Monday, August 11, 2008

Always Be Prepared to Make an Offer

Charles Courney Curran

The margin between success and failure in the antique business is razor thin. When you come across items you know are treasures and you want to make an offer, there are many things that will mean the difference between having your offer accepted or not.

The inflexion in your voice, the manner in which you make the offer, the kind of day the seller has encountered, and your being able to assure the seller you are an expert on whatever items your dealing on can mean closing the deal or walking away empty handed.

Never leave home without having the means to buy whatever you might come across during the day. Carry blank checks, credit cards, or the phone number for the 31 Club with you at all times.

Don’t let your past experience dictate your present action.

How does this all play out in real life? My experience from other day might happen to you:

There’s a man whom I’ve found it very difficult to deal with over the years. Now, this isn’t because he wants to be unfair with me, but he reasons that, “If Daryle can make a profit on the items I sell him, so can I.” I can’t fault him for that.

The other day I was able to visit his place of business just at closing time. He wasn’t in, but as I looked around, I found some items I wanted to make an offer on, so we called him to see if he was in the selling mood. Although my past experience with him hadn’t resulted in a sale, I tried anyway. He haggled a little, but to my surprise, he said the pieces were mine if I could pay for them immediately.

Two wonderful paintings by Charles Courney Curran (be sure to look him up], a signed Ronald Reagan photograph in a great frame, the best print of West Point, from about 1860 that I’ve ever seen, and two watercolors by Daniel Sheerin immediately became mine for almost $6000.

I’m wondering though, would the results have been the same if I said, “I’ll send you a check?” Or, what if I'd let my past experience with him dictate my present action? My past experience told me he'd say, "No Deal." If I'd kept that in mind when I spotted his shop, I might never have gone in to look that day.

You see the timing was right. The deal was closed because I could pay for the pieces at that moment, and he envisioned something else he wanted to do with the money that day.

I will be completing my travels today, and the last part of the trip will not be nearly as pleasant as the time I spent yesterday doing what I love to do: search for treasure. Most of the finds I come across aren’t found at times I know what I will be looking, at but rather when I least expect them, like yesterday, so you must always be ready.

I did make a major mistake in yesterdays blog and believe it or not it wasn’t in my grammar. The mistake was that it is my Brother-in-Law’s funeral, not my Son-in-Law’s.


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