Estate Sales and Train Trips. What They Have in Common.

The Journey


As I wait to see who will arrive at the Hoop Pole Estate Sale on day four of the sale and the last day, I can’t help but think of this Estate sale as journey, similar to a train trip.  The house is the train, the journey is the sale, and the passengers are the attendees.   The trip as it unfolded.

Saturday the first day of the journey started out as a snowy mess.  The snow started as slush, turned to rain then settled in as snow.  The conductor decided it was too dangerous to leave the station.  Sale postponed until tomorrow. There were some fearless travelers who came despite the weather.  Disappointed, they turned back.  Sunday came with less weather and a steady flow of passengers.  Where is the piano?  You had pictures of tools. Do you still have the American Heritage pool table?  Where is the John Deer Tractor? Will you take $20 for this electric trimmer?  How much for the gaming machine? Is the house for sale?  Wow look at the indoor pool.  Is this the last day of the sale?  What kind of wood is the card table made of?  Do you have any 45’s?  I came from Fairfield, I was here yesterday.  Faces, canes, walkers, children with a stuffed santa dangling from their little hand. A collector bought cat’s meow for her husband’s birthday. Someone else bought St George Church Cat’s Meow to give to the church. Disney Storybook Ornament’s were bought for the grandchildren. Thirty-three responses from people wanting the generator. A couple bought a back pack to give to the homeless, a couple bought kitchenware for their daughter who was getting married, a dad bought some folding tables for his son however ended up giving it to his brother in hospice. As the day came to an end there was a lull and a couple came through with their daughter and they shared with us that they were new to the area and they liked the Baldwin Baby Grand. The beautiful finish, the lovely sound would work well in their music room.  As the day ends and everyone goes home with treasures, gifts, goodies and promises to come back.  Similar to a train trip when you return home you remember all the wonderful travelers you met and you are grateful for the station that gave you the platform to meet and greet so many wonderful people. On we go setting up for the next trip. Life is a journey. Estate Sales punctuate the journey.

Intrinsic Value Estate Sales that Sing

Real estate sales are very similar to Estate Sales. When I was shopping for my forever home I looked at a lot of houses. I am sure I drove my realtor crazy. What she does not know is the reason I bought my house was because of this pond, pictured here.

It was Springtime and my realtor described the scene and I could taste the hot chocolate. Skating on this pond, walkable from my new home, sold.

My point is this four bedrooms, great schools, low taxes, are features. A little pond that freezes over welcoming the young and old to come out in the winter and make that wonderful sound of clicks and scratches on ice is a benefit with intrinsic value.

During an estate sale people come from all over and they are not sure what they are looking for however when they see something that sings to them the way this frozen pond song played to me, they buy.

Our job is to manage the experience by providing easy access, freedom to shop and view the available treasures. And to welcome all with an openness and thankfulness that attendees have taken time out of their day to come to our sale. When you come to a Domani Estate Sale we hope you find your skating pond.

Social Media and the Antique Furniture Market

Antiques.  Today when you ask a young person to define Antiques they will respond an antique is anyone who has a flip phone, landline, or someone who uses a pen and paper to communicate.  

I looked up the definition of antique in the New Oxford American Dictionary.  

An-tique – a collectible object such as a piece of furniture or work of art that has a high value because of its considerable age.

In an article in Economics, The Arts by Tyler Cowen he writes, “Compared with the heyday of antiques collecting, prices for average pieces are now “80 percent off,” said Colin Stair, the owner of Stair Galleries auction house in Hudson, N.Y. “Your typical Georgian 18th century furniture, chest of drawers, tripod tables, Pembroke tables,” he noted, can all be had for a fraction of what they cost 15 to 20 years ago.”

Why. What happened to so dramatically decrease the value of antiques?

Ebay, Esty, Amazon, Craig’s List have all helped to bring down pricing because of accessibility. A search in Ebay for Pembroke tables delivers 10 pages of Pembroke tables ranging in prices from $27,000.00  to $130.99. Or you could buy a book on how to build your own Pembroke Table for $29.99.  Pages are filled with tables listed for sale now, not the ones that have sold.  If I want to sell a table you need to see if a similar table has sold on Ebay and what price did it sell for.  Everyone has access to this information.  

Value is created when something is rare, original, unique, different.  And most important value is created when something is desired.

Random House Unabridged Dictionary. Definition.

Value, worth imply intrinsic excellence or desirability.

Our lifestyles have changed.

Our cell phones have replaced, cameras, projectors, entertainment centers, recorders, turntables, postcards, landlines, fax machines, and so much more.

And our attitudes have changed. According to Greg Nolte large antique dining table sets are not of interest to his millennial customers reported by Allison Lee for Marketplace. She writes,”David Lackey is an appraiser on the long-running PBS series “Antiques Roadshow.” At his shop in an upscale neighborhood in Houston, Lackey said the market for antique furniture is down.”

I asked a friend’s daughter what her attitude was toward her Grandmom’s furniture and she responded. “I would rather Grandmom sell the furniture and take me on a trip.” A genuine 1840’s Victorian Antique Dinning Room Set King Cathedral Walnut and Marble Sideboard might be wonderful to look at and appreciate, however it might be hard to sell.