Beware The Professional Buyer

Professional businesses like dealers, antique specialists, collectors, pickers’, pretty much anyone who buys and sells second hand, preloved items for profit is NOT going to like what I am about to tell our readers.

Unfortunately, some professionals act unprofessionally and make life hard for the honest professional.

  • Visiting sales prior to the announced sale date and time
  • Using bullying tactics to see and negotiate items for sale
  • Offering low, unrealistic prices for items
  • Disrespectfully inspecting items for sale

Not only have many readers told us about unprofessional conduct, we have witnessed it ourselves.

Our doorbell rang 3 days before the sale (Wednesday not the Saturday) to a female asking if she could see what we were selling.  It should be pointed out that we had made it clear, no early birds, and this was before web sites like Gazza’s were able to hide the address until sale day.

My wife, quite unsuspectingly asked the woman at the door how she knew we were having a sale.  After a short torrent of abuse (didn’t answer the question), she asked if we were selling any (XXX).  My wife said no, even though we did have some.

The same woman appeared very early on the Saturday, this time with a male.  It was a good hour before our sale officially was to begin, so we were still getting ready.  The 2 of them started going through the items already on display, but then alarmingly, started opening boxes and pulling out items.  The women suddenly screamed, you do have “XXX” for sale.  She had found a “XXX” and was clearly annoyed that we had told her otherwise.

I am no fool!  I walked towards her, and requested she replace the item in the box and to leave with her partner.  Come back if you like after 9am, but not before.

Well, you would have thought I had stabbed her with a knife.  I didn’t know ‘females’ could use profanity like this woman proceeded to do, at the top of her voice at 8 o’clock in the morning.

Believe it or not, they did return and it made it clear what the objectives were:

  • Locate specific items
  • Offer very low, unrealistic prices (in case we were unaware of their worth)
  • Bully the seller into acceptance
  • Bedazzle the seller**

** Later another buyer (obviously a professional) put a collection of items together and offered one price for the lot.  Cleverly amoung the items was a piece of value, which my wife spotted.  It could be argued that the buyer may have been unaware of the item, but it became apparent they were ‘very’ aware of it, and its worth.

In other words, tactics used by professionals aimed at sourcing quality items at rock bottom prices.  Again, you might say “good luck” to them, but we say bullshit.  Many sellers are unaware of the value of old collectibles.  You can’t use the line, Buyer Beware, and not include Seller Beware.

My point here for sellers is that there are buyers out there who will use tactics that will not realise the full value of your items.  Baragaining is one thing, but clearly using tactics to buy items at well below the market value is unfair.

I expect the other lesser point is the availability of bargains.  If the professional gets in first, then your everyday buyer doing the rounds on the weekend is unlikely to ever see these items for sale unless they also pp into their local antique/preloved shop to find the items for sale at considerably increased prices.