Two years have passed rather quickly but have we learned anything working together? It seems easy for me to tell my readers what to do but can I follow my own rules? I have to admit that I was tested yesterday and I can still feel the temptation to do something that I knew wasn't right.
I have to constantly keep in mind what our plan is and that should be simple right? "Make money, Stupid" is what I have to continually hammer into my feeble brain. Yes, it is wonderful to meet new people that have like interests. The travel and the hunt can fall under the label of having fun but if no money is made, then why the effort?
Yesterday was a stressful day for me and my mettle was tested. You may be wondering if I've lost my mind and perhaps you would be right. I want to think that I can operate like a well oiled machine that doesn't have to use my brain or make decisions that are difficult but that simply is the way things work. The toughest part of this business is to keep our emotions in check and yesterday I had difficulty doing that.
The phone rang and a gentleman said the magical words that I am always waiting to hear “Do you buy paintings by Patty Thum?” My heart started to race and I could hardly contain my excitement but did manage to say ”Yes.” You see somewhere in the back of my mind stored in its deepest recesses there is that little voice that tells me that every Patty Thum in the world should be mine. Have you ever felt that way about anything? I just wanted to say “What do you want for it" and then whatever came out of his mouth my answer was going to be "yes". Finally I calmed myself to the point where I could ask for more information about the painting. “It is a rather large pastel measuring 14 X 20 inches and in mint condition. I would take $850 for it if you're interested.” was his response.
This is where I finally got control of myself because I had never seen a pastel by Patty Thum so I knew it would be very difficult to sell and even then I had no idea what it would bring. With paper items there are many questions to be answered before even considering their purchase, such as: Is the painting laid down, which would reduce the price. Does it have any foxing or has it been restored? Now that I had the emotional thing in control I asked if it would be okay to call him back, thinking it would be wise to check with some of my contacts as to its value. I had barely hung up the phone when another dealer called and offered to sell a painting to me. How many times do I have to tell people that shopping their items only costs them money? Here is a lesson. If you have something to sell it shouldn't be offered until you have established a price that you would take for the piece. Then continue to deal with the person you call first until there is no doubt that a sale can't be completed, then move on.
I seriously doubt that I could get the $850 asking price for this painting if I put it on the market so that says to me that the price would have to be drastically lower than that for me to be interested. I will call the seller back tomorrow and wish him the best but pass because it won't make me money. Remember that is our goal. In this case even though it was extremely difficult, I managed to overcome emotions with some sanity and I hope you can see the lessons here and apply them to your own buying.