May 2017

moving target

Value Is A Moving Target

As an appraiser, the question I hear most often is: what’s it worth? I don’t just hear the question at work; I expect to get the question there. I mean I hear it at the mall, in line at the grocery store, at parties, and sitting in the doctors office. What is my antique furniture […]

Continue Reading
education

Prepare for a Career as an Antique Dealer?

I was delighted to find that The Princeton Review has published a report on the career “antique dealer.” The report is intended as a guide for prospective college students planning a course of study. I’m encouraged that the antiques business was included for students’ consideration. (http://www.princetonreview.com/careers/9/antiques-dealer) The review pointed out some hard truths about the […]

Continue Reading
cut prices

How to Cut Prices, but Stay Profitable

I’m sure you see this as much as I do: Walking through an antique mall, you spot a booth displaying a hand-written sign that reads: “Everything in this booth 25% off!” What’s your impression when you see this? A) It’s a desperate move to raise cash. B) It’s just a sale. C) The booth is […]

Continue Reading
consignment

How Should You Book Consignment Revenue?

I’ve heard dealers describe consigned inventory as “found money.” Items taken on consignment, they claim, reduce their investment in inventory and provide more choices for customers. Both perceptions are true. But, how you choose to account for consignment transactions can make your overall financial performance harder to analyze and ultimately may make your business worth […]

Continue Reading
collecting

The Contagion of Collecting

A lock of John Lennon’s hair just brought $35,000 at auction. The crusts of Justin Timberlake’s French toast sold for $3,154. A mucus-filled tissue used by Scarlett Johansson on The Tonight Show garnered $5,300. Have you ever wondered why collectors pay such outrageous sums for items that most of us would throw in the trash? […]

Continue Reading
antiques tourism

Boost Sales With Antiques Tourism

“All great literature is one of two stories; a man goes on a journey or a stranger comes to town.” — Leo Tolstoy When Tolstoy made this point, I’m sure he wasn’t foreshadowing the modern antiques tourism industry. Even so, there is a lot of “coming and going” occurring in the U.S., and in the […]

Continue Reading
returns policy

How Do Your Return Policies Affect Your Sales?

A visitor to an online forum recently sought help from forum members regarding a problem he was having with an eBay seller. It seems the visitor had purchased a “working” used game system, but when it arrived none of the accompanying cords fit the unit and he was unable to use it. The seller’s Terms and […]

Continue Reading
sales

In-Store Spending on the Rise (Again)

It seems that eCommerce and Big Retail have finally learned what we antique dealers have known all along: Customers prefer to handle and inspect an item before they buy it. For years, retail analysts have touted online selling as being the future of retailing. And in the board rooms of The Big Guys, decisions were […]

Continue Reading
auction consignment

Understanding the Auction Consignment Process

Arguments rage as to whether it’s better to consign collectibles for resale via auction or to sell them oneself via private treaty. Detractors of the auction method say that auction house fees are too high: up to 50 percent of an item’s final price. Auction enthusiasts say that the auction method of selling is inherently […]

Continue Reading
pink-horse

Achieve Higher Prices Through Storytelling

A baseball cap worn by Neil Armstrong after the Apollo 11 mission sells for $12,000. A typewriter belonging to novelist Cormac McCarthy sells for $254,500. A football used during the NFL’s “deflategate” scandal sells for $43,740. Baseball caps and footballs are commonly available for under $10; typewriters for under $100. Clearly, in the above sales the extrinsic value of […]

Continue Reading