Thursday, April 23, 2009

IWJG Report

This show will go down as one of the worst I have ever attended. I cannot remember a more dismal turn out for a "big city' show in a while. Again, there were many of the usual people with the same (now admittedly so) unrealistic pricing on vintage. Here is an example:A known close out dealer who got into vintage last year had a solid 18k 1680 on a strap. As I approached his table and he said everything is for sale, this is not a museum. When I asked how much his exact words were " I paid $19.5k so I will let it go for $15k". Is anyone else laughing? This is the same case all around the room. I cannot remember the last show where I bought a watch. I and one or two other vintage guys were selling but only at blow out prices. I sold a GMT 1675 for $2600 and was glad to be out of it. The real scary thing was no one was buying parts. You all know I am more a parts guy than anything and I always sell bracelets, dials, and other stuff during the show to complete sales for others. NOTHING DOING. If I took in $10k total for the show, it was a lot. There is no profit in that number.Let's do the math:showcase, safe, armored transport and admission was $1200, as I split a showcase with renaissance. Hotel was $800.00 for two nights.My question is how much longer will some of the smaller dealers who have to travel by plane/car continue to attend? We go to shows as part of our business and are able to factor in costs, and thus losses but some of the smaller guys are getting hurt. The show is not a wholesale venue anymore, as the Internet has really but that to rest. Honestly, the bulk of my sales were to people I know who are in the area. We were so bored and disgusted we had to do some business to keep from going home.The one good thing that transpired was I spoke with AQ and OP&Co. as I am putting a huge lot of stuff up for the June auctions in NYC. The market is not getting better anytime soon. There are no really nice fresh pieces on the horizon and with dealers and collectors not asking realistic pricing, much of the buzz generated over the last year is gone. This is the big problem. No one really cares anymore. no one wants to take a chance on buying something and losing half the value in a few months. I have come to the conclusion that the ONLY place to get real money for items is through auction. Think about it, your item is in a room full of qualified buyers with money. This is not Ebay. Yes, there are fees but when you think about it is far more cost effective than waiting around for an end user to come up. I really cannot understand some of these 'high asking price" guys. How would I look if I sold a watch like that gold 1680 to some unsuspecting person knowing it is overpriced by 50%??? What happens if the guy wants to return it or trade it? That is no way to treat a customer. These guys are looking for a "fish".Oh well. I cannot do that.
This is the way it is going and this is why no one is interested in vintage except the die hards. As I have been saying for some time, we will regress back to 2003 pricing by September. This summer will be BRUTAL.
I say if you are not married to it sell it and take your losses, as this stuff is only going down. If you want top dollar consider the auction houses. If there are any questions you can call or emaiol me but that is where I am going. When the new auction books are published, you will all see I am not bullshitting. I have alot of pages reserved! lol


Monday, April 20, 2009

Getting prepared...

I am unpacking from Spring vacation and re-packing for IWJG this Tuesday and Wednesday. I am going to keep this one short and sweet. I am seeing a real decline in action for common stock, on the buy and sell. I made an offer on a piece over a month ago and the seller is still holding on saying prices will come back up soon. The piece was a 5513 at $3k w/a refinished dial. Are people mad???? The hobby is going into very dangerous waters with the Summer approaching. I really think the only action worth getting involved in will be the big auction world. many newcomers are not getting a fair representation of pricing as many people just plain overvalue their stuff and scare off any potential buyer, and thus people lose interest. This is the worst case scenerio. Does anyone remember the "bubbleback" craze of the mid-late 90's?? I am not saying sport will die out like they did but it is the same kind of mess. There are not many players in the game and those who want to get in are not enticed by any good deals. I am primarily selling to dealers who in turn sell to other dealers. Not many end users. The public is selling but with moders and most vintage, you cannot buy it cheap enough to make a profit.
I will be in NYC as of later today and anyoine who wants complimentary admission to IWJG can call or email me.
732 492 6452 cell

I really hope I am wrong but reports from Hong Kong are the worst in recent memory. I am hearing many of the mid level players are not even coming to NYC, waiting instead for Vegas next month.

My NYC report will come Thursday. Sit tight...