|Outside the Box
|Ogee's Antiques on Ruby Lane
A fun place for buying antiques and collectibles
Outside of the Box - The Antiques Business
For as long as I have been in the antiques and collectibles business, society
has tried to put me, and this business, in the confines of the traditional “box”.
Shortly after starting my business I had to sit in front of an accountant and
for the first time describe…rather, justify, my business. I buy used items,
often from people that think it rude, if not insane, that I should ask for a
receipt. I can’t really depreciate my inventory like a “typical” business
because my inventory, antiques and collectibles, is, by nature, suppose to
increase in value as it ages! That was the first time I realized my business
didn't adapt to society’s box mentality. Even the bartering that takes place. I
am suppose to expect it when people make offers on my merchandise and
not be offended by the extreme discounts they demand even though they
would never think to openly make those same requests of their local grocery
store, gas station or restaurant.
Now, more than 30 years into this business, I am selling online and am
finding myself in the position of trying to conform to certain “retail box”
parameters. In order to get priority in search engine rankings I should
provide certain information about the items I have for sale. I am suppose to
list the GTIN product identifier such as an ISBN, UPC, EAN or JAN number!
Excuse me, but where would I find such a thing on a toy from the 1950’s
made in Japan for the U.S. market, or a piece of porcelain from Germany?
And vintage clothing and accessories?, they’re suppose to be classified with
gender, size and more in order to get a ranking in one of the top search
engines. A vintage alligator purse…..color? ….alligator!… and size? …..it's
not a small clutch but it’s not a large shoulder bag, so I guess it’s “medium”.
The antiques and collectibles business just doesn't fit “inside the box” and it
is difficult to conform to some of the standard business rules. The Internet
is a tool that has been flexible enough for most of us outsiders to deal with
but more and more it is trying to corral us into the box society. We just don’t
fit! And frankly I like it that way. I don’t want to be in the box, I rather like
being in a smaller circle of oddball antiques and collectibles dealers than
being in a big box of squares, so to speak.