Yesterday was a very interesting day as Ondre, Bob, Gary and I spent most of the morning planning the future direction of the Daryle Lambert's Antique and Collectibles Club. The new members only section is coming alive with Ondre and Bob's leadership and hopefully most of the members now have their new ID's and temporary passwords. If you are a member and haven't received the email about your password and ID, you should contact us as soon as possible. Without being able to sign in, you will be missing the excitement that is occurring for our members.
Ondre took photos of some pieces that the Club purchased last week and they will begin to appear in the marketplace. Hopefully soon, the members will also be displaying their treasures for the public to purchase in the upcoming classified section. Bob has purchased the Affiliate Program that we will be using and it should be downloaded soon. Then, anyone who is approved will be able to add this to their profit centers.
This is just a little update for the members and potential new members of what is happening at the office. I think some of you may be confused and asking, “but what does that have to do with Auctions vs. eBay and Malls?”. The answer to that question is “nothing”, but after our meeting I received a comment on the blog from Vicki where she stated that quality items that she owned weren't selling in the mall or on eBay at prices that she thought they should. After tumbling that though in my mind all day yesterday, I came to some conclusions that might help explain this occurrence.
First eBay has became the site for all bottom feeders, who lie in wait to pick off the unexpected prey that slowly drifts by. Here is what I mean by that. When a person lists his or her treasures on eBay, he or she expects that there will be a pool of buyers bidding against one another for the prize. This simply isn't happening in today’s markets. Most eBay sales are being completed with just one bid and the greater percentage of listings are going without a single bid. Without an active auction, market items aren't going to meet their true values. That's simply a fact. I wrote a couple of years ago that, with exceptions, eBay had become the least desirable way of selling your treasures, all due to its refusal to change with the markets. But that leaves the malls, so what is happening there, you're asking. I believe that answer is also simple. People now think that most of the malls are filled with items that can't be sold elsewhere. If the items could be sold on eBay or at public auctions, that is where the booth holders would have them.
Here is a personal story. I entered a rather large supposed antique mall and asked the person behind the counter if there were any items of quality that I might be interested in. His answer almost knocked me down. “If we have, it would probably be in that large case there.” I asked whose case that was and the gentleman said it was their eBay case. My eyes almost popped out of my head as I asked, “Why am I here if all the good things are on eBay?” I could see in his eyes that he was thinking “You must be stupid because we are trying to get the most for our dealers.” I hope that helps answer why mall sales have hit bottom.
You can see by my trip last week, where I intended to buy Tiffany, Loetz, Cut Glass and all the Hanna Barlow Doulton pieces in the sale but left without buying a single one of these pieces, that auctions might be where the action is today. I am hopeful that we have another alternative and a new business model with the Club’s Marketplace, so stay tuned.
Here is where our club can fill a void by matching up buyers and seller at fair prices where both will feel that their efforts have been rewarded. It is my intent to create markets where the collectors can visit and see numerous items that would fit their collecting needs but also where the sellers will be able to move their inventory in a reasonable amount of time at a fair value. The malls and eBay just aren't serving these needs and this is what gives us an opportunity to build something special.
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