Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Daryle Lambert: “What's Not Hot”

Hummel's thanks to Flicker

This isn't my favorite subject but I think it will save you money to limit your purchases to items more likely to make money. There are wonderful looking items that simply don't sell and I hope that I can make you aware of them. Turning our inventory as quickly as we can and compounding our investment each time is the purpose of our business, so if we purchase items that can't be sold, we impede our progress. I have spent quite some time thinking about what should make the list this year and it is different from last year’s.

1. Paintings unsigned – These paintings may look beautiful but unless there is provenance with them they are only decorative pieces. In today’s market, when even the hardened collector is waiting a little before purchasing a piece, the decorator pieces will sit unpurchased. Even at $25 to $50, they are items that I would stay away from. In the past I have said to purchase well-done paintings that weren't signed, but the market has caused me to change my position.

2. Art Glass unsigned – These pieces are very pleasing to the eye but their value is almost non-existent. I talking about the pieces that have gold flakes in them and ones that have attempted to duplicate the better know Art Glass. Once you buy these they are yours forever because no one will be willing to purchase them from you at a price where you will be a profit.

3. Prints – By in large the print market has been eliminated. Prints that were selling for hundreds of dollars can now be purchased for $25 or less. The only prints that you should consider are the ones signed by the artist, and even then the artist must be someone of renown.

4. Silver plate – This is the first holdover from last year. Silver plate has not increased in collectability over the last year. If you pay over $100 for a set of flatware, my advice to you is to be willing to use it in your own home. I can find no reason to purchase silver plate items with the exception of figural napkin holders.

5. Collector Plates – With rare exception these will sell for under $5. This is a sleeping giant and I will recommend that you let it sleep.

6. Roseville pottery – Even the rarer patterns can't be purchased at a price where you can double your money so why invest your money where the return is not worthy of the investment. I made the mistake of buying several expensive pieces of Roseville and guess what, I still have them.

7. Steuben, Lalique and Baccarat clear glass – The secondary market is so weak for these pieces that no matter how cheaply you purchase them they might not sell. There are always exceptions but before you purchase make sure that what you’re buying is the exception.

8. Transfer ware – As a general rule this type of china has seen its day. Some may be tempted because a piece has an English mark from the 1880's but this doesn't mean that it has value in today’s market.

9. Pressed Glass – The number of collectors for pressed glass is so small that it isn't worth your while to try buying for them. It is always best to deal in items where the market is expanding not contracting.

10. Hummels - They no longer are going to be made by Goebel and I think that if they do find someone else to make them it will be a cheaper version. I haven't run into a new Hummel collector in years so maybe there aren't very many. Give the older Hummels a few years and they may make a come back.

The rare and unusual will serve you well during these trying times and remember this is still the best opportunity to make money that I know of. Where else can you walk the stairs to success without making a major investment and also do it, when you wish, plus have a tremendous amount of fun while your at it?

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