have the years been shortened to ten months now?
Happy New Year!
Almost all of us will say we can’t believe another year has gone by so quickly, and yes it is true. I find time seems to go by very quickly in this business, because you are always planning one or two months ahead. It is only the end of December and I am trying to plan the May sales!
2010 was a good year for our business, and I certainly hope 2011 brings more of the same.
The antique business is changing and therefore the auction business changes. There has been a huge fluctuation in prices, and the overall consensus is, the antique business is not what it was 10 or 15 years ago. It has been an excellent time to buy antique furniture, but of course a hard time for many antique dealers. I know many dealers who are finding it difficult to change with the times, and I am afraid the upcoming years will not bode well for them. As one dealer told me just the other day, there is a new pricing for most antiques now, and you have to live with that. If you buy at the new price, you can sell at the new price, and still make money.
This past year we have seen a good supply of quality items coming through our auctions, and for the most part, prices are fair for both buyer and seller. The crowds are good, the prices are fair, so that keeps the good consignments coming. The auction business is still very viable, and of course we auctioneers have to adjust and change with the times. Sometimes it is a case of having to sell more items to make the sales profitable, but that works. You just have to work harder.
As and auctioneer, I feel it is my responsibility to fill the sales with the items people want to buy. That seems pretty obvious, but not all auctioneers think that way. It is not up to me to tell people what they should buy and what they should pay. Just because something sold for $300 five years ago, and it now is selling for $200, doesn’t mean the buyers are wrong. If the demand drops, the prices drop, and that becomes the new value for that item. Prices are not carved in stone,, and demand increases or decreases for certain items, and that is what we live with. I can come up with a whole list of items that used to bring decent money, but now I don’t even want them in the auctions! I am also considering some items for the auctions that I would not have given a second look at just a few years ago. Vintage stereo equipment and retro furniture for example.
Also I have noticed an interesting trend on TV this past year. New shows such as American Pickers, Auction Kings, Pawn Stars and a few others dealing with the antique and auction business. There seems to be a renewed interest in the business of buying and selling antiques and collectables. I have even heard the phrase “Mantiques” in describing primitives and collectable items usually of interest to men. This is a good thing…I would love to have a reality TV show! Can you imagine what it would have been like if a camera crew had been following me around when I got the news about the last minute cancellation of the first sale in Pottageville? There would have been a lot of editing, but it would have made for interesting TV!
So once again I am looking forward to another interesting new year. I am pleased with our move to Pottageville, and now my friend and associate Dave Beasley will be conducting sales there as well for the winter months. Between the two of us, we are going to make Pottageville a very busy place for auctions!
So I wish you all the best in 2011, and hope to see you at as many of our auctions as you can possibly attend.
Have fun on the auction trail in 2011!
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