Featured What has happened to the pottery market?

Discussion in 'Pottery, Glass, and Porcelain' started by verybrad, Sep 19, 2015.

  1. evelyb30

    evelyb30 Well-Known Member

    Hmmm - one more reason to stay out of pottery, unless it's going so cheap it makes me buy it.
     
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  2. dgbjwc

    dgbjwc Well-Known Member

    Careful, that's how I ended up with a houseful and garageful. We bought the house next door to rehab and now that's also handling overflow. Anyone think I have a problem?:eek:
    Don
     
  3. terry5732

    terry5732 Well-Known Member

    So after all that I come home with yet another piece of RW
    rwi 001.JPG rwi 002.JPG
     
  4. Joe2007

    Joe2007 Collector

    Giving new life to this old thread.

    For quite some time I've been taking advantage of depressed art pottery prices and have been trying to add quality pieces to my collection. I'm now in the triple digits when it comes to pieces of Roseville pottery and have added quite a few pieces of Rookwood, Hull, Weller, Brush-McCoy, and McCoy pottery to my collection. Like I mentioned previously I'm trying to add "better" pieces in the harder to find patterns of Roseville but have gotten lots of common pattern pieces too. I pass on anything with damage, with an exception for minor blemishes on harder to find patterns selling for fire sale prices.

    I am betting that the art pottery market will eventually recover some of its previous strength seen in 2005-2006. Every year there is less and less good vintage art pottery out there since the attrition rate is high since damage comes easily and pottery is so out of favor in recent years. A few local antique dealers here in Ohio are perhaps seeing signs of a modest recovery. They say that Rookwood pieces are now selling for them for decent margins. Personally I think the amount of large collections hitting the market may be subsiding, seeing less art pottery in antique malls lately and the amounts of undamaged pieces has to be well under 50%.
     
  5. verybrad

    verybrad Well-Known Member

    Great time to be a collector. For those of us trying to make a living, it is rough. I need to buy most pieces of Roseville for under $15.00 to even begin to think about selling it. If I buy any pottery at all these days, it is at the thrift for a few dollars where it has gone unrecognized. This usually mean Peters and Reed, Zanesville, Brush-McCoy, and other less recognizable pieces. Even then, much of it need to be priced under $10.00 to sell in the shop.
     
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  6. verybrad

    verybrad Well-Known Member

    I don't know when. I think you would need to see a major shift in values from what they currently are. Collecting pottery has no place in a society with a less is more mentality. Someone might buy a piece or two to decorate with but won't care about age, provenance, or potential value. Price will win out 9 times out of 10.

    Had a typical buyer yesterday in the shop that bought a nice piece of Japanese studio pottery for $14.00. She was not attracted to the maker or execution. It was just the right color blue for her décor. She was reluctant to spend the $15.00 price tag so I knocked a dollar off to make it more palatable. It was not my piece. The dealer who sold it was also attracted to the color of blue when he bought it for a couple dollars.

    We are no longer antique dealers selling to collectors. We need to know décor trends and buy for pennies on the dollar. We will miss as often as we hit in our purchases since the parameters for making sales are so nebulous. God forbid we not know the right color of blue to buy this week.
     
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  7. Marie Forjan

    Marie Forjan Well-Known Member

    I think a lot of the problem with Roseville was the cheap, badly made knock offs from China that flooded the market starting about 10 or so years ago :mad:
     
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  8. dgbjwc

    dgbjwc Well-Known Member

    My experience is almost exactly the same as verybrad's. If there is a recovery there's no signs of it yet on either ebay or the local market. The exception is miniature vases which seem to be doing well for me. Still my average pottery sale is under $15. On Ebay, my biggest sale since May 31 was a Rumrill vase for $24.99 and that took five months to sell. On the buying side, auction prices have not been too bad but they are too high to allow for much of a mark-up. The Roseville that's been coming up at auction are common patterns and most often repaired. The pottery in malls near here tends to be overpriced and/or really picked over. But, if buying, keep an eye out for Muncie in addition to the other potteries already mentioned. Good luck Joe2007. Wish there were more out there like you!
    Don
     
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  9. verybrad

    verybrad Well-Known Member

    I definitely buy Muncie but can't sell it here. Last piece we had at the shop went begging at $12.00. Owner ended up sending it to auction. Don't know what it brought there.
     
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  10. kentworld

    kentworld Well-Known Member

    I agree with Brad. What was once a nostalgia-driven trend or a collectible “fad” has passed. Decor is it, and modern looking rather than old-fashioned is preferred which is why I think MCM has lasted. And most don’t want a “collection” but a single piece in the right size and colour, as Brad has noted. The porcelain market is also very depressed. Unless it’s top quality and not a dinner service. ;)
     
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  11. evelyb30

    evelyb30 Well-Known Member

    If it's pretty and will look good where they want a piece to "look good" it'll sell. i buy and sell bits here and there, but not many. Today I scored a McCoy bowl, about cereal bowl size, for a dollar at the thrift. For a buck I can further my education and not worry about reselling it.
     
  12. Joe2007

    Joe2007 Collector

    Hope you don't mind me asking ..... How much of a margin do you usually have in mind when you purchase an item? Do you need to triple your money on that $15 Roseville vase to make resale profitable?
     
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  13. verybrad

    verybrad Well-Known Member

    I shoot for triple but on desirable items, double + a margin for markdowns works. Would like to keep a $15.00 purchase under $40.00 retail. We are selling most of our run-of-the-mill Roseville in the shop for under $40.00 these days. Even then, they are not flying out the door.
     
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  14. dgbjwc

    dgbjwc Well-Known Member

    Again, I agree with verybrad. I do make an exception and only try to double on some higher priced items. Evelyb30 makes a good point too. If I purchase an item for research purposes I'm happy if I just get my original investment back. And, of course, I make mistakes. I have to be realistic to the market. If I paid $15 and it doesn't show as selling for over $29 there's no point in asking $45. That happens more than I'd like to admit.
    Don
     
  15. ascot

    ascot Well-Known Member

    If you're an online seller, are you looking at your google analytics? They're a good source for demographics of who's buying what on your sites. I'm trying to engage younger buyers. They're not collectors in the sense that they have a cabinet with a collection of a brand (i.e., Roseville). They're more interested in decor, i.e., a "look" that they've seen in a catalog or magazine. If you're not doing it already, try putting your items on Pinterest and Instagram in addition to your selling venue. And take a look at the Instagram decor sellers doing weekly flash sales - you'll be amazed.
     
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  16. dgbjwc

    dgbjwc Well-Known Member

    Thank you, Ascot. I've only sold on ebay and an just dipping a toe into Facebook sales. I'm not on Instagram or Pinterest. Will explore google analytics and the others.
    Don
     
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  17. Joe2007

    Joe2007 Collector

    Don & Brad,

    As a collector do you think there is a benefit to focusing on harder to find/popular Roseville patterns over the more common/less popular patterns?

    Personally I really like; Bushberry, Blackberry,Fuchsia, Moss, Rosecraft Panel, Rosecraft Vintage, Sunflower, Thornapple, and Wisteria over the patterns you see every day like Clematis, Apple Blossom, Freesia, and Zephyr Lily. The former are also much more expensive than the latter but would they hold their value better/have more upside potential if the market for art pottery gets stronger?

    Thanks,
    Joe
     
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2019
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  18. verybrad

    verybrad Well-Known Member

    You are always better off to buy the best you can. That said, who knows what fashion whims may change what is "best" at a given point in time.
     
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  19. dgbjwc

    dgbjwc Well-Known Member

    The Roseville lines you mentioned were traditionally some of the higher priced lines with the possible exception of Bushberry. Moss is my favorite with Wisteria a close second. But I don't know that we'll ever see the collectors come back who wanted to own an example of every shape in a given line. For many collectors space is at a premium so they're more likely to collect Roseville wall pockets or flower frogs.

    Will the relative values of certain lines hold? Boy I really would be guessing here. I would certainly like to think so. But there's always a chance a magazine could feature Freesia as a decorating must and all that planning will go out the window (at least temporarily).

    Do not (and I repeat not) base your retirement income on your pottery purchases! Keep putting money in your 401K. But if I was young, which I am not, I would do what you are doing with at least a little of my disposable income. I like to think that workmanship will come to mean something again in the future and the lines you listed will be appreciated for their design. I doubt it will be in my lifetime. Buy mint pieces when you can. And buy what you like. If it might be sitting on a shelf for awhile make sure you enjoy looking at it. If you get years of enjoyment from your pieces then you've already got back your investment. For that reason alone, the pieces I've collected can't disappoint me.
    Don
     
  20. Joe2007

    Joe2007 Collector

    Thanks Don & Brad!
     
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