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Posts Tagged ‘Antique’

Antique and Collectible Values – Are They Reliable?

Friday, July 19th, 2013

Many people have antiques and collectibles that they have either purchased over the years or have inherited from friends or family members. At some point in time, almost everyone is interested in learning the current values of such items.

Different people go to different places to get estimates of what their particular treasures are worth. Does each antique or collectible have a set value? Will you be given the same price regardless of where you take it? The answer to both questions is no.

If someone is providing you with his or her professional opinion as to what an item is worth, you have to ask yourself who is this person? What is this person’s association with the antiques business?

If you take an antique to an antique mall for evaluation you will have a completely different result than if you took that same item to an auction house or an antique show. Each person at each of these three locations has a completely different outlook as to value. Most people will speak to what they know. An auctioneer will provide you with a price that he or she thinks the item will bring at auction. The same can be said for the mall and show dealers. Each has a different perspective.

The hopes of getting a realistic quote as to the value of your item gets further complicated when you incorporate all the other important factors.

Other factors include:

1. The condition of the item.
2. Where in the country is your item going to be sold?
3. Is your item presently on the “What’s Hot” list?

The most important of these factors is condition. Condition has the biggest affect on the value of any antique or collectible because there are so many variables involved – chips, cracks, scratches, missing pieces, fading, etc. Also, there are different degrees of damage assigned to each of these that also effect price, such as a small chip that can’t be seen as opposed to a large chip that is located in a really conspicuous place.

Where an item is going to be sold is extremely pertinent. There may be a call for Early American furniture in New England but you will not find
anyone in Florida who is the least bit interested. It is all about location, location, location.Last, but not least, is whether or not your item is popular at the present time. Different antiques and collectibles fall in and out of favor all the time. You only want to cash it in during the height of its popularity. In this respect it is similar to the stock market. Buy low and sell high.

You can attempt to determine the current worth of your item yourself by using reference books or price guides. Keep in mind that the prices in most of these books represent the highest amount realized for any given item at live auction, not how much it sold for on eBay or at an antique store. Sometimes auction prices are higher than retail but sometimes they are not. Just remember that these books are giving you information as it relates to auctions only.

If you do use reference books or price guides to evaluate one or more of your items, check the publication dates of the books that you are using. Most books get reprinted or updated with new values every few years. If you are using a book that was published five years ago then that book is giving you prices that are five years old. The item or items you are researching could be worth more or less today than what the books are telling you. This is very important to remember.

Notice that no mention has been made here concerning written appraisals. A written appraisal is something completely different from a verbal appraisal or an estimate or even an opinion from an antiques and collectibles expert. A written appraisal is an official document that is recognized by the courts. It is mainly used for insurance purposes and it provides a replacement cost of an item that is damaged, lost or stolen. Written appraisals are expensive and should only be obtained for legal reasons.

Where to Find the Best Bangkok Markets

Friday, July 19th, 2013

Bangkok Market Shopping

When in Thailand many people like to visit the markets and go Bangkok shopping. There seems to be something special about exploring street markets decked out with oriental gifts and trinkets and searching for treasures hidden amongst the network of stalls. Stumbling across items that you would never see back home is part of the enticement of visiting Bangkok.

Here are four markets that should be on any Bangkok visitor’s itinerary.

Amphawa Floating Market

There are many famous floating markets located near to Bangkok, but if you want one that is authentic and not overly touristy then head out to the Amphawa Floating Markets.

Located about 90 minutes out of Bangkok on the way to Hua Hin, the local area of Samut Songkram also has many temples and sights to see, that make it worthwhile to stay overnight. Dotted along the banks of the Mae Klong River are small home stay accommodation places that have fabulous views of the river and are quite inexpensive. As well as being lulled to sleep by the sound of the river noises, early risers may even get to see a 2 meter Water Monitor lizard climbing out of the river.

The Amphawa Floating Market is held each Friday, Saturday and Sunday and vendors start setting up at around noon, but a good time to go is between 3:00pm – 4:00pm when the heat of the day is beginning to lessen.

Spend your time wandering along the banks of the klong and look down on the small boats selling different types of cooked seafood. Try the barbequed prawns with spicy dipping sauce, they are just delicious.

As the sun goes down, sit at one of the small bars located right on the banks of the klong. Here you can listen to a Thai band sing traditional songs and just watch the people going about their daily business.

Once darkness comes, take a tour of the nearby klongs on a long-tailed boat and see Thai country life from a different aspect. If you keep your eyes open you will spot the fireflies glowing and dancing up the trees putting on a magical display.

Pratunam Cloth Market

If you like the idea of exploring a clothing market consisting of a maze of narrow alleyways and jostling along with many other people, then you will just love the Pratunam Cloth Market. Wander from stall to stall checking out the different clothing designs and find yourself a bargain. Many of the shops sell wholesale and you will get the best price if you buy more than one item.

This market supplies most of the garments that are sold throughout Bangkok; clothes, shoes, nightwear and even school uniforms can be found in the area between the Baiyoke Tower and Pantip Plaza. Take your family, take your friends and load up. Don’t worry if your suitcase is already full, you can buy another suitcase at this market, they are just so cheap.

Open daily until late in the evening, but starts to liven up after 11:00am.

Chatuchak Market

A trip to Bangkok would not be complete without visiting the largest market in Asia. Chatuchak Market is in every guide book and is without doubt somewhere to put on your to-do list. This is primarily a weekend market, so plan to go either Saturday or Sunday, to experience it at its busiest.

You should have no doubts that this is a hectic market, it is hot, and crowded with people pushing and jostling along the small alleyways. If you wish to avoid the heat and crowds then aim to arrive before 11:00am.

The market is split into zones covering such things as home decor, antiques and handicrafts, clothes and pets etc. Have a look at the map when you arrive and plan your shopping expedition before you venture into the maze of alleyways.

Spread over 35 acres it easy to get lost, so if you are with others, then arrange to meet at an appointed time under the clock tower, or share your mobile phone numbers before entering.

Chatuchak Market can be reached easily from central Bangkok by using the MRT Chatuchak Park station or by taking the Skytrain to Mo Chit station.

Banglamphu Markets

If you are in the Khaosan Road area of Bangkok, then take some time to explore the nearby Banglamphu Markets located on Phra Sumen Road. Here you will find a mix of outdoor street vendors selling all sorts of cooked foods and indoor stalls displaying silver jewellery, bags, ornaments, clothing and leather goods; just the sort of stuff to enhance your personal travel style.

Cheap clothes, cheap food, it is all here, so put your bargaining cap on and make the vendor an offer.

Your Bangkok Shopping Experience

Whichever market you choose, one thing is for sure, street markets are all different and have their own unique feel. So if you are currently planning to visit Thailand then put these Bangkok markets on your list of places to visit. Don’t forget to take your camera to capture the colour and atmosphere of the day, because you are sure to come back with priceless memories of your time in Bangkok.