Vendor Toolbox

Researching antiques online: Auctioneers & Antiques Appraisers embrace new technology

February 27th, 2012 by

San Francisco, CA  –  Feb 21, 2012



After analyzing membership records at, it quickly became evident that an increasing number of antiques professionals prefer using online methods to research their items.  “Almost half of our registered members are either antiques appraisers or auctioneers” says John of Membership Services at  All other members are antiques dealers, online sellers or collectors.  The company believes that this validates their efforts in constantly researching and enhancing their members-only content.


One of the main advantages of using online tools to research antiques and collectibles is that they are always updated in real time.  Most members often contribute content by asking questions or pointing out latest news and market trends.  This information is then made available to all other members immediately and saves a great deal of effort and, very frequently, money by avoiding costly mistakes.


Another important reason is that access to online reference material is instant.  An internet connection to one’s mobile device or laptop is all that is needed to tap into thousands of makers’ marks & hallmarks, pricing results, historical context and timeline perspectives when researching any collection, whether at the office or on the road.  “I really appreciate the quick help as usual and the extra information you provide is top notch ” emailed Ron Leftwich of JLP Auctions in Culperer, VA, who conducts over 100 estate auctions per year at his own auction house and as many or more on clients’ premises in neighboring communities.


Even so-called traditional antiques professionals have begun embracing online research tools.  “We receive so many donated items all the time” says Annick Notter, Curator at the Museum of Art & History of La Rochelle in France.  “Subscribing to has cut down the time to process our items significantly and increased the accuracy of our attributions and market value estimates ten-fold” she added.  For the same reasons, many charity shops and non-profits are also members.


Although inventories for some antiques dealers or sellers may vary over time, antiques appraisers at many auction houses are the most frequent visitors of the members-only resources at  “We sell upwards of a thousand precious antiques & collectibles every two weeks to a world-wide and sophisticated audience” said Colin Smith, President of Hampstead Auctions in London, UK, during a recent telephone interview.  “All of these items have to be researched with utmost accuracy before listing and advertising.  We are ecstatic that we can now check our facts instantly and also ask any questions when in doubt” he added, referring to the Help Guaranteed feature of  As part of their benefits, members can send questions and receive an unbiased and confidential reply at no extra charge as often as they wish.  “It’s like having an antiques expert on retainer at all times” he says.






Founded in 2004, has been a pioneer in creating online research services to help members identify and appraise antiques or collectibles online. Members can swiftly find accurate information on makers marks, hallmarks, company & artisan signatures or logos.  Fake or reproduction marks are displayed side-by-side to authentic ones for easy and quick comparison.  Searchable databases also include millions of auction records to research prices or values for all categories of antiques and collectibles, with no need to send photos or descriptions.  All content is constantly updated and always available 24/7 from any computer or device connected to the Internet.


Contact email:

Happy Birthday To Us!

February 3rd, 2011 by turned a year on Feb 1st 2011!  Thanks to all of our vendors for helping us to build our site into one of the best antiques sites on the web!  We’ve had more than 15oo dealers join in the fun so far, and we’re always looking for more.  We’re excited to offer over 80,000 items for sale on, but that number increases every day as more and more vendors sign up to be a part of our growing family.

To all of the people that visit looking for the perfect gift, trying to spruce up their home with a beautiful antique, or simply out of curiosity, thank you for coming!

And for everyone, vendors and antique aficionados alike, we’ve recently added a few features to our home page that we think you’ll enjoy!

– First, check out the Deal Of The Day – Each day we’ll offer a new deal from a vendor that is eager to give you a beautiful antique for a steal!

– Next, feast your eyes on the Cool Antique Of The Week – Each week we’ll show you something interesting from the site that is available to be purchased and fawned over by it’s new owner!

– And finally, have some fun with What Is This Antique? – Each week we’ll choose a new and interesting, if not a bit obscure, antique to feature for this game.  Take a guess, or several guesses, at what you think it is, and then each Monday we’ll publish the list of guesses submitted by everyone, along with the actual name and description of the antique. strives to offer a wide variety of beautiful and interesting antiques, collectibles, and fine art pieces.  We’re looking forward to another stellar year where we add to our already impressive list of vendors and push our inventory to over 100,000 items!  So Happy Birthday To Us!  We’re looking forward to another fantastic year!

Dynamic Duo

March 15th, 2010 by

The troubles in the antiques trade have not spared the OK state. The Oklahoman recently reported that shop dealers throughout the state are failing. “Antique stores are struggling”, says one. “You just can’t make a living off them anymore.

While some of the state”s dealers think the problems are no worse than those faced by all retailers, many believe the problems run deeper. The Oklahoman sums up the situation aptly. “Something significant is happening to the industry. Several experts claim we have moved into a new era–one that now includes the purchasing of antiques online at Web sites such as eBay. They argue that fewer people have the need to walk into an antiques store when they can find what they want while sitting in their pajamas at a home computer.”

But perhaps for a handful of dealers, who’s surprised e-retailing, unprecedented in its ability to provide shoppers convenience and selection–has spelled the end of the antiques shop? E-retailing has that power. Remember when, not long ago, there was a mom-and-pop video store at every corner?

I think 2010 will be the year the antiques trade sees a sales turnaround for dealers who take advantage of the “dynamic duo,” e-retailing and antiques shows. Like Batman and Robin, these two sales channels, if properly paired, can be a team of superheroes.

So how should they be paired? Here are three suggestions:

Every dealer should promote her presence at antiques shows on her Website. She should write about the events she’s participating in, because useful and interesting content will entice customers to attend. Content like this also includes keywords that will help prospects find the dealer’s Website.

Every dealer should also consider an online advertising campaign to promote each appearance at a show. An online campaign will help in the same way that pre-show mailers boost visits to a booth.

Every dealer should use social media to connect with customers before, during and after shows. Sales can be increased by sending tweets on Twitter, posting on Facebook, adding show photos to Flickr and publishing blog posts.

Bring Your Business To The Next Level – News from the NRF Show: M-Commerce – by Rick Segel

January 14th, 2010 by

Earlier this week, I attended the National Retail Federation show in NYC.  This was a very exciting event, focused on the latest, greatest trends in retailing and what that means to the independent retailer.

As I walked the floor, two things became immediately apparent.  One is that there is clearly, despite the effects of the recession, still plenty of business to be had.  Investment and innovation in retailing has NOT dropped off, despite what the nay-sayers have been crying for a while now.

The second trend is the steadily increasing role technology is playing in connecting the independent retailer with their customer base.  The buzz-word at the show was m-commerce, for mobile commerce: marketing initiatives delivered via cell phone. We’re seeing the advent of downloadable coupons and special offers in text messages.

Continue Reading…

Vendor Toolbox

January 8th, 2010 by

The Vendor Toolbox features articles by consultants who provide services to the industry that help business owners thrive and prosper.