prtothetrade

Shop Antiques Online with New Social Sites

In Drive Website Traffic, events, selling antiques, Young Collectors on July 28, 2011 at 10:03 pm

I’m thrilled to see that new shopping sites for antiques online are cropping up all over the place. And each one has its own spin, which gives buyers of period antiques and vintage furniture more options.

The ones that impress me now are Sean Blanchette’s new Antiques Near Me, Meg Wendy’s New Focus On and Eric Miller’s Urban Art & Antiques and Calendar of Art and Antiques. They’re social because they invite feedback.

These sites offer shoppers with alternatives to 1st Dibs, the grandaddy of the “online antiques show” and arguably a leading factor in the decline of attendance at live shows. the thing that made 1st Dib was its photography and exclusivity. Not only is 1st Dibs a pricey bet for the dealers, it locks them in to an exclusive contract that prevents them participating in other antiques online sites.

The new sites tend more in touch with the buying public. Here’s a quick rundown of their features:

New Focus On homepage

A traditional approach to selling antiques

  • New Focus  On.com would like to re-direct the eye for appreciation by offering a pretty site and content with a lifestyle bent.  It offers dealer gallery of tried and tested sellers. The advantage Meg Wendy brings is  having spent a lifetime in the business of producing shows, which means she knows the dealers coming on board.
Urban Art & Antiques.com

A blog approach to selling art and antiques

  • Urban Art & Antiques.com bills itself as a blog about art and antiques, with visits to antique shows and  flea markets. Although it does have a sales section for art and art prints, the site is more about enjoyment than selling. Eric Miller’s strength is that he is a show promoter / producer and brings a  genuine love of collecting to his work.
Calendar of Art & Antiques.com

Simple but effective

  • Calendar of Antiques.com is much needed event site with map views..  Participants post their  own events which are the moderated by the site administrator.  The News Section is helpful but primarily press releases.

The functional approach with back end videos

  • Antiques Near Me.com was recently shortlisted to be one of Boston’s hottest new start ups. Here, you plug in your zip code and up comes a list of galleries in that zip along with a map. If you prefer, you can find businesses by type, i.e. antique malls, antiques shows, auctions, flea markets.  Dealers are listed by the site administrator but can enhance their listing by “claiming” their business. So far the News is mostly press releases. The Video  section seeks to be relevent. Sean Blanchette is a young but knowledgeable dealer with vision, drive and no fear of the Internet or its capability.

All of these sites are trying to reach new audiences. Whether one has found the formula yet, is still to be determined. Together, they are educating people about the benefits of shopping for the old and combining it with the new.

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