WHO ARE THE MARKETS CUSTOMERS

The market consists of a number of levels each being separated by either monetary value or perceived aesthetic value. The standard supplier and reseller activity is complicated by the ability for anyone to buy or sell at any level. The market trades across diverse demographic groups. The goods offered for sale contain almost anything that man has made, observed or touched. The multiple trading markets contain even smaller niches that are not set by demographic grouping or standard marketing metrics and their relationships [222] , this excludes those buying ‘fine’ or ‘high’ art simply on value alone [223] . The consumer [224] or temporary holder of the objects cuts across these traditional barriers as the standard groups inter mingle on a knowledge basis [225] of a particular subject, manufacturer or genre.

 

The trading market breaks down into two main groups, high value objects selling for more than £100,000 and those below. The high-end market deals with objects of the ‘fine’ and ‘high’ art genre used as investment. The lower market is the main focus of this document being 98 per-cent of the trading market. This group can contain a diverse collection of reasons to purchase including those constants buying to re stock.

 

A number of sources claim there are around 10,000 dealers [226] whom inter trade 52 per-cent of their stock on a B2B [227] basis. Purchasing 30.5 [228] per-cent of their stock from the same wholesalers as the B2C market. The B2C market consists of non-quantifiable numbers of temporary consumers [229] .

 

The lack of auction attendance figures, no knowledge of the market metrics or relationship to demographic trends means no standard measurements can be formed. The lack of product identification or price association with the purchaser would not allow scope to be produced to create marketing metrics. The only assumption is that someone who has brought or owns antiques may do so again. This is a subjective view as the owner of an antique may have inherited [230] the object rather than purchased from the trade.  Discussions with a market research company implied that BMRB reported that 138,000 people had attended an auction at least once in the last year. [231]

 

This group of buyers or sellers is difficult to ascertain, as a member of the public may happen to see an object in an antique shop that catches his eye and make a single purchase. Other buyers will be collectors either creating a collection as a hobby or a collection to trade. The readers of magazines and papers that relate to the market can be used to assess some of the collectors’ market size [232] . An average of 80,000 [233] copies are sold from a newsstand whilst an average 20,000 subscribers show a regular interest.

 

The main trade publication [234] has a circulation of 18,703 and a newsstand audience of 1,103. The readership combined with the figures in table ???? shows a total 87,000 UK based individuals activity viewing catalogues and other trading events in the market. These people could be potential buyers. This combined with the above consumer magazines based on a mean average circulation creates a potential 167,000 interested parties, allowing for circulation overlaps such as the 20,000 circulation of the ATG, underwrites the 138,000 quoted by BMRB. These figures are based on mean average circulation not on readership figures that may increase the potential of people interested in purchasing antiques. A further cross reference [235] of these figures with Hoole’s Guide, [236] that list over 191,000 members of collecting clubs and societies, confirms the potential buyers market could be in excess of 200,000 people in the UK.

 

This group of potential buyers could contain a portion of the 9 million viewers of the Antiques Roadshow and similar programmes, as would the 24 million visitors [237] to museums. The MORI News – Leisure Attractions: (Issue 1:2001) highlights the extended leisure time for those aged 45. The feed back from interviews with fair organisers, dealers in antique centre and auctioneers say that the number of ‘time waster’ enjoying a trip to the country at the weekend is on the increase. Fair organisers commented that this group appeared at the mid week events as well in smaller numbers. This association and regular contact may build a trust between the weekender and the dealers creating an environment to allow commercial exchange, further increasing the active buying market.

 

Auction houses have adapted or changed their viewing times to evening and weekends allowing more of the general public to have access to auctions. This quantity of activity shows that there is a large market for private buyers available. The trade and national press present a picture of the wealthy private collector [238] spending in excess of six million pounds. Whereas the 91 per-cent of activity is below £1,000 and 46 per-cent below £100 of the objects traded at auction.  Popular magazines [239] portray most activity between a £1,000 and £3,000 [240] . The lack of data specifically related to the buying trends of consumers requires in depth research [241] .

 

The availability of catalogues on line has changed the market from the early to mid nineties. The market had runners supplying buyers whom would trade the object to the top dealers mainly based in London, most having five or more provincial runners [242] . Major London auction houses maintained provincial houses to circumnavigate this process implying that they were acting in the best interest of their client. [243]   Comments from Invaluable under right this with the success of provincial auctioneers.