Friday, January 21, 2011

"Bundling" Antiques: How Pickers And Dealers Buy More For Less

How To Wheel And Deal When Buying Antiques And Collectibles

Learning From The American Pickers About Bundling 101

If you have been watching the popular television show "American Pickers", you know that Mike and Frank frequently talk about "bundling" items when they go out picking. The T.V. hosts call their gig, "Bundling 101". Many seasoned antique dealers (and of course pickers) who are out hunting for inventory, have discovered that when you group items together and then negotiate a price you often make a better deal with the seller.

Bulk Buying In The Antique Business

This strategy of "bulk buying" is also operating when you buy collectibles in what is called "a lot", generally referring to a box of stuff or a grouping of similar objects. You can buy "a box lot" of tools or " a box lot" of glassware etc. Or "a lot" of plain old junk.

Bundling Creates A Buzz For Buyers And sellers Of Antiques and Collectibles

When you buy collectibles and antiques as "bundle" or as "a box lot", the seller is generally averaging out the high and low values of the grouping or collection you have just "picked".
For both the buyer and seller, a certain degree of energy or momentum is created as the seller realizes that the buyer is not going to just buy something for let's say $10.00 but now has put together a "bundle" or grouping of collectibles that may now add up to $100 bucks or more.

The Psychology of Buying More Antiques For Less

The psychology behind this deal is that you sell more for less but you are moving stuff. Many antique dealers sit too long with everyday items that they could be moving out the door if they were a bit more realistic and playful in their negotiations. Lose the rigidity..... and you will would sell so much more.

No One Throws In A Picasso To Sweeten The Deal
And before I leave this topic of "bundling", I want to point out to the newbies (new in the biz) out there, that when you are caught up in the frenzy of a bundling deal.... take a moment to reflect on what you are in the middle of buying. It is very rare to pull one over anyone anymore....if it is too good to be true......something is fishy. No one is throwing in a Picasso to sweeten the deal!

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 I Antique Online 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 cafĂ©.To read more articles by C. Dianne Zweig click on this link: C. Dianne Zweig’s Blog Kitsch ‘n Stuff Email me at dianne@cdiannezweig.comVisit my website, CDianneZweig.comDianne is a member of:The American Society of Journalists and AuthorsThe Society of Professional Journalists


  1. Great points here and I agree. More stuff, selling for less but moving faster and your inventory changes quickly. Can't stand to visit a shop six months later and see the same exact things in the same places for the same prices. Month 7 that shop is gone. Can you say" Rigidity." Love the article. Tweeting it now.

  2. I do have to say...if they are going to offer you a bundle price they should ask before they start gathering...nothing makes me more upset than to have someone gather a bunch of stuff and then offer you a bundle price...I always say no and then explain it was rude for them to assume...

  3. ain't for city gals......your point is well taken. I usually conduct my bargaining in stages. First I test the waters to see if there is even flexibility in the negotiations. If I think there is wiggle room,I ask the seller if we can make a stash and see where we ares. This back and forth process is never one is always dynamic, with give and take. But I can say that many dealers never budge and those dealers hold onto things longer.