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Posts Tagged ‘Business’

How to Buy and Sell Antiques

Friday, October 4th, 2013

Since the debut of the traveling antique shows on television, a lot of people have turned to buying and selling antiques. Some do it as a hobby, while others work at making it a business.

The market fluctuates, making one item more popular than another at various times. If you’re thinking about trying your hand at this, it’s important to study the market and learn how to make it profitable for you.

The best way to establish yourself is to find the most unique item that you can. It or they should be fairly easy for you to acquire. The next step is to learn everything you can about it.

Some up-and-coming antique items that are becoming more and more popular among collectors can be found at opposite sides of the country. Some of these antiques can be found in

New England and date from the time of 1790 to 1860, finding heavy influence from Anglo sources. If you are able to obtain any of these antique items from New England you are sure to have a winner when it comes to an antique sale. You may find some of these pieces from New England so beautiful that you may want to keep a piece or two for your own private collection of antiques.

Other antique items that are gaining popularity come from the state of Texas. Many Texas antiques have a German influence that can be seen in the craftsmanship. The time period for
these antiques is from 1870 to 1900 and includes such items as rawhide chairs, tables, and wardrobes.  If you are unsure if one of these Texas items is actually an antique or not is by checking the dovetailing that you can find on the corners of the drawers. If the dovetailing is uniform and looks too perfect then more than likely the item isn’t an antique. Dovetailing in antiques looks rough, irregular, and handmade.

If you are new to buying and selling antiques then you must find unusual items such as the ones mentioned here. Establishing a reputation for finding one-of-a-kind pieces is essential. You also want your buyers to know that if they try to find items like you have, they will have to look long and hard.

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.