Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Times, they are a changin'...

If you are into antiques somewhere along the way you have heard of Schroeder’s. If you haven’t I’m not sure where you have been. Schroeder’s is a general antique publication that has a little bit of anything that has any value what-so-ever. Each section refers to an expert in that field and also gives a brief history of each subject. It is the bible for many in the antique world but as of this year their 29th edition for 2011 is the last of its kind. Collector Books which is the company that publishes the book has quit publishing all price guides all together. They are just selling out current inventory. Their reasoning is due to the mass amount of the information people obtain from the internet they feel that people have stopped buying the books and will just use the internet as their source of information, but is the information found on the internet that reliable? I will be the first to say that the internet gives just enough information to make people very dangerous. You hear of people that self diagnose illnesses, well it’s the same for the antique business. Some people think the internet gives them the ability to be an instant appraiser. I shudder when someone starts off trying to sell me something and says “I found this on the internet”. More times than not they are wrong. And when they are right I ask “Was it an auction you found? Was it an asking price or a selling price? “

There are some great internet sights for price references but they cost money. As in life the same goes for the internet, YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR! If you look for free information then more than likely its not that great. Here are a few sights I have found. --I do belong to this sight. I only pay $9.99 a month for the plan I chose. The jury is still out on this one. They seem to get their information from online auctions a lot of the time and I don’t feel that that is as accurate as what book writers did. Book writers compared online auction prices, public auctions, store sales, etc to come with an overall value of the item.

* --I absolutely love this sight. It is very pricey but for antique appraisal work it is well worth paying $549 per year or they offer cheaper monthly and 24-hour research fees. It has information recorded from auctions, estate sales, antique shows, and shops from all over the world.

* --This sight you can join for free but for $59.88 per year you get photos and descriptions with your value information. The sight is great and basically searches all of their years of general price guide publications they have put out.

Sometimes searching auctions sites such as is the best source of information when you search their past auctions. But with eBay and other auction sites always make sure the item actually sold for the price you found.

A great research site for identifying the pieces you have is Replacements Limited ( They have thousands of photos with measurements that makes identifying your pieces much simpler if you know what you have. I wouldn’t always go by their asking price as the value price. I feel they are top price in the market and if you are like myself then you are in a small market and prices like that aren’t fetched in Ashland, KY.

In recent months, I’ve been picking up a lot of actual live auction site information which give a range of what they believe the item will sell for. I’m not sure where they are getting this information but it seems true to fair market price.

I have also found websites devoted to a specific collectible, glassware type, pottery, etc. Some of these I have found useful and some I have been a bit leery of. As the internet evolves and more books go out of publication I find the trend going more to these types of sights. I just worry about incorrect information being published.

However, I will miss buying my annual Schroeder’s. I’m sure I will carry my 29th edition around with me for the next 5 to 10 years. Something I heard a long time ago as a good rule of thumb for most things, you can figure the value to go up 5% to 10% a year. But, that doesn’t always hold true, for example the last Fiesta Book that Bob & Sharon Huxford published I found prices to be lower in some cases than in the book I already owned. Remember the prices don’t buy it people do, and when it boils down to it, it is what is your customer really willing to pay.

1 comment:

  1. great info. I'll have to look into some of those sites.