I am a bit of a geek when it comes to my webpage. I like the numbers, google analytics, the kind of stuff that bores most people. However, the numbers do explain what’s happening in the antique market. This is a screen shot from my webpage analytics, two days before my October antique auction. It explains what is happening in the antique market and why.
Look at the numbers. The largest age group looking at the auction listing and photos are 55-64. Smallest group, 25-34. The overwhelming majority are 45 plus. This is a reflection of the age of the crowd at an average antique auction now. Tough to sell large furniture pieces to the 45 plus age group. However, you can sell good smaller items. Signs, toys, jewelry, good artwork, quality glass and china, etc.
Most people looking to purchase furniture, would likely be in the under 44 age group, but that is the smallest age group attending most antique auctions.
The 55 plus age group, is the age group that was driving the antique market 30 years ago. They were buying homes, decorating with antique furniture and collectables, attending the auctions, shows and antique shops. They are still coming out, but their needs have changed. Most do not need more furniture, in fact many are downsizing. Some are having to deal with their parents estates, and inheriting their collections. When they do buy, they are looking for quality over quantity, and most have a few extra dollars to spend on the pieces they want. They might spend $500 for an old sign to hang on the wall, but they have no need for a dining room or bedroom suite, so those items can slide through the cracks at an auction for a few hundred dollars.
If you look through our auction results for the last few years, you will see the trend toward good smaller items, but falling prices on the larger furniture pieces. The numbers tell the story.
When younger people start coming out to antique auctions again, and discover the quality and value of most antique furniture, then prices will begin to rise. There are some signs of that, but I think it is going to take awhile, if ever, to hit the peaks of the 1980’s and 90’s.
So we will still sell antique furniture, although I am going to have to be even more selective of what I take into the auction. However, the emphasis will be on good smaller items. The numbers, and the dollars, both point in that direction!