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Saturday, January 24, 2009

Climbing up on my soapbox.

Greetings All,

Sorry for the delay in posting, been a busy few days. I am going to debut a new feature today called "climbing up on my soapbox". Every so often I hear something that makes me want to bang my head up against a board with exposed rusty nails.

Our Antiques Show Indsider correspondants , Evets & Brab reported in yesterday with an interesting story. While visiting a very exclusive, very high end show in New York, they noticed two new sales techniques being utilized by some of the world's finest antiques dealers.

1. Absolutely don't be in your booth. Nothing screams "buy my $6,000,000 painting" like the dealers complete absence from their booth. Everyone wants to buy a Picasso from your assistant.

2. While in your booth- talk constantly on your cell phone. It is a proven fact that people who are on their cell phones all the time are more important than anyone else. Wait-I forgot we discovered that wasn't the case in 1995. Dealers are certainly busy people and communication is important, but put down the iphone for a breather occasionally and greet a human customer once in a while.

I know these are long shows and the economy is tough, but get your heads out of your behinds and remember that when you started in the business years ago, the only way you paid the bills was taking time to try to sell something.

On to the shows:

All three shows(TAAS, Stella Armory & Winter Show) were exceptional from a merchandise and presentation standpoint. Although by no means scientific- crowds were decent and sold tags were seen. Smalls seemed to be selling better than large furniture, which you don't usually see a ton of at these shows to begin with. Don't know about the auctions as Evets & Brab haven't made it to either auction.

Very good response to the special section in the Antiques & Arts Weekly-link in earlier post. Generating lots of interest and already hearing about items sold. Lots of excitement in New York about Nashville. That's an odd sentence- most of the time the cities would be reversed.


  1. I can't tell you how many times I've walked away from a sale because the booth was empty or the seller deep in conversation! So annoying.

  2. Jon,
    You can add one more thing to that. Customers come to shows to shop, enjoy, relax and hopefully buy! Why do they want to hear dealers complain about "having a bad show". We need to appreciate everyone that takes the time to come to the show--you never know who is going to buy what. We hear enough complaining and who need's it. All it does is run people off. We all come to shows to sell and make a profit...but, we have to remember that alot of the customers take time off of work to attend and if all they hear is negative, they may as well stay home and go to their job. Again, life is tooooo short and who needs the poor attitude. Okay, I'll get off the soap box now!

  3. Okay Jon,
    Move over and let me up on the box! You the show promoters work very hard to promote the show, we--the dealers should be working hard to make the show as great as we can---all for the customers. So....when a customer takes time off of work, probably vacation days for fun and hopefully buying!....why would they want to overhear dealers complaining, whining and acting so put out if they are not having a great show. Could it be the attitude, or atmosphere? Who needs it. Life is too short and when we go somewhere for fun and adventure we don't need to hear complaining or we might as well stay at home. You never know when a little sale will lead to a bigger sale or a lifetime customer. We should be happy with all of them. Okay, I'll get off the box now and you can have it back. Thanks for all of your hard work.

  4. My partner and I attended the Hoosier Antiques Expo in Indianapolis in December. It's a very good show with high quality antiques. We were very disappointed in the number of booths that were unmanned. We were particularly annoyed by one dealer who was on his cell phone the entire time were in his booth. He ended his call as we were leaving, apologizing and saying it was business and could he help us. Nope!

  5. I am just a small antique store owner, however this is not my only source of income. What really gets me is that if you are not dressed like you are going to a tea at the country club, you are 99.9% of the time ignored. For those of you who think a person wearing jeans and comfortable shoes can't afford your wares, think again. I have walked away from many dealers booths many time after I got the look that tells me I am no one.