2011 Antiques & Collectibles Survey Results

WorthPoint Releases Results from First Community Poll

Shows Collectors to be Optimistic, Quality-Focused, Multi-Resourced. Taken from mid-January through early February, the survey reflects the perceptions and opinions of WorthPoint members and site visitors.

Among the most salient findings is the fact that collectors are generally optimistic about the health of their businesses for 2011. When asked whether their activity would increase, decrease or remain the same, more than half of all respondents stated their activity would increase versus 34% stating “remain the same” and only 15% stating “decrease.” Consistent with this finding is the collectors’ perception of the economy’s impact in 2011:  43% said the economy would have a positive influence on their activity, while 39% stated “negatively” and 18% indicated “no effect.”

Not surprisingly, survey findings demonstrated that collectors do not rely solely on any one particular channel for information or trading activity. Although 81% said the Internet was a main source for trading information, 87% listed traditional sources as well, including primary media (18%), estate sales (39%) and word of mouth (30%). In addition, collectors were equally distributed in their trading channels with about 40% listing eBay as their most effective venue, while a combined 38% noted traditional or “brick and mortar” customer sources—storefronts (23%), trade shows (5%) and facilities-based auction houses (10%).

Regarding promotion of their collections, Internet channels were dominant at 60%, but word of mouth was significant at 21%, while classified ads and trade shows each recorded single digit mentions.

In responding to the survey question on their key priority for 2011, answers ranged far and wide, but the most common themes were pruning collections/focusing on fewer higher-quality items; learning more about their items; gaining greater awareness/recognition for their collections and attracting a younger demographic into the collecting passion. Suggestions for WorthPoint improvements were consistent with the company’s development efforts in improving search sophistication and data breadth/depth. There were also requests for more information on antique trends, which is consistent with a desire to expand collectibles knowledge.

“We believe the data from this first poll reflects what we are seeing every day in community communications; therefore, the information can help our members benchmark, assess and plan their activities. We plan to take several surveys throughout the year so we stay current with community perceptions, and we will continue to share results so members and others can take advantage of the latest industry barometers,” stated Michael Sapienza, Vice President Marketing and Sales at WorthPoint.

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