The Antique tool market continues to see strong growth in 2017 whilst demand for rare items is increasing as more new collectors evolve into becoming more serious collectors. Prices seen last year are set to continue to rise as supply and demand continues to narrow but are they rising for the right reasons?
Collecting first and foremost should be a hobby in which enriches the collector with knowledge and fill their time with research, becoming a passion which enriches the heart and sole first rather than solely collecting to enrich ones wallet.
Knowledge is a collectors best friend and dealers help many overcome the mistakes made by new collectors and is a route many avoid in their quest for a ‘bargain’ but only to realise their errors later on when they try to cash in.
But just like stocks and shares there is always a risk a collectors investment can diminish for a number of reasons.
In the past, seasoned knowledgeable collectors often become dealers in their own right and this is a reward for all those meetings and time in research but finding rare old tools over the past year has certainly become harder for us dealers as more and more old tools are sold direct by the public through online auction sites.
This trend of bypassing experienced dealers has more implications to tool collectors prices than can be first seen and i’ll explain why.
Over the past 15 years I have been involved in many online businesses which exploded onto the internet seeing values rocketing for 2-3 years before crashing because what underpins each industry was destroyed by people’s greed and their opportunistic habits. Each time the dealers who specialised in their field lost heart and their stock became worthless as the values declined, and once the lifeblood of new collectors was snuffed out the decline continued. What was once a hot product became somewhat a poison chalice to most and their interest waned fueling the subject to fall further from grace.
Dealers are the lifeblood that fuel all collections and their value, Never forget that!
What happens is this, without dealers prices are set by collectors and every collectors wants lower prices or a bargain, that bargain price becomes the norm and the prices reduce further.. Add to that online sellers often don’t have industry reputations to protect bad practices will increase therefore reducing prices further.
However when dealers buy tools they are competing with other dealers to meet collectors demands, this creates a base price which underpins rising retail values. Buying direct from the public via online auction sites not only undermines this but will reduce the value of your collection.
As a tool dealer we will always sell at prices that are inline with what the market dictates but it would be a shame to see prices fall so low as I have said before and drops what should be retired antique tool into the user market.