Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Some more ramblings...

Looks like next week is going to be a busy week...have posted some items for sale/trade on a local website, and have gotten some leads from that. More wandering around the countryside! I love what I do. It is not an easy life, really, as I do work pretty hard, but, your time is my own, usually. I can take the day off if my boss will let me! Sometimes the hardest person to work for is yourself. You are always thinking about what you need to do, how to do it, etc, etc...you can;t leave work at work, 'cause there are things floating around in your head that present themselves when you least expect it.

DAM, I forgot to do "X".

So, you lecture yourself and go on...you can never escape the "boss".

But, he can be more lenient, too...

"I think we need to pull over at this ice cream stand...."

"And stop for a beer after that."

But, as I said, it is tough financially. You can be "rich" one day and nearly "broke" the next.

Macaroni & Cheese anyone? No dear, we can't afford that expensive Kraft Dinner....got to go with generic...

But, I would not be happy working for anyone else. The politics, the strict hours, the fact you are making someone else profits, but not yourself, and on and on.

I do miss "weekends," though. Garage sales, country auctions, having to get eBay auctions ready, etc, etc...it all tends to consume a weekend. Tough to free up a weekend.

Haven't really taken a holiday for a long time, either. Got married last year, and we have not had a honeymoon. We're setting up a B&B (http://www.buzzingbeebandb.com/), so that has consumed our time as well.

It all takes money, too. The business is not what it used to be, but I am hoping it picks up again. Shows like "American Pickers" may well help a fair bit, and surge interest. It certainly is needed. However, what you may notice about many of the antiques shows out there now is that they tend to really concentrate of values of things, rather than the history and reasons behind the "Why you should collect X." I like American Pickers and several other antiques related shows, but maybe we need more shows like "History Detectives" to really get interest going more. Shows like the Antiques Roadshow, as popular as it is, focuses heavy on the values. The history is there, but you know darn well you are waiting for that dollar figure to pop up....and that almost detracts from the history aspect of it. American Pickers is less so, which I am happy with. History Detectives is a little dry, but perhaps that is the PBS production aspect?

The thing about all this is, if everyone is buying based on strictly value and what the item is worth for resale, then who is the consumer? If there is no end collector to buy the item, the item is actually worthless. The line of buyers buying to resell is not endless...To have any value, the item is destined to end up somewhere, in some collection. I think there is a false market being created in some ways. All this propaganda about "values" of items is total bunk if there is no one collecting the stuff! And, if there is one collector, and 20 available identical items then the collector sets the value....which will be the lowest of the seller's prices..or even less, 'cause we all know how negotiation on prices go when there is a glut of material on the market...everyone wants to dump the tough to sell stuff if they can.

Simple supply and demand. Rings true in this business as it does in any other retail based business. The market can be manipulated, but only so much.

Remember the mid 1990s? Fantastic...could sell LOTS of things that you simply can not give away now. My gawd, if it was "old" is was SOLD. No longer. Martha Stewart, Country Living and all the rest do not have the same grip on the public as they once had. The public is more conservative, their tastes have changed, they are more wary. Events like 9/11, and more recently the "financial crisis", have all made people think more about what they really want and what is most important to them. "Stuff" tends to take a back seat to family, friends, health, travel, etc.

Now, I am not saying that everyone has gone that route. There wouldn't be ANY market in the antiques business if that was the case. No, it is still here, but you are not going to get rich by any stretch of the imagination. You need to love old junk to be in this business, especially long term.

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