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Traditionally speaking…by Pat Larsen

Written By The Mountain Eagle on 2/29/24 | 2/29/24

Finders Keepers…

It seems that collecting antiques has become increasingly more popular as of late.  Younger Baby Boomers with disposable income and with a keen eye for nostalgia are taking the lead in collecting antiques. The  older adult children of Baby Boomers seem more inclined to embrace a minimalist style, with less to dust, along with a more streamlined clean appearance in their homes.

So who then, is making up this buying/selling community of the latest “FINDERS KEEPERS”  and what are the hottest trends right now. 

The days of great inexpensive finds at garage sales seems to be a thing of the past with the shift in the economy. Many weekend rummage sales began to pop up with higher price tags post-pandemic. Suddenly yard sales became a race to get the best deals as early as possible leaving lots of unsold goods at the curb come Monday morning. However, in the last half hour of a sale, many savvy buyers return for those items that they were hoping to get at the lowest price possible. Apparently, the turnover and refurb price for these items is well worth the risk of the wait.  IF the right bargain can be reached.

So what’s happening in this trend, who buys, where then are these items res-sold and is all of this hauling of heavy, often moldy old items that beg for restoration winding up waiting for consumers.

For these answers I went straight to a friend who deals in buying, restoring and reselling enterprises, locally in Greene County.

Her motivation peaked just after retirement and her desire to fill her days by becoming part of this playing field.

This is the current trend right now as I was told. Young couples were finding value in purchasing antiques with old hardware, tools from this period as well, latches, wooden boxes and old pieces of barn wood and mid-century tables. Add to this list, old sewing machines with original cabinetry with drawers were as priceless as gold. 

What came to mind for me was whether there was any interest in old dish sets and hutches or old rocking chairs and I was met with a definite…NO.

No one is even inquiring about old sets of dishes any longer.

No wonder we can’t even give our stuff away.

There are also a myriad of places and online locations that are in competition to showcase these desirable items.

Local yard sales still do well with neighborhood signage showing clear directions to the sale. Promoting and posting on social media with photos and listings that can readily be found on Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace also has become a necessary advantage to reach your buyers.

Do you recall watching Antiques Roadshow and gasping at the ancient Ming dynasty bowl that was estimated to range in price from 800k to over 1 million dollars? Everyone is looking for that next big find.

One of the most interesting aspects of this revealing conversation was the cost to the restorer purchasing these items, which then finds its way into the resell market. 

The cost of spray paint is much higher than before and has to be considered when the seller is tagging the item for sale along with their cost to rent space at an antiques market or the cost to mail an item. All of these costs have to be factored in. 

Apparently, the most important factors have to begin with the motivation on behalf of both parties involved. Many sellers also consider the sale price based on their attachment to the item. Whether it's the purchase price or the sale price.

It’s quite complex as you can see.  

Above all, have fun when dabbling in this market. Trust your gut and before long you’ll go from FINDERS KEEPERS TO WINNERS!

Pat Larsen lives, works and plays in Greene County. Pat is a syndicated columnist; a licensed fitness instructor bringing classes and programs to Baby Boomers and Seniors weekly.

Contact Pat at 518-275-8686



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