Yesterday I went to a local, but well-known, antique show held once a month. I was there at 9:00 am to get in the door early enough to try and seek out treasures, but the strange thing was that no one was waiting in line. At first, I thought maybe I had the date wrong. I could not figure out why the attendance was so low.
Granted, it was still early, and as the day went on, more people came but I didn’t see anyone buying much.
I was lucky enough to find a motivated, successful dealer. I use the word “successful” because he gets it … you must negotiate to sell items, unless you have very rare pieces that will command top dollar. That is much harder to find than people realize. I must have spent a couple of hours with this one dealer who let me “pick” through his tubs of scrap silver, jewelry, etc., and he gave me very fair prices, so I will be a repeat customer.
Picture this: Dealers who have been there year after year with the same items, refusing to come down in price, even though the heyday for these items has come and gone. The heyday may come back again one day, but not anytime soon. Sadly, these dealers are so set in their ways; they will probably perish before they come down in price. They have the mentality that they must double or triple (or more) their money and they won’t settle for anything less. They are the dealers sitting in their booths, reading a book or newspaper, and not engaging in any human contact. I almost took a photo of one dealer fast asleep!
When these dealers pass away, their kids will sell these items by sending them to an auction or through a liquidator. They are holding out for a certain amount or perceived value that will not come to fruition. Can you imagine traveling, packing, and unpacking these items for years and not selling all that much? To each his own, but that seems like a waste of time to me. I would be more motivated to move product.
Compare these dealers to the first dealer who cut me great deals and was willing to negotiate … Who do you think will find favor with more buyers? Who will get more business because they negotiate, and are pleasant and easy to work with?
Still, there are other dealers that are catching on and placing signs on their tables: “$1.00 Table,” “$5.00 Table,” “Nothing over $30.00 but ask for best price” tables, I even saw “FREE STUFF” boxes and they were still full! These dealers are beginning to see the light. It’s as if I wanted to jump on top of the table to shout, “ATTENTION EVERYONE! We are battling weary economic times! Come on now … this stuff is not going to bring in what it did in 2005!”
If you want buyers to show you the money, you have to meet them halfway. It has, without question, become a buyers market. For those with extra cash to spend, you can rack up some great deals, even investment quality pieces.
ESTATE LADY TIP: Silver and gold are beginning to inch up again. Buy what you can afford now. It could go up rapidly depending on current global situations.
©2013 The Estate Lady®
Julie Hall, The Estate Lady®, is the foremost national expert on personal property in estates, including liquidating, advising, and appraising. http://www.TheEstateLady.com She is also the Director of American Society of Estate Liquidators®, the national educational and resource organization for estate liquidation. http://www.aselonline.com.