Buyers coming to, or buying in the Las Vegas area, may be disappointed if they are unaware of the local market. Las Vegas for some reason doesn’t have a huge or endless supply of really old traditional American antiques.
That type of market, seems more associated with Northeast USA. Don’t expect to find just antiques in all the Antique Shops, and Antique Malls, around Las Vegas.
Big industrial pieces and re-puposing have not caught on in the area either. To some degree perhaps. But not as portrayed in some TV shows and upscale area’s of some larger metro area’s.
On the flip side the market in Las Vegas is full of really unusual items.
I occasionally see negative reviews on some shops that visitors and locals write. Indicating the Las Vegas shops don’t know what a real antique is. Those type of comments really aren’t merited. Perhaps coming from really narrow minded individuals that have not “picked” in Las Vegas much. It’s the nature of the market in this local area. It’s about supply. Not a lack of knowledge.
Buyers that have an open mind, and embrace the variety found at the various shops. Are really going to have a fun experience.
Vegas has long had the mentality of out with the old, and in with the new. Developers think nothing of imploding an otherwise usable property. Just to erect a new casino. Even local government buildings are often built new, rather than revamping something that has been around.
Las Vegas is also fairly transient in nature. People come and go. Not just people from other parts of America. Vegas has people from many parts of the world. They bring family heirlooms, and items of heritage. They decide Vegas is not the place they want to settle. They move on. Some of the items remain behind.
Prices are comparable. Some buyers may think they are high. Those buyers that shop California and other large metro area’s may think the opposite. Real Estate in Las Vegas is often priced by the square foot. Especially in the Casino strip area. Rent is high and that is factored into costs that must be passed on to the customer. Otherwise none of the dealers or vendors would exist. Its the reason most are located at “Off Strip” locations.
When you are out shopping and see a price, remember the things factored into the posted price. The vendor or dealer is not finding these items free of charge.
There is the time and travel expense and actual cost, factored into the “Cost of Goods. Rent needs factored in. On top of the floor space rent, commissions paid by a vendor to a shop owner. That normally runs 10% or more. Plus the vendor/seller then has to pay Uncle Sam on any profit they turn. There is “breakage”, theft, and a host of other hidden expenses. Swipe your plastic payment card, and the vendor/merchant eats another 2% or more of the sales price.
Often sales “mark downs” push the vendor profit margin to the “Break Even” point, or even below making a profit. Bear this in mind as a buyer, should you be the type that might attempt to dicker down a price further.
Don’t take offense if the vendor or shop responds with a “no”, or a “I can’t go lower”. Or they only come down 5% when you are asking for 20% to 30% off.
Some buyers seem to expect everyone to negotiate prices. They may not realize that might be at a loss to some vendors or shops. Some of these buyers are particularly inconsiderate when they can’t get a price lowered enough. They take it personally, or want to leave a negative review on some form of social media. Its becoming the modern version of a temper tantrum or a cheap shot behind a persons back.
Sure some shops or Vendors inflate the selling price just to be able to reduce it for someone that feels the need to negotiate. Most can easily identify these types of vendors or sellers that have highly inflated pricing.
Other shops, or even dealers within a co-op mall may not inflate prices. They price honestly, hoping to sell at the marked price. That type of seller has little, if any, margin for negotiation. They may be unwilling or unable to reduce prices. Perhaps they might consider it on an item that has been on the shelf for an extended period of time. Don’t expect it on prime merchandise.
It really gets confusing when you mix vendor pricing types under the same roof of a multi-vendor mall or shop setting. You may get a good discount from one vendor, and nothing from another. In the end it is very possible the final price from either is ironically comparable.
Its all kind of crazy since these same buyers wouldn’t walk into Dillard’s or Target and start dickering on price. Once you start down this path its easy for either the buyer or seller to come away feeling ill will.
Repeat buyers that have a standing relationship with sellers, and large quantity buyers, may be the exception to these issues.
While you are kicking around (junking) in the various shops spread across Las Vegas, you might be rewarded with a rare antique find. They do surface at times. More often than not you will run into Vintage and Retro.
There are still lots of collectable memorabilia floating around Vegas. You will find many odd type items you might have trouble finding in other parts of the world. Regardless of the era you might be interested in, most all of the shops make for a fun outing.
Many of the vendors and shops stock small items. Items some might say are newer in nature than a traditional antique shop. The tourist trade is big business in Las Vegas.
Tourists are often looking for small unique and personal gifts that will travel well in their luggage. Some of these items are bread and butter items that allow these vendors to survive. For the true antique hunter this may be disappointing news. For the tourist/traveler these shops can be a gold mine.
You just have to understand the market, and the supply sources for the area.
As a buyer, don’t be discouraged if you are a true “antique hunter”. Just keep in mind the terrain here is different, as is the prey. Your prey is a little more elusive around these parts.
Most of the shops have items you might never find in other parts of the country. That transient mindset, as well as people from all over the world, have resulted in some really unusual items. These get left behind at garage sales and estate sales, often finding their place on the shelf of a local Antique vendor/dealer.
Every so often that classic antique piece also finds its way to a Antique vendor. In Las Vegas those items command high prices, and they disappear quickly. Most vendors shop Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. Their new finds filter into the shop those days as well as Sunday. By Sunday or Monday the prime stuff is often sold and gone.
There are Asian antiques that show up. Often hundreds of years old. Double the age of a typical American Antique. Most people have no clue what they are looking at when these surface.
I recently saw an old Asian wood and bone Abacus with a price tag to match its age. Some people looked at the price, scoffed, shook their head, and walked away. A person came along that knew its value. They couldn’t snatch it up fast enough. No negotiating, and paid full price. It lasted in the shop one day!
As they say….much is in the eye of the beholder.
In this day of social media, vendors/dealers are pretty savvy on pricing. As are most buyers. If you as a buyer are price comparing a local item against eBay for instance. You can be sure the seller did their same homework.
The seller will have bumped their item up against several on-line retail sources. Gotten opinions of fellow vendors. Then they price accordingly based on those facts, on-line shipping factored, and experience they have in the local market.
For the most part a buyer will not find they can buy in an Antique Shop, then expect to flip the item at a profit on eBay or some similar retail setting.
If you are buying to sell for profit you best start hitting the garage sales, estate sales, and second hand thrift stores. But even those places are now getting savvy to value verses what prices that can ask.
We hope you find your antique hunt full of surprises, fun, and finding the unusual, at a price that makes you happy! That in the end is what it is all about.