Featured Covid-19 impact on antiques business

Discussion in 'Antique Discussion' started by Jeff Drum, Mar 18, 2020.

  1. Jeff Drum

    Jeff Drum Well-Known Member

    The antique mall I sell at is closed as of last Sunday. As are all the places I look to for inventory (with one exception, last I checked but maybe closed by now). I live in MA, which had a surge in covid19 cases due to a Biogen conference, so they are taking it pretty seriously here. All restaurants take-out only, theatres closed, most retail businesses closed, working at home if they can. Skinner will still be holding auctions, but closed to visitors so bidding will be online only without any preview of items (who is insane enough to spend lots of money on antiques without being able to see and hold them first?)

    So how will this affect the antique business? Used/old things have always suffered from being viewed as "old" and "dirty". Now that old and dirty implies "infected", will that be yet another nail in the antique business coffin? Will people avoid buying antiques even by mailorder since virus can live on surfaces for an extended time? Has anyone seen an impact on their business yet?

    Please move if this thread is a duplicate or doesn't belong here.
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2020
  2. komokwa

    komokwa The Truth is out there...!

    u make good points....
    but on the flip side...
    Amazon is looking to hire 100,000...workers because they can't keep up with the online orders they're getting.
    So , online buying is likely at an all time high.....for everything !
    Mr N8 just bought ....pounds of silver antiques.....and being worried about who touched them....didn't seem to enter into the decision.

    The experts...???.....say now that the virus is not that strong, and likes non porous surfaces....so the box that your items ...any items...come in , is not a good transmission vehicle .....& if the stuff inside is solid....you just wipe it down well.....then wash your hands......& your risk of getting the virus.....should be nill.
  3. Jeff Drum

    Jeff Drum Well-Known Member

    I'm not trying to make points as much as see what opinions are about what will happen to the antiques business due to impacts from the virus. MA may be a little earlier on the curve but I think all states will end up where MA and even San Francisco are now.

    It's never occurred to me to wipe down items I purchased mailorder with wipes before. I wonder if post offices will be affected? I do think there will be a big impact on retail and auctions for a while. So do you think the impact will be to make all antique/vintage purchases online/mailorder only?
    pearlsnblume, Aquitaine and judy like this.
  4. Ownedbybear

    Ownedbybear Well-Known Member

    My local car boot sales and auctions are cancelled for now. I think we will see people buying on line: there's still massive interest here. If you're bored silly and stuck indoors, you'll surf and shop.

    I also think that once this passes, there will be a pent up demand unleashed .
  5. sabre123

    sabre123 Well-Known Member

    My opinion is, expendable income is WAY down for many and will have trickle-down negative effects on buying 'nice to have' items, like antiques/vintage items. I believe this is more detrimental to sales than fear of getting the virus from online purchases...
  6. blooey

    blooey Well-Known Member

    The main problem for all business is that there will be far less money in circulation as people get laid off, so everything will experience a downturn, not just our antiques.
  7. komokwa

    komokwa The Truth is out there...!

    It's hard to root around in a shop....that's closed !!;)

    Clothing stores here are shutting down.....for....no one knows how long!
    That could mean the industries Spring & Summer lines .....are dead in the water.
    Antiques on the other hand......will still be antiques......& when the virus spread is halted..... I expect a massive SALE.....in many areas.....& a buying frenzy like we've never seen before !!!!
  8. blooey

    blooey Well-Known Member

    Good to have a positive outlook @komokwa - lots of negativity around for sure if you turn on any news source.
  9. blooey

    blooey Well-Known Member

    The Salvation Army donation centre is closing it's doors on Friday in my city
    pearlsnblume and Ghopper1924 like this.
  10. komokwa

    komokwa The Truth is out there...!

    There's enuf negative vibes to fill a stadium......or a thousand !!
    But there will be a light at the end of the tunnel .....and like a Bear that comes out of hibernation........ folks will be VERY hungry !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Yes....certain business areas will suffer badly......but I don't think the recovery will be slow..........I think it'll be a STARSHIP at warp 8 !!!!
  11. Ownedbybear

    Ownedbybear Well-Known Member

    It will depend where you are, whether you have "free" medical care and how governments support people.
  12. afantiques

    afantiques Well-Known Member

    Looking on the bright side, more dead old people than usual means more stuff on the market soon.

    On the other hand I may be one of them, and my stuff be up for grabs :-(
  13. clutteredcloset49

    clutteredcloset49 Well-Known Member

    As I posted on another thread.
    People stuck at home will be bored. Many may spend time cleaning their cupboards. Look for a lot of garage sales and more stuff at the thrift when this is all over.
    stracci, pearlsnblume, judy and 3 others like this.
  14. NewEngland

    NewEngland Well-Known Member

    At my little post office this morning, the employee was seriously disinfecting every surface - even the floors. All the doors were open, airing out the place and so customers did not have to touch door handles. There were just a couple of customers. The roads are deserted and my local consignment shop has closed.
    pearlsnblume, judy, komokwa and 2 others like this.
  15. Marie Forjan

    Marie Forjan Well-Known Member

    I am on the board of our local antique dealers association, one of my jobs is posting coming attractions on our web site. Right now all I am posting is images of show cards with slashes through them because they are cancelled :arghh:

    Yard and estate sales are being cancelled or postponed. Thrifts, pawn shops, vintage and antique stores are closed.

    Summer is our make or break season. I worry about a few of our members who live show to show. One I know usually can't pay to be in a show until he sells something during the show.

    I also sell at a local flea market and those dealers really depend on what they make there. If we can get at least a decent July and August they may be OK - though money will be very tight for them.

    I hope you are right komokwa, I know when sales start up again I will be chomping at the bit to get to them!
    pearlsnblume, Joe2007, judy and 2 others like this.
  16. Ghopper1924

    Ghopper1924 Well-Known Member

    The antiques world is different because it's already had the crap beaten out of it for the past 5-10 years or so. 70% of the shops that were open here in my part of the U.S. Midwest 10 years ago were already gone when the virus hit. But there is still a small but loyal market.

    I'm with Komo: When this is over (and I choose to believe that will be sooner rather than later) the market will come roaring back. Not to the level of the 1980s by any means, but I predict auctions will be happening at least at the rate they were a year ago, and probably better once that pent-up demand is unleashed. I am boredom hear me roar!
  17. Shangas

    Shangas Underage Antiques Collector and Historian

    My local flea-market is closed until further notice.

    My local auction-house is running...for now. Dunno how much longer.

    I've been selling a few things online lately (sold two things in the past couple of weeks), mostly because people can't go out to buy stuff. So yeah, there seems to be an uptick in online buying.
    pearlsnblume likes this.
  18. evelyb30

    evelyb30 Well-Known Member

    Online sales for me are actually steady; I think people are stuck home and shopping. In the short term business will be down because the stores are closed. On local antique store may close entirely; they weren't in great shape to begin with. But once the dam breaks ... the summer sales could be white hot. OTOH with my underlying conditions if I get the virus I may be too dead to care.
  19. blooey

    blooey Well-Known Member

    I hate to be a wet blanket, but I think the recovery may be far distant, if ever.

    Life is going to be (and may already be) very different from here on. I think we can safely say this may be the end of the "20thc lifestyle". Housing market will collapse in a month or so, millions of "potential" dollars will vaporize.

    Most wealth for ordinary people is in housing. It's going to be gone if this thing lasts, nobody moving, no houses selling, prices collapsing. Tourism industry is finished as are the cruises.

    Sorry folks, but that's how I see it.
    johnnycb09, Joe2007 and judy like this.
  20. terry5732

    terry5732 Well-Known Member

    Y'all screamed for the government to help. You'll be paying for that for years.
    judy likes this.
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