Buy When Others Are Selling
The Associated Press looks at Americans who have decided to liquidate their personal assets only to find that it is very hard to sell when everyone else is selling. Pay particular attention to the Ebay figures in the end of the excerpt:
Across the U.S., collectibles dealers and antiques appraisers are delivering bad news, and feeling pain themselves. The reason is simple: potential buyers are outnumbered by desperate sellers. [ . . . ] Families trying to unload keepsakes for cash are learning that an economy at risk of falling into a deflationary period is taking a heavy toll on the value of these assets, just as it is for traditional investments such as stocks and homes.
Pam Danziger, who studies consumer behavior as president of Unity Marketing, said people who start collections often make a mistake by considering them an investment. And that leads to disappointment when they try to sell them to people who don’t share their emotional ties to the items. [ . . . ] While experts generally agree that demand remains high and prices good for very rare and top-of-the-line items, the market for mid-range and lower-quality collectibles is down sharply. [ . . . ]
The online auction company eBay Inc. recently reported its fourth quarter earnings slid 31 percent, although its number of active buyers and sellers grew nearly 4 percent to 86.3 million. Even with more users, gross merchandise volume — the total amount of money that flows from transactions on the site, excluding vehicles — fell 12 percent to $11.5 billion. [ . . . ] But for collectors who are still financially stable, the recession offers a very good buying opportunity[. . . . ]
Tough Market for Sellers of Antiques and Heirlooms (International Herald Tribune/AP)