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Do young people collect antiques or is this an older folks sport?

I love antiques and collectibles and began collecting at 11. My mother started me in collecting glass dogs and later I graduated to trains. Today I collect Weller (my last name) and fishing items. I learned the love of collecting at an early age and this continues till today at my store Holly Hill Antiques.

I just got to thinking, I am not seeing all that many young people doing collecting anymore. I realize with the recession they may not be able to afford it and this sport may be - for a time reserved for the rich older folks. Or it may be that the younger crowd opts for a simpler decor without all the clutter you sometimes see that an older collector has. I don't have the answer and am looking for your feedback and possibly some ways an antique and collectibles seller can stimulate some interest in collecting within the younger crowd. Also - what are the young folks collecting these days?

Dave - an older more cluttered collector

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Tags: antiques, collecting


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Comment by David Weller on February 19, 2009 at 11:24am

There are several messages here: Trust your instincts, get out and talk to people to find out whats going on, adapt to the times, be willing to change, buy and sell trendy things (pizzazz), its still best to kept the human side - even when the customers are online, Baby Boomer Items are still hot, and make it easy to buy. Did I miss any of your points which are all important to keep in mind. Thanks for your response and I agree.

Kind regards - Dave
Comment by MThoy on February 19, 2009 at 2:01am
I love the unknown, the hidden, surprises, and finding something and with an intelligent," Hhhhhhhhuuuuuhhh? Trying to find out what this object is, might have been,who had it last.I collect because it caters to my curious nature, I guess. I tell people that younger people will collect things, also, but not the same as we will. They will see a glass paperweight, or a painting, or a vase that has a little pizzazz to it and that might be what attracts THEM to collecting. But don't underestimate what they might like. I played in a hard rock band for 15 years and I never know what people like, but I know what people DON'T like. I like to research items that I get for resale and see how many bids they might be getting on Ebay so I won't be disappointed if it takes a month or so to sell it. I try to hit auctions because that's a pretty fair barometer for me what is hot and what is not. The last auction I was at there were more than a few young people there and one kept bidding on a "Rudolf the Red Nose Reindeer" train set. And that fits into the cult collecting niche. I think people will always like sunsets, fast food and puppy dogs( but not at the same time) . I think vintage toys are a good bet, comics, Pez dispensers, but I don't think that antiques as we know it are passe and pack it up. I just think we are all a little bit less physical( dare I say lazier ?) than the last generation, and the one before. Who wants to buy an old sideboard when you have to shlep it home with you? Easier to grab a Danish Modern end table or chair and be done with it, don't you think? Or a lamp( I have 45 for sale for example-pick them up and go!) I was at my old job ( convention industry) and we had seminars to freshen up our approach-we called them the"let's all be nice and say we were wrong" seminars. The person who was the mediator for it asked, quite bluntly," Do you ever see this industry going digital and online?" To which I raised my hand and said" No way!". She asked why. I said," because people like to go out" So I say, go out and see for yourself what's happening and do what you like to do but be ready to adapt to the changes. Life is series of new beginnings.
Comment by Tracey-anne Pryke on February 17, 2009 at 3:24am
My mother started me collecting minuture candle stick holder when I was about 6years but now I prefer glass and studio pottery
Comment by David Weller on February 16, 2009 at 8:37am

Thanks for your reply.
When someone ages 10-14 comes into my store - I sometimes ask what they collect. Most of the time I get the answer of "nothing" or I like video games. This is ok - but getting people involve in collecting something -- usually lasts a lifetime. My suggestions for a collection that's cheap to start out is:Glass Dogs, cats, and angels (my mother's idea). marbles, fishing items, historical papers (cheap), car and petroleum related items, and sports. I am thinking that dolls are too hard to for beginners, baseball card are mostly worthless, and hunting and tobacco related items while good collectibles are not good for young people. I know some people collect Smmurfs, Rasin People, Windup Toys, Star Trek, Board Games, Chess Sets, and coins which may be good future investment.

Kind Regards
Comment by Michelle on February 16, 2009 at 8:09am
Hi all, my daughter is 11 and keen on collecting old stuff..like this bear..she had picked out most of the stuff that I have on my page. So maybe it has skipped a generation lol.
Comment by David Weller on February 16, 2009 at 6:08am
What is primitive canadiana. First time I have heard that term.

Like the idea on discounts under 30. Never heard of that either.

Kind regards
Comment by Craig Phillips / B & C Emporium on February 15, 2009 at 9:34pm
I have had a couple of promoters talk about this but the mind perseption, that is the hard thing to change. and alot of the current antique dealers would say the kids don't know the good stuff, cause it is not what they like.

A old wise antique dealer once told me buy and sell what the people that are putting together house holds, the stuff their grandmother had, that is what they have warm fuzzy feelings for, so today that is 1950's-60's-70's stuff, they do not care for the walnut victorian or the fancy oak or even the mission oak, they want all the retro stuff, formica and chrome, fun colors, groovey stuff, hip, retro, hippy era, vintage, the ames era or the atomic era.

Craig Phillips
B & C Emporium
Comment by David Weller on February 15, 2009 at 8:07pm

Stuffy you say ------ I have to agree. Maybe there is a business opportunity here somewhere if we could only "crack the code". I have a Pink Panther costume that I could wear for the next show - but somehow I don't think that is what you had in mind. LOL

Best regards
Comment by Craig Phillips / B & C Emporium on February 15, 2009 at 6:32pm
some thing I was told about the younger generation, is that they think the antique shows are a old stuffy group, not the young hip stuff, I am like you by the time I was 7 or 8 I talked antique, most age groups don't start to collect till they are about 30 or so, they start to reminis, about the old times, their jobs are a little better, more money, kids are growing don't need to be with mom and dad 24-7, I usually don't see the 20 sometings at the shows, but in some of the trendy shops, they frequent, where they feel comfortable, with the product line or the people.
Just an observation,

Craig Phillips
B & C Emporium

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