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Thursday, February 4, 2010

Why Antiques?-Part 1

In the first of what might become a long running series of blogs, I would like to begin to make the case that why living with antiques and vintage items in your life makes sense now more than ever. I start with:


The most compelling argument that I can make to someone who is furnishing a first home/apartment is - Why spend money on a house full of items that you will be begging someone to pay pennies on the dollar at your first garage sale. Most of the furnishings that you will buy at the mall are made of fiberboard, which is basically designed to decompose in a landfill. Why not think of spending the same amount of money on something that has:
1. Already been broken in
2. Most likely made of real wood.
3. Has a life span longer than the arrival of next season's Pottery Barn catalog.
4. Has a chance to retain a significant portion of it's value.

One of the most common complaints of those in the industry is that we aren't attracting a new generation of customers to replace our aging base. My counterpoint to that argument is that we aren't marketing with compelling information in the place that the much sought after younger customers are looking for inspiration-The internet. The industry has no presence to speak of other than individual dealer/auction websites and the 600 pound gorilla-Ebay. Something needs to be developed in this area in order to begin to entice, inspire and educate new customers. Well-starting to work on that one.



  1. I concur with your assesment. My wife and I are part-time dealers in New Hampshire and we're both in our twenties. As young dealers our biggest frustration with the trade is the lack of online presence. There are so few dealers in NH with decent websites that it is almost pointless to google "antiques in New Hampshire".
    dealers in middle market items have zero presence. The only way to attract young people is through aggressive online marketing. We are currently building a website and plan on mostly writing articles that cover antiques happenings in our area. Thanks for the great content on this blog!


  2. Jared,
    Send me a link when you get the website done and stay in touch.

  3. I'm a somewhat young (39) collector and I was also frustrated by the lack of good online resources for my collecting interests: American Folk Art and vernacular photography. Because of this, I decided to create a blog that is somewhat of a visual archive of some great objects that pass hands through the years. Many of these things are in the public realm for a few days and often go straight into collections never to be seen again. I think that's a shame.

    There weren't too many resources when I first started it, but thankfully there are starting to be more and more interesting sites that are starting to spring up.

    You can check out my blog at:

    Other great sites (not necessarily antiques-specific, but still great) I'd recommend are:

  4. It is true that big retailers such as Restoration Hardware, Pottery Barn and the like have garnered the attention of the younger consumer. Antique dealers definitely need to develop a strong plan of attack to counter this effect.

    One site which might serve as a good point of introduction on the web for dealers is On the verge of launch, I've heard that it has the functionality of 1stDibs at lower cost. Stylish, modern in presentation, and promoting antiques alone (no later forms), it promises to be an excellent selling portal for dealers who are struggling to get their inventory in front of potential established collectors, as well as the younger consumer.

    One important key feature is the addition of the social media aspect, which allows visitors to comment and inquire about particular pieces in real time. In effect, this builds community as well as an audience. It also is the preferred medium for the younger consumer to read, learn and be inspired by.

    Check it out... it might be what you are looking for.