Tuesday, September 23, 2008


The economy is the big news, and for collectors it is both good and bad. Bad for dealers, because customers at shows are spending less and prices are down for many items. Good because while the best-of-the-best is selling at higher prices, collectors of good-but-not-great items in the "under $1,000" range can get buys. But the best news is that your collection didn't become worthless like Lehman Brothers stock. You still have an asset you can sell if you need money soon. Your collection is like a savings account. You put money into it instead of into a golf game, a fancy dinner, or clothes. It is still there and can be sold--if not for a profit, at least for something. It is an emergency fund. We know of collections that have sent kids to college, paid the mortgage, financed a stay in a nursing home, or repaired a car. And someday you can buy other antiques to fill the empty space.


Anonymous said...

As dealers with booths in two malls and doing about a show a month, we have found buying definitely down, but at the DC Big Flea in Chantilly the weekend of Sept. 20-21, we had better sales than we had expected. More looking and less buying, but those who see something they like are still buying! Sales from a few dollars to several hundred, and we left reasonably happy!

Bob & Betsey Thomas
B&B Treasures
Radford, VA

Anonymous said...

You read my mind! That's so true and also, things that I thought I could NEVER part with - I find that as time goes by, I see them in a different light and don't mind letting them go. It's good to share.

I just started selling on EBAY and I'm three for three in the profit margin. Soooo exciting.

I've been a big fan of you two, since your television days. Will you ever get a show again?

Thanks for your expertise and comments!

Paula Ramsey
San Francisco, CA

Anonymous said...

As dealers with a Brick and Mortar location, an on-line shop, as well as doing 10-12 shows through-out the summer, we have found the B&M location sales have dropped some, the shows have remained steady, but our on-line sales are UP!!!

There's a whole WORLD out there looking to purchase, and being willing to ship World-Wide can help us through the slumps in the market!

Wendy Card & Dan Oakes
W'ENDAN Collectables
Sundridge, Ont. Can.

Anonymous said...

As a former dealer and collector..I stopped myself from sending it all to auction...

Especially my art collection...

Youre so right....


Anonymous said...

Your message brought by the memory of my Mother sadly selling off her antiques when I was a senior in high school. My Dad was hurt on his job and she sold her lovely things to keep the mortgage paid and food on the table. How I would love to have some of those beauties that she had to sell but she is blessed to still be living in that house at the age of 86.

Sandra H.

Auntie Q said...

Thanks for the up-beat message! I just rented space and set up my life long dream of an antique and collectible shop! I recently retired and have always wanted to do this. With the economy as it is, I am making my rent and then some, thank goodness! Your commentors are so right; some things I am ready to part with, people are buying smalls at the right prices and everyone wants a bargain! Again, thanks for some positive words! As someone once said, "If you do what you like you will never work a day in your life!" I am doing what I LOVE!

Jane Marie said...

We are in the process of selling off a lot of antiques right now as we move to a smaller home. At first there was a sadness and terror at the idea of parting with them, but I soon realized I can start all over when I'm ready and have the fun it besides. Besides you're right, the nest egg we have accumulated is very nice.

Anonymous said...

You took the words right out of my mouth. I always bought everything at yard sales. As a young mother and then single mother I considered my purchases my savings account and it was a good one. I got a good return. My initial idea was to be able to keep what I wanted and buy extra items at a deal to resell and pay for the things I wanted to keep. The goal for me was to get it for "free". It ended up that I was able to always have a yard sale or go to a flea market when I needed money...which was every weekend...some years. I was a single mom for ten years and I do not know how I would have done it and had nice furniture and clothing as well. (You can find BRand name with tags. ) Also collectibles, people often don't know or care what it is they want it gone. So my savings account is still giving back as I have become less attached to stuff that has no significance or sentimenet. I sell on ebay even with a disabling illness. I love it. And it keeps me busy and my house is looking better.

Anonymous said...

I agree 100% about our collections helping at latter times.I am collecting now for our retirement years.And I have to say when I look at things that way I don't mind spending money now for my future tommorrow.
Donna Shelley