Monday, May 18, 2009

"What is It Worth?" - Daryle Lambert's Antique and Collectible Club- Have you readjusted the values?

You have to Know.

I have written many times that we as members of the Daryle Lambert's Antique and Collectible Club need to know when and how to adjust to market conditions. The first thing I would tell you is that you don't want to get behind the curve in the different markets. If you do you will soon be out of these businesses. But what do I watch for?

First how long does it take you to sell rare or unusual items compared to earlier times? Why is this important? Because it should show you that the market for those items is decreasing if the time between sales has increased. Also watch to see if sellers at the Antique and Art shows are displaying new merchandise or are the same things being shown at each show. How about at the flea markets? If the dealers are carrying merchandise from week to week it might mean they have overpaid but won't reduce their prices and take a loss. Their only hope and prayer is that someone will come along who doesn't know that prices have dropped and overpay them for their items.
I think that I may fall into that category some of the time and not want to admit that my treasures have decreased in value. The only advantage that I have over most people is that I try to follow the rules set out in our club. I look to buy at 25% of what I think the retail should be for an item. This has saved my skin on many occasions when I ended up making a profit when others would have suffered a loss.
Our old standby eBay is also an excellent source to judge markets by and I think you will agree that prices as well as number of bids on that site have dropped. Some of this can be attributed to competition but not all. Be sure to check prices for the better items like Rookwood, Grueby, Newcomb in the pottery lines and Tiffany, Lalique, Daum Nancy, Galle, Steuben and Quezal in the glass lines on eBay to see if there have been any price movements. Also check the art sites like Askart, Artprice and Artnet to see if current sales by the better artists are increasing or decreasing in value.
Last but not least, go to the websites of the better auction house and see if prices at their auctions are decreasing or increasing. Over the last 6 months I would have to say that prices have declined but the members of  “Daryle Lambert's Antique and Collectible Club" don't hold their items more than 90 days so these moves shouldn't affect them, right? Don't be fooled. I too have gotten caught with some merchandise, but not like most. Since we turn our inventory it is much easier for us to adjust to the moving markets. Our upward journey to success should never depend on the market conditions because we will stay ahead of the curve and use that to our advantage.
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