I was asked a question by Martin recently about antique dealers.
The question being are they like Lovejoy?
Well in my experience, if you imagine a cross between a character in Monty Pyton, Faulty Towers, Alf Garnet and the Clangers you will be something along the lines of a typical dealer.
There is no such thing as a normal or sane dealer, they are all as mad as a box of frogs, some madder than others, but they all are bonkers!
I work for several so should know!
One dealer that springs to mind is so barking mad that even his Mrs thinks he's barking!
How to spot an antique dealer - usually in outrageous clothing, driving a Volvo estate with more strapped to the roof than is legally safe and the dashboard full of paperwork. (a daft hat is not a requirement but appropiate).
I kid you not!
Antiques dealers are a breed apart, they are unlike no other profession. They look after there own and to be honest it is a closed shop for any newcomers.
So a very difficult trade to get into.
I guess Im lucky working with a couple of dealers, gives me an insight into the trade and the malarky that goes on!
But it never does cease to amaze me that the lack of knowledge of some people who call themselves dealers.
One guy in particular we could lay bets on how much he is out when he comes to pricing items!
But, if you ever do the carboots, these are the guys/girls that are asking you straight away, any jewellery, gold or silver. My answer is always - maybe, even if I havent got any!
I can get a good price on silver due to an antique dealer that I work with having a good contact, paying London prices. Last weekend I had an old dealer say that they would only get £15.00 a Troy ounce and that they wouldnt pay more than I was asking. I get alot more than that and Im a no one! They wouldnt have it though! Thought they knew best! There loss.
There is room for new dealers, but it is tough due to the TV programmes - what they fail to mention is the auction house commissions! 15% plus the VAT is not uncommon, plus a 15% to 20% sellers commission is not unheard of, this however is not mentioned in the programmes.
So they buy it in for £50 then sell it at an auction house for £50 and they break even according to the TV - Bollocks, they have just lost a minimum of 15% in sellers premium!
They havent also had the cost of transporting the item from where they bought it from to the auction house!
The only winners here are the auctioneers!
Anyway, its a game, and an enjoyable one, so Ill keep at it.