Does this herald a return to normalcy, and what are the implications for real and online sellers? While there’s no way to predict the ebb and flow of other concerns, more gatherings of like-minded antique dealers and collectors across the country have shows reporting large to record-sized crowds at outdoor shows!
At the same time, the cessation of shows pushed some older dealers into retirement, with some shows now reporting difficulty in filling venues. This could ultimately mean a leaner real world market, reducing buying opportunities for online resellers and raising prices for collectors.
My hope is that the new online reselling phenomenon will spur more interest in taking up real world reselling. There is much antique and vintage inventory that is most appropriate (and fun!) for an in-person exchange, and the relative hours of work per sale are not necessarily greater.
Allegan Antiques Market was a fun (and new to me) show I did just this last weekend, located near the Lake Michigan tourist resorts that draw from Detroit and Chicago. I got to meet several viewers I hadn’t previously seen, and your enthusiasm was wonderful to feel! Sales were brisk, with 100 items sold in just a day. Here were some trends we saw at the show…
Ethnic collectibles did well, from pre-Columbian pottery fragments to African beadwork (which sold out completely!). People seemed to be interested in color and texture that was less typical of western design. A Kilim camel bag and a Chinese barber’s stool also sold first thing.
Costume jewelry and dresser decor fared well also, and seemed to attract cross-generational interest among families shopping together.
Online live sales and appearances seem to be captivating the online vintage community these days, and I have a few coming soon! I’ll be joining The Nurse Flipper YouTube channel Tue. Sep. 7, 8pm Eastern for chat and commentary, she had a recent encounter with a familiar auction house that I’m sure will be a topic. "Thrifter, Junker, VintageHunter" has a surprise in store the next day at 1pm Eastern; and I plan to sell live with "Yvon • Thrifty Rich" mid-month.
Record antique mall sales and a string of really successful shows have me searching for higher-end vintage and antique stock again! I plan a surprise trip through flea markets as I travel to appointments to restock for the fall show and furniture season (more on that below). Sales at 2/3 of my antique mall booths hit record levels last month, and shows also exceeded expectations.
The seasons are changing soon, and it won’t be long until antique decorating season begins in earnest! School, weather and safety considerations will refocus buyers on items to feather their nests. A review of current color preferences in the mainstream will help predict what accessories will sell, and dealers who handle furniture in their online or real world venues will want to freshen stock and display with the decorator buyer in mind.