When I first started out in the antiques business, I didn’t know what I was doing. I tried to research items but the world of antiques is so large that it’s hard to know everything.
I started out in a small antiques mall in my town, run by a lady named “Nellie”. The first time Nellie purchased something from my booth, I was flattered….until I later found the item in her booth at a much higher price. I was SOOOOO mad. I couldn’t believe it. Obviously she knew something I didn’t and I felt that she had “taken advantage of my ignorance”. Over time, though, I began to have a different attitude.
My attitude today is, if a dealer is not willing to research an item prior to putting it out for sale, shame on them. In antiques, the money goes to those with the knowledge and a dealer should know better.
I know dealers who refuse to use a computer for anything. They continue to do business the way they did in 1980, sticking with outdated research modes and slapping a high price on everything. Everything’s priced at $75 — the good, the bad and the ugly. To me, the Internet is the quickest and most complete research tool out there. There are wonderful sites by professional antiques dealers dedicated to research and the invaluable content of these sites is constantly being updated.
Dealers who do not research their goods are leaving money on the table — they are turning themselves in Chihuahuas in a dog eat dog industry.