I know, the title is confusing. Will come clear as to what it is about, momentarily.
I read a blog posting on an 'antique magazine' website awhile back. After a few minutes of searching online, I did happen to find the article, and I did notice that it dates from back in 2003....I know I ready it only a few months ago, but the content really has not changed in relevance.
I do agree with some of what he has to say, and I disagree with a few other minor things, mainly his definitions.
The author was describing the "definition" of a picker, wholesaler and dealer.
He apparently has been in the business a long time....but, I was surprised to read how narrow his definitions of those titles were. According to his comments, a "picker" apparently are supposed to specialize in a certain area.
Hmmm...I don't know ANY picker who specializes in one area....not going to make much money that way...not in most provinces in Canada, anyway. He terms those who buy a variety of things as being "wholesalers"
Yes, I wholesale items, but that does not make me any less of a picker. I retail items also, so that means I am a dealer? So, by his definitions I am a dealer-picker-wholesaler
Or a WPD?
Sure, I love old advertising and related items, and am pretty knowledgeable in that area, but if I am picking an old store, and I see depression glass there I won't just leave it behind.
Or if I see some folk art item in the back room, I won't pass it by.
And see that mid-century modern teak table lamp over there, over in the former "Housewares" section?
I'll buy that, too.
All those vintage electrical components? Put them in my pile.
Oh, and those 1950s cowboy shirts? And the box of NOS seamed nylon stockings?
Yep, I want those, too.
Those 1970s vinyl squeaky Barbapapa toys? Put them beside the lamp, please.
That 1979 IBM computer the store's owner's accountant brother gave her after he upgraded? DEFINITELY want that, too.
Now just need to figure out how to load it all...
So, MY definition of a picker is someone who IS a "generalist", not a "specialist."
Sure, many of us have our specialties, but we don't focus on a narrow area. I'd have gone broke long ago if I had done that. It would be FANTASTIC to be able to "pick" one specialty, or collectible category, but it is simply not realistic...especially if you want to make a real living. If you were only picking in that category, suppose you could be called "specialty picker", that I could agree with.
Normally, from my experience over the last 20+ years, those who do specialize in that sort of thing are called "Specialty DEALERS"...not "pickers".
Anything to make a buck, remember? Frankly, roughly 80% of the trade in the antiques business is dealer to dealer, anyway. AND I mean "dealer" as a general catch-all term....as in picker/wholesaler/dealer/specialty-dealer/specialty-picker/etc/etc/etc.... ANYONE who is in the junk biz.
We all have our own knowledge, markets, talents, etc that allow us to make money on the items we buy.
I don't mind wholesaling something, especially when I know I can't move it quickly for "retail"...whatever that really means....my retail could be another dealer's "wholesale"...and yet another dealer's "double retail!"
I have many items that I've priced at a wholesale level, simply because I want to sell them, not hang on to them for years.. There are many items that I know will not end up selling to the end "collector."
See that gadget over there? No, not the bobbing head doll...beside it...Yeah, the wachamacallit.
It will be a dealer who will buy it. They will up the price and sell it to some customer they have.
Am I upset? Not a chance. Suits me fine...I have sold it, that is the important part.