Sunday, April 28, 2013

Pickin' For A Livin' - My Confession

I live in Manitoba. 

No, that is not my confession..that is just a important fact.

The market for antique & vintage items here is, quite frankly, soft.

I love searching out, obtaining, researching and all that is involved in this business. I would prefer my days be spent  dealing with antiques, old junk, vintage items, junque, or whatever you want to call the vast assortment of vintage merchandise I salvage/buy/sell/trade/refurbish/repurpose/etc, which I call "inventory."

Dust & rust is part of me, a requirement to keep my life happy and healthy.

Well, ok, maybe healthy is not exactly the word to use when it comes to breathing in rust & dust on a daily basis...but I do cover that in other postings.

Picking  and/or dealing in antiques and collectibles is not an easy way to make a living here.  It is close to impossible, actually.
In this province, I can count on ONE HAND the number of antiques dealers/pickers who actually make their sole living in the antiques/vintage business. It may not appear that way to the general populace, but remember, I have been in this biz for over 20  years, and I know the players in this business' my "peers; and thus am  more familiar with their backgrounds, true/other/main sources of income, etc than the general public.

However, in the 1990s the birth of a brand spanking new four letter word caused a bright light to shine upon us...


However, the "good times," as far as that venue is concerned, is past. We already call them "the good ol' days."

And that is a bad sign for internet sales.

Postage and shipping rates have really hurt us.

eBay itself has made it painfully obvious that they really care little about second hand sellers, and the antiques/collectibles community in general. It used to be a place we all congregated, a community.

(No, this is not going to be an anti-eBay rant, I have done lots of that, and most people in this business are very aware of the pitfalls that is what has created love/hate relationships of sellers with FeeBay, GreedBay, UlcerBay, StressBay, and whatever other incarnations of the name you prefer to use to describe the lumbering behemoth.)

Nothing has taken its place as "the" spot to sell vintage items online....and have the majority of the merchandise sold within 10 days or less. 

 Pickers have tried to adapt in various ways. They are scattered all over various venues on the Web. Some have gone back to the "old school" picking methods of selling to the local populace, wholesaling to other dealers and pickers, using occasional online sales are only supplemental income. Compared to their daily activities, many pickers are only selling the odd thing to a customer who lives elsewhere in the world.  I'd suggest to you that those customers are more than likely composed of assorted niche market buyers, and are ones who will still pay more for specific items than the locals in a picker's area.  

Plus, they are still happy to pay postage/shipping. 

What was becoming the norm for many pickers (getting the majority of their income from online sales) now it is the exception. 

Perhaps someday the pendulum will come  back the other way, perhaps not.

So what is this "confession" I referred to in the title?

I deal in more than just "vintage" items to pay my bills.


Ok, ok, many of you are very underwhelmed at this revelation, entirely and completely unsurprised, I know.

It is a fact of life in the "Junk Biz."

 You may not entirely understand where I am coming from if you happen to operate in an urban area with a concentrated population. I am speaking of areas such as Toronto, Vancouver, New York, Los Angeles and a long list of other cities. Same goes with those living in certain select areas of Ontario, and other dense population center in Canada, the United States, the UK and assorted other countries where population densities and disposable incomes of collectors (and other lovers of "old junk") is significant. 

In order to Pay More Bills and Get Out of Debt, I researched and started some other ventures, and have actively have sought other money making opportunities. I have learned quickly about some of the other cash I was leaving on the table while keeping blinders on, being focused on "antiques" and "vintage" items.  

No Amway, Avon, nor any other sort of products for me, thank-you-very-much.....It is all still connected to the "Junk Biz"....

So, that means more posts, but of a non-antiques/vintage slant.

However, I will be doing those posts in a separate blog, just to keep these topics separate for those of you who are following my babblings just for my vintage slant on life.  

I invite you to check out that blog, which I call: PROFESSIONAL SKROUNGER.

Why Professional Skrounger?  

Follow that blog and find out!
And, now back to your vintage themed programming…

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