Why certain antiques sell and others just don’t
It’s very difficult to know what antiques are more collectible than others. It isn’t that antiques aren’t selling as well as they used to, it’s that different things are selling. It’s all about knowing what is hot and what is not. When you are looking for the hottest trends in antiques, visit your local antique stores and take a look around. You will instantly know what the market is looking for and what has gone by the wayside.
Many items that appear to be junk are actually quite collectible. Anyone who watches American Pickers knows that. An old rusty sign can be worth more than most china dishware. The age group buying antiques is changing also, which makes all the difference as to what they are buying. 60 – 80-year-olds are cleaning out their houses while 20 – 40-year-olds are starting to collect.
Supply and demand are what determines an item’s worth. With more and more people cleaning out their basements and garages to make extra money, what goes up on sites like eBay can affect that items value significantly. If someone doesn’t know the value of something and sells it for a dollar on eBay, that one sale can affect the purchase price of every other item like it. What was once rare is now common.
Location can also affect the value of an item. What’s hot in California isn’t always hot somewhere else. In Los Angeles, very few people would pay money for old stoneware but on the east coast, they always go for good money. Know who your audience is in the market you are in. If you are trying to sell that old huge oak bedroom furniture set that was your grandmother’s in New Jersey, to someone in Florida, you probably aren’t going to have an audience for it. Big, heavy furniture doesn’t do well in Florida because most homes have low ceilings and wouldn’t fare well in the heat.
When you know your audience as well, you will see what is collectible and what isn’t. The younger generation is looking for antiques with character that can blend well with new items they have around their house. They are looking for items that may once have had a utilitarian purpose but now want to hang on the wall because they are unique and a conversation starter. Old jewelry and vintage clothing are hot among younger audiences as well. It’s a bit of nostalgia that is affordable and in a world where Millennials and Gen Z are trying to stand out, buying clothing and accessories that no one else has is a must.
Knowing the demands of the antique world is important to understand what is selling and what isn’t. Antiques will never go out of style but what is “in” right now will always change. Don’t throw away your great grandmother’s old typewriter just yet. There may be a market for it very soon.