing in line. After a short period of time, I noticed the line wasn't moving much so I sought out the owner of the sales company and asked how long it would be before they would get to my number. Patience isn't one of my strengths. Again, I walked up to the son of the lady conducing the sale and asked if there were any paintings, pottery or art glass in the sale.

I know you won't believe what I am going to tell you next - but this is what we are dealing with. “No!” came his reply, “if there was anything good, mom would have sent it to auction.” I couldn't believe my ears. I asked him why I was there if all the good items had been sent to auction and his answer was “I don't know.” You see, the house sale companies have now started their own businesses by selling at auctions instead of doing a service for their customers and selling their items at the house sale. Of course, the customers come out on the wrong end of the stick because they still pay the house sale companies their fees and the auction houses take their cut, and I am sure the auction houses pay the house sale companys a fee for bringing them merchandise to sell.

If you ask the house sales companies why they sent the good items to auction their answer would be the good stuff brings more at auction. How do they know? The people arriving at their sales before daylight might very well pay a fair price for the better things – however, they don't even get a chance and the seller gets least amount of money in the end.

The logical answer is that the house sales people do not have the knowledge to price better items appropriately so they let the auctions do that job for them. If they did have the knowledge, you would bet that they would try to sell the items at the sale first at a fair price and then if the items didn't sell - they could be sent to auction. This is what I consider “servicing the customer where the customer retains a greater part of the sale proceeds.”

Why have I written this blog? Because you can still find bargains at these sales, often real treasures are not recognized by the house sales companies. For instance - the plates I bought for $150 and sold immediately for $1,250 or the Rookwood lamp that was bought for $1,500 has an auction estimate of $4500. Remember the Tarzan book purchased for a couple of dollars that sold for $18,000. I know a man who bought a Rookwood plaque for about $50 and sold it outside of the same house sale for $4,500. But the best example might be the Newcomb vase that I bought for about $3,000 and later sold for well over $14,000. Yes, there are bargains at house sales, but you have to be very knowledgeable to find them because it they are recognized by the selling companies, they will either be overpriced or sent to auction.

I hope that as we walk through this journey together you will grant me permission to continually feed you information that will make your journey easier.

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