Thursday, December 27, 2012

December's Embers


Everything runs in streaks in this business. What was once hot is now lukewarm. The end of the year review reveals the bad buys and what should I spend less on or completely avoid in the future. When you're flipping for a quick profit, price generally doesn't matter as much. Long term investing though is a different story.

I held on to Victorian furniture for years. I bought it at fair prices when the market was hot. I took it to shows and turned down great offers on some of it thinking the prices would continue to steadily rise. In fact, just the opposite happened. Over the past 12 years, the prices of average to better quality pieces have steadily declined. This isn't including the Blue Chip Victorian like Belter, Meeks, Herter Brothers or the best Horner . Even though they have dropped in price, those names seem to hold steady for the top tier pieces. Some of those offers I turned down I would now gladly take half of what I was originally presented.

Looking back, I should have sold off more of the better pieces 10 years ago when prices were better. Sometimes holding everything and waiting for the prices to rise is just wishful thinking. It might take decades. A better way of collecting furniture would have been diversification. Decorating in a eclectic style mixing high quality 50's-60's and 70's designer pieces with Victorian and Mission furniture would be a nice balance when selling. Mid Century Modern has only increased and still strong.
So now it's time for a fire sale on the Victorian pieces I have left. I'm letting them go. I might get burned on one or two single pieces, but sold as a lot, I should break even or show a small profit. If I had not waited so long to sell, I could have easily doubled the numbers I will probably get. We'll see.

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