Entrepreneurship

Entrepreneurship for Antique Stores, small business, startups, management, finance, and planning.

retail truths

90 Years’ Experience Helps Antiques Dealers

What’s the best advice you ever received that you failed to take? I recently considered that question, and my thoughts went down a rabbit hole that became so deep, so fast, I expected to bump into Alice and the White Rabbit. Yes, I should have bought Apple stock in 1986. Yes, I should have taken […]

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balance sheet

Some Things Only Your Balance Sheet Can Tell You

Since retiring from my full-time pursuits a few years ago, my wife Jill and I have begun to go grocery shopping together. Well, perhaps “shopping together” is a misnomer. We enter the store together, to be sure; but I’m given a list and a hand basket, Jill takes a cart, and we go our separate […]

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market

Relative Pricing: Market Dictates Worth

You’re a rational person. As a rational person, if I tell you that you’re about to be tricked then you will be on guard, and less likely to be fooled. Or so you think. Prepare yourself to be tricked while taking the following pop quiz: 1. Is the average temperature in San Francisco higher or […]

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refinishing antique furniture

Refinish Your Antique Furniture? It’s a Question of Value

That crisp new $20 bill in your wallet is more valuable than the worn $20 you got as change from the convenience mart. Don’t believe me? Next time you make a purchase, take note of which bill you are inclined to give to the clerk. Chances are you will use the worn $20 and keep […]

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auction bidding

What’s Your Auction – Live Auction Bidding Strategy?

With Valentine’s Day upon us, I’m sure all you romantics are diligently surfing eBay for that perfect and rare gift for your sweetheart. Of course, the fun in surfing eBay isn’t just found in bidding. Winning is even more fun, provided that you don’t pay too much. Therein lies the danger in auction bidding: You […]

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auction

Absolute vs. Reserve Auctions: Is it Legal to Retract a Bid?

OK, auction buffs, its pop quiz time! Here’s the scenario: You’re at an auction, and the lot being offered is a Conoco sign. There are four primary bidders. Bidder A drops out at $200; Bidder B drops out at $300, and Bidders C and D drive the bidding up to $600. Bidder C then bids […]

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cut prices

The Pain of Cutting Prices to Move Stale Inventory

I like having money to spend. I try not to spend it, but just having money and knowing that I could spend it if I wanted to feels good to me. I don’t think that I’m alone in feeling this way, either. Money affects people in physical ways and I recently stumbled onto proof that […]

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compare

Do You Base You Antique Prices on Value, Cost or Gut Feelings?

Have you ever seen the Edvard Munch painting “The Scream”?  If Munch doesn’t ring a bell, recall the scene in the movie “Home Alone” in which Macaulay Culkin shaves for the first time, and then applies after-shave to his raw face: hands slapped over his ears, eyes as big as saucers, he emits a scream […]

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inventory pricing

Inventory Pricing Has Nothing To Do With ‘Fair Value’

I’m a sucker for a bookstore. I can’t seem to walk past one without going in, and I seldom go in without buying something. This has been a lifelong affliction of mine. When I was a teenager, my mother once asked me, “Why do you buy more books when you haven’t read all the ones […]

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judge

Can Your Antique Appraisals Land You in Court?

It’s well established that one of the root causes of the recent U.S. banking crisis was over-inflated and poorly researched property and housing appraisals. Poor appraisals that resulted in a financial crisis are not new: faulty appraisals were also at the root of the Savings and Loan failures of the 1980s and 1990s. In both […]

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