Article featured in PANACHE Magazine
Many of us love to collect things and secretly hope that our collections might be valuable and an economic cushion in these uncertain times. For others, antiques, artwork, or old books are part of their investment portfolio that will only grow in value. The word from area collectors and experts in their fields is to collect items that you love, not just for resale value. If you are collecting as an investment, expect to pay full value. A high-quality item will appreciate or, at the very least, probably won't lose its value.
Some other tips from the experts:
- Narrow the scope of your collection. For example, collect pressed glass or Carnival Glass; the works of one author or artist or certain time period; flower-themed stamps or stamps from a geographical region. Once you get into collecting, you may decide to specialize even more.
- Research your subject. Join clubs or interest groups and get to know buyers and sellers of good reputation who can educate you and look out for you when items come up for sale.
- The internet is a valuable learning tool and has become a source for buying and selling, but it is best to know with whom you are dealing plus the condition of the item which you are considering buying.
There is a fine line between collecting and clutter, notes Kathy Dories of K. Flories in Fort Worth, Texas.
"The danger of collections is you wind up with something you can't sell and it takes over your house. That's the problem with collecting tea cups or plates."
And so, with 40 years in the antiques business, Ms. Flories advises you to collect what you like and can comfortably display in your home.
"Buy what you enjoy so you can have all the years of pleasure, no matter how the collection is disposed in later years. I have had so many people come to me with large collections, such as salt and pepper shakers, and there is no market for them. They were collecting in the hope of making money from them," she explained.
The key to successful investment collecting is to buy items that are valuable in the first place.
"Then you might get your money back. Current solid investments are period pieces from the 17th, 18th, and early 19th centuries. They have to be in good condition. These aren't secondary pieces like you might find in flea markets," said Harks.
Do your research.
"I am now helping the children and grandchildren of my original customers and they know the market and know what they are looking for. They are very knowledgeable."
That doesn't mean to give up collecting items that may have little resale value. Flories collects "ugly old portraits and I admit to something of a chair fetish."
But, in her business, she buys anything upscale or things that she knows will sell.
“I have some customers who come by every day just to see what is new."