Daryle Lambert: Man on a Mission Daryle Lambert, whose fresh perspective on the Antiques & Collectible Industry appears on his daily blog at www.31corp.blogspot.com, has been featured in December's Discover Mid-America trade paper.
caught his eye. Asking the price he was told $13.50 and with the standard discount of 10% he bought the piece for $12.50. Two weeks later the glass was sold for $12,500.
He had spotted a Kentucky Derby Glass from the forties and had the knowledge that it took to know its value. This glass was sitting among twenty or thirty other glasses that weren’t worth $.50 apiece but he was able to pick this one out from all the others. My question to you is do you think the thousands that passed that glass were lucky. I think not and neither was Cecil, he was just prepared when the opportunity presented itself.
If you depend on luck success may never come your way but if you depend on knowledge the treasures will come your way on a regular bases.
DMA: You state in your book, "The biggest mistake most dealers make today is that they think they must buy everything that will make them money." What do you mean by "everything" — all things in a particular antique/collectible category? Or buying in all categories? And what should govern such buying? Interest? Knowledge? Emotion? Profit margin?
LAMBERT: The important thing to remember in the antique and collectible business is that selling what you have purchased should have very little importance to you. That will always take care of itself if you have purchased correctly. What do I mean by this?
The primary problem that I find with most people that enter this business is that they buy everything that they see, hoping to make a profit on its selling price. The more they buy, the more money they can make. Whatever the amount of profit that will be — large or small. This kind of activity will assure you that your time as an antique dealer will be short lived.
While buying everything that you see may bring you that seldom found treasure, more and more of your money will end up being tied up in common merchandise that will sit on the self. When a true treasure does come your way, you run the risk of not being able to buy it.
Quality not quantity is the secret to success in this business. In fact, as you limit yourself to the rarer and harder to find items, the competition becomes less of a factor. Most people are so busy buying average merchandise and having to sell it, there isn’t enough time for them to study the rarities, where the real money can be made. Once you stop buying everything you can get your hands on, you’ll have the time to increase your knowledge of the rare and more valuable.
Buying is important but only to the extent that you must buy each item at a price that will fulfill your goal of compounding it when it is sold. Personal interest in the purchases you make should never influence your decision, because a shrewd buyer will always try to look