Oct 25, 2015

New Hosting for Resale Retailing

I've migrated the Resale Retailing blog to a new location as of October 24, 2015. All future posts will be made to http://www.resaleretailing.com.

Thanks for visiting. See you at the new location!


Sep 29, 2015

Galax VA Antique Shops

March, 2010 GALAX, Va. – Progress comes slowly to the Blue Ridge Mountains of southwestern Virginia. It was not until after World War II that highways, electricity and telephone service became available to many of the rural areas between the mountain metropolises of Roanoke and Bristol, Va. The cultural stewpot of Scots-Irish and German immigrants simmered there for over two hundred years, cooking up a culture of independence and self-sufficiency. The area became known for its moonshine liquor, coal mines, lumber mills, and mountain music.

In 2010, the local mines are tapped out; the lumber mills and most of the furniture factories have closed. However, the mountain music, now known as Bluegrass, is thriving and keeps the local economy alive. Bluegrass music has become so popular that the Virginia Tourism Board has organized the Virginia Heritage Music Trail (“The Crooked Road”), a winding corridor of southwestern Virginia highways and back roads that takes visitors on a self-guided mountain cultural tour.

Midway along the Crooked Road lies the city of Galax, Virginia, with a year-round population of 6,700. Located near mile marker 213 on the Blue Ridge Parkway and a short drive from Interstates I-81 and I-77, Bluegrass music brings several hundred thousand visitors to Galax annually. The Old Fiddler’s Convention alone (the second week of August) brings over 60,000 visitors in one week. The visitors come to participate in the local music festival, hike the mountain trails, eat southern style barbecue, and shop in the local antique stores.

Galax boasts five antique stores in a two-block area in the center of town, plus LaRavierre’s auction gallery at the edge of town. A sixth downtown store,>>>Read More

Sep 25, 2015

Avoid Falling Victim to the ‘Sunk Cost Fallacy’

photo courtesy of  lawschoollies.com/
In the following scenario, what would you do if you were the dealer involved? At an estate auction you find a lovely Nickelodeon (coin-operated player piano with drums, etc.) that seems to be in working order. The auctioneer claims that it “has been partially restored and plays well. Just needs tuning.” You check WorthPoint.com and find that a similar item recently sold for $9,850. When you’re the winning bidder at $750 you think you’ve struck gold.

You hire piano movers to take it to your shop, and that sets you back another $175. You call to get the piano tuned, and the tuner tells you that it can’t be tuned; it needs new tuning pins. And, by the way, as long as you’re getting new pins, new strings would be beneficial. Of course, the piano must be moved to the tuner’s shop and back at a cost of $175 each way. New strings and pins cost $1,200. You have $925 invested so far; do you spend another $1,550 on top of that to realize a potential profit of $7,375? Your total investment will be $2,475; you’ll almost triple your money when it sells so you decide that it’s worth the risk. And besides, you already have about $1,000 invested and you don’t want to throw that money away.

Once the work is done the piano sits in your shop for five years. Along the way, you pay to have it tuned regularly and an occasional note repaired. Your customers enjoy hearing it play, but priced at $10,900 none offer to buy it. One Saturday a customer offers you $1,500 for the instrument; it’s the only offer you’ve ever had. Do you take it? Or do you hold on to the piano in the hope that you will at least recoup your costs? >>>Read More

Sep 23, 2015

In-Store Spending on the Rise (Again)

It seems that eCommerce and Big Retail have finally learned what we antique dealers have known all along: Customers prefer to handle and inspect an item before they buy it.

For years, retail analysts have touted online selling as being the future of retailing. And in the board rooms of The Big Guys, decisions were made on the basis of that research. If research produced credible numbers, you see, then highly paid execs could point to the research as the basis for their decision-making. Boards of directors would then be happy and the execs could keep their jobs. “Show me the money!” say the directors. “Here it is!” say the execs, pointing to the research.

A recent report by TimeTrade Systems Inc., titled “The State of Retail 2015,” just brought all those boardrooms back to reality, though (or it should have). The report begins:
“TimeTrade recently conducted a survey of 1,029 consumers, which asked in-depth questions regarding their perceptions and behaviors around retail shopping. What the survey reveals is that>>>Read More

Sep 11, 2015

The Green Man Tradition: Collecting an Ancient Icon

“It’s Pagan,” she said, pointing to the image carved into the crest rail of an antique chair. “And I won’t have Pagan symbols in my home.”

I let her remark slide. I don’t waste time arguing with someone whose mind won’t be changed. Besides, she was partly correct: the symbol was Pagan. And Christian and Muslim and Hindu and Celtic and Hebrew and Wiccan. It was the symbol of the Green Man, which, for thousands of years, has been carved into wood and stone, etched into jewelry, and painted on canvas.

Chances are that you have seen this symbol (or family of symbols, actually) but you may not have recognized it for what it was. You may have seen a carving where the entire face was composed of leaves, or maybe a face with vines or branches sprouting from the mouth, nose, ears or eyes.

Rather than the facial cavities sprouting foliage, you may have noticed that the facial hair was made up of leaves or fruit. Maybe you’ve seen a head surrounded by foliage wherein the leaves were not actually part of the face. Within the general description of “face with foliage” the variations are almost endless; there appears to be no standard representation of a Green Man.

Carved into antiques and architecture, you may see: >>>Read More