Dealers, sour on Internet selling, look to Antiques USA Antiques dealers who were blinded by the Internet revolution and traded in their spaces at malls for online selling are slowly coming home. Many are choosing Antiques USA, a huge superstore in Maine.
Contact: Tony, Ron or Belle, Antiques USA
ANTIQUES DEALERS, INCREASINGLY SOUR ON INTERNET SELLING, ARE
COMING BACK HOME -- MANY ARE CHOOSING ANTIQUES USA IN MAINE
Antiques and collectibles dealers who were blinded by the light of the Internet revolution and traded in their brick-and-mortar spaces at shops and malls for online selling via auction are slowly returning to the very places they bolted from around the turn of the millennium.
That's the observation, at least, of Tony and Ron, partners who own and operate Antiques USA, a sprawling multi-dealer facility located on U.S. Route 1 in Kennebunk, Me. The pair have been hearing for a long while that the bloom is off the rose with regard to online selling.
“It's not something that has directly impacted us, because we are almost always fully tenanted anyway,” said Tony, “but I just hear from some of our dealers – even the ones that have been with us from Day One, over 15 years ago – that they've soured on buying and selling online.”
Ron echoed that sentiment. “We started hearing the early grumblings a few years ago, actually, but it has become much louder just in the last several months. People are becoming increasingly dissatisfied with the Internet selling experience. Dealers are starting to go back to the tried-and-true selling methods.”
There are several reasons for the trend, the two observed. For one, dealers have not been getting the prices they used to enjoy, say, in 1999 and the early 2000s, when the newness of the Internet had everyone test-driving the new medium and paying top dollar in the process. Those days are over.
“I hear it all the time -- 'I'm not getting the prices I used to when I try to sell online,'” said Tony. “In fact, now I'm actually hearing, 'I can't even get anybody to bid on many of my items any more.' What seemed like a virtual paradise for several years is something entirely different today.”
Second, the fee structures and other administrative costs attendant to buying and selling online have left many dealers feeling they're being nickeled and dimed to death. “That situation has really created a window of opportunity for us to welcome some of our previous dealers back into the fold,” Ron said. “It seems the larger the online auction site is, the more arrogant they can be.”
Then there's the issue of fraud – not dealer fraud, buyer fraud. “Today, all a buyer has to do is claim they received a fake, or didn't receive the merchandise at all, or received a damaged shipment,” Tony said, “and they can demand a replacement, so they're actually getting two for the price of one, or a credit, which they really don't deserve. Buyer fraud can be a danger to honest, reputable sellers.”
Third, selling online can be a time-consuming pain in the neck for dealers who would rather spend their time in more valuable ways than photographing and posting