Saturday, August 16, 2008
Don't Let What you Don't Know or Fear Stop You
How do you know you haven’t already passed on that special piece? Every time someone finds a treasure, you can be sure that many people have passed on it because they didn't know what it was or because they were afraid to take a chance. Our goal is not to let either of these excuses stop us from reaching our financial goals in the Antique and Fine Art Busness.
This week, a gentleman called me about a pair of Oriental vases he thought might be a great buy if he could acquire them. His potential customer had e-mailed him about the pair.
I asked him what the customer was asking for them.
“Nothing yet,” he said. “They want to know what they’re worth.”
“Are you going to be paid to do the appraisal,” I asked him?
“I don't think so.”
“Why don’t you respond to the email saying you’d be interested in the vases, if they’d give you a price. You could also state the vases could possibly be worth $500 up to many thousands depending on their history.”
With his knowledge in this area, it might be well worth the risk of investing $1000 to $1500 in this pair. If he is wrong, the chances are he will still make a profit. But what if he’s right? Then the rewards could be a profit of $20,000 or more. No, he isn't sure which of these scenarios will play out, but he can't be hurt very much by either of them. I am hoping he gets that call and the price they ask for the vases is reasonable.
Some of you will remember when I entered an antique shop close to my home and was told they had nothing for me that day. Still, I asked, “Are you sure?”
” I do have a painting here, but it’s sold,” the shop owner told me. This gave me an opening.
“May I see it,” I asked?
He took me to the back of the shop where I laid eyes on a wonderful early painting of two little girls skipping rope.
“What did you get for this wonderful painting,” I asked?
“Twenty-five thousand dollars,” he proudly stated.
I asked if he’d been paid for it, and he told me the painting was on hold and he hadn’t been paid yet. Now the door was wide open for me, so I ask him if he’d call me in a couple of weeks if he hadn’t been paid. Sure enough, two weeks later I got that call. I purchased this painting for $16,000. I didn't really know what it was worth because I wasn't familiar with the artist, Frederick Morgan, but I was willing to gamble that its value was at least $16,000.
The advantage that you have over me in these situations is that the 31 Club is there to help determine values. Did I know that this would turn out to be a great find for me? Absolutely not. But, it was. This painting later sold at Christie’s for $115,000. What would the results have been if I had said I wasn’t interested because I didn’t know what its worth was or I didn’t know the artist.
I could tell you many more stories like these, but the important thing to remember is that if the price seems right on a piece your looking at, take the chance. You won't always make a fortune on every piece, but I’ll bet your decisions will be correct most of the time, so little mistakes are just learning experiences. This is why 31 Club Members just learning the business start with a trading account of only $100. That’s so their mistakes won’t cost them big while they’re learning.
When you buy something, sell it as quickly as possible. This should not take longer than 3-6 months. This way, you will have your money back in circulation to move on to your next purchase, win, lose or draw. Don't hold on to marginal items trying to get more for them than the market will bear. Turn, Turn and Turn your money over and over until one day you wake up and the world is yours.
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LINK: 31 Club Article July, 2007