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Digital Subscriptions > Antiques Trade Gazette > 2273 > Why we need to take pricing seriously

Why we need to take pricing seriously

MADAM – Following MS Robinson’s letter (ATG No 2270), I felt I should send your letters page the pricing policy statement which appears on my website:

It is common practice in the antiques trade to price stock/inventory with a price which the business is usually happy to reduce. I do not subscribe to this practice. I am sorry, but I don’t.

While television programmes advise customers to ‘haggle’ for reduced prices for antiques, it does create problems which the trade does not need to condone. Nor should it. If the price is not to be taken seriously, what about the descriptions? Or the business integrity of the dealer?

The antiques trade has enough problems with allegations of selling fakes and with newspaper and television reports of ‘overrestoration’ and ‘improvement’. It does not need to compound the mistrust by meaningless price tickets.

If our marked prices are not to be taken seriously, what about the object descriptions?

When I buy something for my business, I take price very much into consideration, because I want to hand good value and genuine antiques on to my customers. If I were to inflate the price by 20-30% because of an anticipated reduction at the point of sale, and the buyer then does not ask for a reduction, they will have paid too much. This would do nothing for my reputation.

The whole business of selling antiques is made much simpler and more transparent if marked prices mean what they say, and this is where we stand on the issue. Others may play mind games with prices, but this sort of uncertainty we would prefer to leave in the auction room.

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About Antiques Trade Gazette

Antiques Trade Gazette is the essential publication for everyone with a serious interest in art, antiques and collectables. Every week it is packed with up-to-the-minute news on the market, with individual items beautifully illustrated throughout. Since 1971 it has been the most reliable source of information on what is really happening at auctions in the UK and around the world. Each issue is filled with auction advertisements and detailed auction reports written by expert journalists. The Dealer’s Diary section keeps readers constantly updated on what is happening at the fairs and markets and in the galleries and shops. Market professionals and serious collectors throughout the world rely on ATG to keep them informed on developments and issues which shape the art market. It is here that they learn about the prices achieved at auction in every area - from antiquities to pop memorabilia, from impressionist paintings to Chinese art. With 500 or more art objects pictured, every issue is a treat to the eye and a visual education. Whatever the topic Antiques Trade Gazette is well-informed, up-to-date and entertaining.
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