The Thrill of The Jack Pot For Antique Dealers:
Collectors On The Couch Series
Many collectors like to find or buy a whole bunch of stuff at the same time. It's like pulling down the lever of a slot machine and you watch with excitement as the coins come rolling out of the machine......you have hit the jackpot!. Well many collectors are after the same type of thrill....finding a treasure trove in one economical sweep.
Wow: A Bunch Of Collectibles
As any dealer of antiques and collectibles will tell you... hitting the jackpot doesn't come along everyday. But when you do strike "gold" ... it is a very exhilarating feeling. And by the way... everyone's idea of what is a "jackpot' or what is "gold" is different.
Dumpster Diving In Wall Street
My dad had a restaurant in a Wall Street skyscraper that had several levels of underground floors. He had storage space near the trash area and he became very proficient at combing through the trash bins. Dad often found boxes and boxes of old correspondence, receipts, tickets etc. Much of these finds amounted to boxes of junk, but to my dad they were treasures. To me, a child at the time, I thought my dad's poking around in the garbage was "nuts'.
Buying In "Lots"
But today, I would be in heaven to come across a box of letters from the turn of the century and delighted not to have to pay a dime for the "lot". A "lot" is a common term used in the antique industry for a whole bunch of stuff. You can buy a "lot" of postcards or a "lot of vintage kitchen tools'. Auctioneers often sell boxes of odds and ends in "lots" at the end of an auction. Enterprising dealers also like to speed up their sales by combining merchandise in groupings.
The Psychology Of Buying in Bundles
Many dealers have discovered that they make out better when they "package" their items in "lots". For example, one vendor I met a few days ago, took a large box of miscellaneous vintage linens (doilies, dresser scarfs, napkins) she bought from an estate sale and divided the contents into smaller groupings. Using pink ribbon, she bundled together 6 or more pieces at a time and priced the smallers "lots" for under ten dollars each.
"Moving" Your Merchandise Quicker
The advantage to this method is that she "moves" her linens a lot quicker and the buyer who is always thinking of getting more for less, thinks they are getting a "whole bunch".....a mini-jackpot if you will. I have also seen eBay sellers and others on-line. putting together a "lot" of "red" kitchen-wares or a "lot" of retro plastic gadgets. Buyers like this idea because they feel like they are getting "a collection" all at one time.
The Thrill Of The Bargain
Large discount stores like B.J.'s and "Sams Club" operate in the same way. They package four boxes of cereal together and the consumer thinks they are getting a bargain. During these harsher economic times, it just may make sense to offer your buyers a few "jackpots".
C. Dianne Zweig is the author of Hot Kitchen & Home Collectibles of the 30s, 40s, 50s and Hot Cottage Collectibles for Vintage Style Homes. She is also the Editor of Iantiqueonline.com an actively growing internet based resource community for people who buy, sell or collect antiques, collectibles and art. You can find Dianne’s fabulous retro and vintage kitchen, home and cottage collectibles at The Collinsville Antiques Company of New Hartford, CT, a 22,000 feet antique emporium with an in-house retro café.
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