So, if there is indeed no such thing as “the right price”, or if such concept prove illusory, how is one to know what to pay when assembling one’s collection? The answer lies in developing a subtle understanding of how in practice, the market itself works.
Some insight into this may be gained by studying the methods by which the Auctioneers, who to some degree influence and thus drive the market, set their estimates when offering goods for sale. They, having access to historical databases containing not only their estimates of the likely value of goods offered for sale but also of actual prices realised, are thus able, on the basis of this data, to calculate projected future estimates. Alongside this methodology, and feeding into it, comes their experience in monitoring both the vagaries of fashion as well as the financial climate of the day, the end result of which combination enables them to gauge future estimates, generally with reasonable accuracy. These estimates are however always offered in the form of a range of suggested prices from A to B, thus bearing out our assertion that there is no intrinsic “right price”.
Thus, by paying attention to and studying what is happening in the salerooms, particularly in terms of the price movements of goods in one’s own chosen collecting category, the Collector will benefit from a greater insight into the everyday workings of the market.