Antiques, Fine Art and Collectibles: Understanding the Challenges of Todays Markets

Posted on

Jun 28, 2016

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The markets for antiques, fine art, and collectibles have undergone profound changes in the the last 15 years, with prices trending lower often much lower in most categories.
The reasons for the changes are numerous, but the principle driver is simple demographics: Millennials have little interest in traditional furnishings and especially avoid anything that requires polishing or cant go in the dishwasher or microwave.

With these trends in mind, the problem of how to re-home items or turn them into cash is growing more difficult by the day and one that I deal with frequently in my own business. So, here are some tips and strategies that can make the task easier for you.

First, understand what you have. The internet is a great source of information but nothing beats paying for an hour of a qualified appraisers time. Appraisers can also help in setting values when an estate will be divided among heirs.

Secondly, be realistic. What was paid for something 20 years ago is meaningless today, as is the age of an item. It is heartbreaking to see beautiful sets of china going for nothing but the markets are speaking loudly and clearly these days.

Thirdly, know your options. For better things, a reputable auction house can be great venue. For lesser items, a consignment store may be a good bet. After that, organizations such as Goodwill and the Salvation Army can be considered.

Lastly, consider gifting relatives. But dont sweat it if a younger relative politely says no thanks or has your gift on Ebay before you have pulled out of the driveway remember, its just demographics!

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