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Old 13.09.2020, 21:10
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Buying antiques in CH and selling in UK

The Swiss aren't generally into antiques so one can buy quite cheap antiques on tutti.ch or ricardo or even find them in Brocki places or recycling centers. The Brits, on the other hand, seem to have a genuine fondness for things of the past. Have you ever considered selling Swiss antiques in the UK? Do you think there'd be a market for them?
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Old 13.09.2020, 22:20
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Re: Buying antiques in CH and selling in UK

You must have been watching too much antiques road show or bargain hunt!

I am not sure there is a market for cross border “appetite for antiques” arbitrage between Switzerland and the UK.

There is only one way to find out I suppose! Try it! That’s what bargain hunting is all about!
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Old 13.09.2020, 22:26
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Re: Buying antiques in CH and selling in UK

There's a British programme called Bargain Hunt. That should be enough to put you off. If an article has provenance, it will sell best within it's target market, but as a whole, you have to be absolutely sure of your market, profit margin and costs. A friend of mine restores antique furniture and has seen his profit margin go through the floor in recent months. A few weeks ago, he spent 36hrs on restoration and only made £40 profit above his costs for materials.
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Old 13.09.2020, 22:28
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Re: Buying antiques in CH and selling in UK

I know this market quite well, I make a living buying high-end furniture in CH / professionally restoring / and selling to a global audience.



There's hardly any dealers from the UK shopping here, most of the difficulties have to do with the practical issue of our well protected borders (commercial export documentation, transport etc) which make it less attractive than surrounding countries.
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Old 13.09.2020, 22:59
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Re: Buying antiques in CH and selling in UK

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You must have been watching too much antiques road show or bargain hunt!

I am not sure there is a market for cross border “appetite for antiques” arbitrage between Switzerland and the UK.

There is only one way to find out I suppose! Try it! That’s what bargain hunting is all about!
You're right about the TV show but I've also been to an auction house in the UK and have seen first hand how some Brits are quite sentimental about antiques. Hence, my question.

Thanks for the answers!
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Old 14.09.2020, 08:25
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Re: Buying antiques in CH and selling in UK

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The Swiss aren't generally into antiques so one can buy quite cheap antiques on tutti.ch or ricardo or even find them in Brocki places or recycling centers. The Brits, on the other hand, seem to have a genuine fondness for things of the past. Have you ever considered selling Swiss antiques in the UK? Do you think there'd be a market for them?
The UK market for antiques collapsed 15 years ago, unless the items are very special they won't sell. Auctions won't even take ordinary antiques as they won't sell. When we cleared my wife's house, items she had paid £1000 for 20 -25 tears ago ended up at the rubbish dump. A dealer did offer £75 for 1 piece out of 10 items.
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Old 14.09.2020, 09:55
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Re: Buying antiques in CH and selling in UK

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You're right about the TV show but I've also been to an auction house in the UK and have seen first hand how some Brits are quite sentimental about antiques. Hence, my question.

Thanks for the answers!
I don't believe it’s unique to Brits, humans are sentimental animals and they develop attachments to different things in their environment based on many things like “culture” and the prospect of making it big by buying an unloved item that turns out to be a rarity.

In the end for 90%+ of people it’s just a pastime, a hobby... just like playing the lottery...
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Old 14.09.2020, 10:25
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Re: Buying antiques in CH and selling in UK

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I don't believe it’s unique to Brits, humans are sentimental animals and they develop attachments to different things in their environment based on many things like “culture” and the prospect of making it big by buying an unloved item that turns out to be a rarity.

In the end for 90%+ of people it’s just a pastime, a hobby... just like playing the lottery...
I agree

I don’t think most people who collect antiques are in it for the money . It’s just a hobby. The price is more or less dictated by what it’s worth to you personally at that moment . I don’t think they expect to strike it rich .

That said , I don’t really see much in the way of antiques in peoples houses in Switzerland . Maybe I just know the wrong people but they just don’t seem to be into that, exceptions being rustic / farm furniture , for which I think there is no understanding in the UK
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Old 14.09.2020, 12:20
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Re: Buying antiques in CH and selling in UK

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The Swiss aren't generally into antiques so one can buy quite cheap antiques on tutti.ch or ricardo or even find them in Brocki places or recycling centers. The Brits, on the other hand, seem to have a genuine fondness for things of the past. Have you ever considered selling Swiss antiques in the UK? Do you think there'd be a market for them?
Back in ther 1980s and early 1990s there were people doing the opposite. British antiques fetched good prices in Switzerland and there were people who made money by bringing stuff in from the UK by the truckload and there were several shops in Zürich specializing in Brit-antiques. This was mostly quite high-segment and exclusive stuff though, Georgean era and similar including furniture, paintings and silverware, and all in pristine condition, not Grandma's battered and scratched 1920s teak-veneer dresser and photo frames.

But as far as I know that market has dried up long ago.
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Old 14.09.2020, 12:45
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Re: Buying antiques in CH and selling in UK

10 years, or so, back when we had to empty the f-i-l's house in the UK. We called in the auctioneers to give us an idea of what would sell, and what wouldn't.

Forget the furniture, including some quite old pieces. What they took to sell were small electricals and the contents of the tool shed. They got £100 for a wooded 6ft step ladder.

Furniture went mostly to charity shop and some to the dump because the Charity shop didn't want it.
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Old 14.09.2020, 13:57
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Re: Buying antiques in CH and selling in UK

We sold a Welsh dresser which if not medieval must be close. Made very little.
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Old 14.09.2020, 15:58
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Re: Buying antiques in CH and selling in UK

We've got a lot, some dating back to the 1600s, but even those won't fetch much these days.

The 3000 year old Greek and Etruscan vases we have, probably a bit more.

Tom

Last edited by st2lemans; 14.09.2020 at 16:25.
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