Perhaps one of the most puzzling aspects of collecting with which the novice Collector must come to terms is the often seemingly nonsensical nature of the pricing of goods encountered in the marketplace. How to make sense of this, and to understand the reasons behind it, is an important factor to be considered when setting out to build your collection.
The very first notion that must be abandoned is the idea that there is any such thing as “the right price” for second-hand goods, be they antique or otherwise, as traded in the marketplace, which area of business has in fact little in common with retailing as normally perceived. Many people find this fact difficult to come to terms with and, whilst television personalities may often be heard to remark that “the auction room” will decide the right price for an object, this is at best but a half-truth. Rather should it be understood that, in similar manner to the Stock Market, the concept of “the right price” is only valid at a particular moment in time, in a particular place, be it the auction room or elsewhere, and in a particular set of circumstances.
The understanding and acceptance of the foregoing premise as one of the basic pieces of the jigsaw that is the “Antiques Trade” will assist the budding Collector enormously when considering the wisdom or otherwise of making those early purchases.