We are excited to welcome back Ms. Banutu-Gomez, for contributing her article Hidden Treasures!
You may remember her from her article “Please,” “Thank you,” “Sorry”. In her first article, she challenged traditional gender behaviors and expectations. If you would like to read her first article, click <HERE!>
Dr. Gia: Welcome Ms. Banutu-Gomez. Thank you for your time today. Let me start by asking, when did you become interested in antiques?
Ms. Banutu-Gomez: My mother took me to my very first yard sale and thrift store. I remember both of those incidents so well. For most people, going to their very first yard sale or thrift store would be something forgettable, but for me I never forgot it.
That first trip, I did not understand the concept. My sister and I quickly pointed out to our mother that someone had used and returned an item and they put it back on the shelf. I thought I was in a regular store! I laugh now when I look back at that moment. Once my mother explained the premise of the store, I went from disgust to fascination. I could not believe that people gave away items that I saw as treasures.
Dr. Gia: So, you were interested even as a child?
Ms. Banutu-Gomez: Yes, I had an interest in antiques since I was a child, but I didn’t know how to be an antique dealer. This, I had to learn.
Dr. Gia: When does an item go from being old to an antique?
Ms. Banutu-Gomez: An antique is technically something that is 100 years old or older. Just because something is an antique though does not mean that it is valuable. Vintage is anything that is 20 years or older.
Repurposed pieces hand painted by Ms. Banutu-Gomez.
Dr. Gia: What is trending in antiques right now? What is (are) the hot item(s) people are looking for?
Ms. Banutu-Gomez: Items that bring back memories are the best.
Dr. Gia: How do you determine if an item is worth the cost of restoration?
Ms. Banutu-Gomez: You first have to decide when you want to sell the item and if there is a market for it. Many times we have valuable items but no one is willing to buy them at the time you are willing to sell. You may have to hang on to that item for a while. You have to think about what your market is willing to pay and way it against what you paid for the item, plus any cost for restoration. You also have to factor in your time and other resources used to get the item restored. Ultimately, the value will be decided by what you are willing to sell it for and what a buyer is willing to pay.
Dr. Gia: Would you recommend having a professional restore your antique piece, or are there ways to do it yourself?
Ms. Banutu-Gomez: It really depends on your expertise, your time and your resources.
Dr. Gia: What is the best way to determine the value of your antique?
Ms. Banutu-Gomez: There are many price books out there, as well as websites. But it really depends on the community, where you are selling it. Prices in New York will be different from prices in Alabama. I encourage you to use price books and websites as a starting point and then adjust your price accordingly.
Dr. Gia: What advice would you give someone who is considering starting an antiquing business.
Ms. Banutu-Gomez: If they are a novice and don’t have a history of working with antiques, I would encourage them to be forgiving of themselves and to remember that practice makes excellence. They will make some mistakes. They will pay too much for an item. They will sell an item for too little. It’s what happens and you learn from it.
There are also some great tools out there for them to use in order to price items. But they must recognize that it depends on their particular market, your population, geographical area etc.
Consider the market, what you paid for it, as well as value of the item. What it might be worth in one community may not be what it’s worth in you community.
We would like to thank Ms. Shandra Banutu-Gomez. She is a college lecturer in both health and English language. She also has a private consulting practice. In addition to their purists in academia here in the United States, she and her husband built a college in The Gambia, West Africa. Ms. Banutu-Gomez is an antique enthusiast and dealer. She lives in New Jersey with her husband and beautiful daughter.
We would love to hear from you! Please submit your comments, questions, and feedback. Let us know how we are doing.
Want to connect with Dr. Gia? Click HERE to request information.