Yes, you read that right. There’s no money in collectibles anymore. Economics is the single largest factor. Another factor? The terminally unemployed, those on Social Security, and flat-out deadbeats. I’ll explain.
First and foremost, the economy is doing well in parts of the United States. In other places, such as California, many dealers aren’t doing so well. Why? There are more sellers than buyers. When people can’t (or refuse) to find work, they turn to other means of income. What do they do? They scrounge. They steal salvageable items from private property. They purchase items for pennies on the dollar and sell. What disturbs me about this trend is most, if not all, of the income is unreported. Mind you, I’m not harping about seniors on Social Security as a whole. I’m talking about those on Social Security who sell on ebay or through other means to supplement their income and don’t report the income out of fear of losing money from the government check (yes, the feds to decrease benefits if individuals earn above a certain level of income.
The small pool of collectible buyers in California are sometimes duped by lowlifes who sell items at rock bottom prices. Others pass off junk as “vintage” when in reality, they are fakes or replicas. Established dealers cannot compete with the likes of ebay sellers and unlicensed, self-proclaimed “dealers”.
Corporations are guilty too. Avon screwed the pooch when company officials decided to mass-produce their decorative bottles. In time, the market collapsed. Now Avon bottles barely sell for a dime a dozen. People threw most of them out. Same for entertainment brands. Tie-in merchandise for movies, television shows, and music are vastly overproduced. The market is overburdened with trinkets tied to particular brands. There simply aren’t enough buyers to go around.
Second, I misjudged woodworking. I have the skills to produce items from junk. proof is in the photos under “Salvage projects”.The problem? The climate in which I live. It’s very dry. Salvaged wood dries out, leaving it useless to work. New lumber sold at box hardware stores isn’t properly dried at the mills. Go to a Lowes or Home Depot in the desert southwest and look. It’s warped and twisted, making it useless for furniture repurposing. Further, people aren’t willing pay the prices I charged for handmade and repurposed furniture. Again, this is due to cheapskates who buy low and sell high, stealing profit from artists and established dealers like myself.
Other factors for my decision:
Ebay and Paypal steal part of the action (the final sale). Both entities charge sellers. This cuts into profit margin. No one bid on the inventory in two recent attempts. Was told by potential bidders the bid price was too high.
Buyers aren’t willing to purchase items and pay sales tax. As a California business, collectibles are subject to sales tax. People decide not to buy when I mention the final sale price that includes tax. Further, some folks told me through ebay they won’t pay sales tax on antiques and collectibles, electing NOT to bid. Still again, the potential buyers are f-tards who buy low, sell high, and decide NOT to report the income.
Commercial rent is too high. Establishing a store front lends to credibility; people might be willing to buy. However, the cost of doing business in California is inflated and too high for a sole proprietor attempting to earn income.
I once hosted sales at my home. Despite the fact I held a business license for the location, people thought I conducted a garage sale. They couldn’t get past the fact I operated a home-based business. In addition, the idiots wouldn’t pay more than ten cents on the dollar, let alone sales tax (I was issued a sales tax permit and required to collect). NOTE 4-22-2013: According to local antique and collectible dealers, nothing of real value in store inventory. Total inventory worth less than $400. All merchandise in the process of being destroyed. Everything will be tossed in trash, recycled, or placed in fire wood bin.
My advice? Don’t operate a business in California. Move to a state that appreciates small business. You’ll do better. Guaranteed.
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