Today we will be talking about the financial aspects of collecting antiques. In our future articles we will be talking how trade works from the seller’s point of view but for now we will talk how it works from the other side of the table. It’s possible to make some profit from antiques without selling them on. I will do my best to explain you how to achieve this.
There are two general requirements that are necessary in order to make a business out of collecting. You only need knowledge and time. There is a limited amount of matter that was molded into its final shape by men from previous times or eras. Thus it stands to reason that there is a finite amount of antiques out there in the world. With time their number diminishes, the cause of that can be natural, or manmade. Be that caused the shifting sands in politics that spark wars and revolutions or the passing of time that unavoidably takes its toll. Arguably new antiques are created every day, from the moment an item celebrates its 75th birthday it becomes an antique. But we are not talking about the 20th century; we are talking about the good old stuff.
As the number of antiques diminishes, their rarity and their value goes up. Another thing that affects the market is, as in any other business, inflation. One might think that they go at the same rate but that’s not the case. As the world economy gets bigger every day so does the amount of people that can afford antiques. Because of their limited number, antiques should be less reachable for a very good reason.
I am talking about appreciation. For instance, if you win a map at an auction for a five-figure amount, you wouldn’t stash it in a dark corner of a basement. The natural thing to do would be to exhibit it, right? Before you do, you would also like to take all the necessary precautions so that no harm comes to it. Since every antique is a piece of history, we only borrow it for a certain amount of time. After us, somebody else will own it, with that in mind, if would be kind of us to return it in the state it was leased. The point being is that if antiques come cheap, they will not be appreciated for what they are: pieces of culture and history.
Now back to the main topic, how to actually do it? How can one make a profit? There are two ways and both involve passion and hard work. The first is to make a collection around a certain topic and wait for the right moment to sell it. This way takes a lot of time, collectors usually wait from 7 to 15 years and then resell their collection for twice the value. Where under the term value I don’t mean price. As currencies devolve, the value of antiques raises more than currencies devolve. Assembling a collection takes time and effort, and you should be able to cash in on that! How, while you wait for the value of your collection to rise, you can use the time to generate some other income. Now we are talking about the second way to make some money. Since you are in possession of something that’s exotic, you should exhibit it. Make a public exhibition of your collection and cash that it. Of course, before you do that you will need some media attention. A good way to get to it is to, for example lend your collection for the shooting of a movie or TV series.
I personally did the last one, it was very satisfactory to see my books on the silver screen. There are a lot of creative ways to cash in by lending your collection for some events or other happenings of sorts. It’s up to you to grab the right moment to cash in on them. After you popularized your collection, you can write about it. When you illustrate that what you have done for the culture and history regarding the topic of your collection you can sell it for more. You can also add that your collection was exhibited and used in the shooting of a movie to add to its own historicity.
To conclude, there are a lot of different ways to cash in on your hobby. You just need some time, some knowledge and a spark of creativity.
Best of luck in cashing in on your collection!