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Fri Jan 11 2013 11:59:33

So You Want to Be a Picker? Review

By: Julia Wilkinson

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Pickers. They conjure up images for many of us of two guys like Mike and Frank from the History Channel's "American Pickers," trolling the American countryside in their funky van and uncovering more old bikes and oil cans than you can shake an antique cane at. But picking comes in many varieties, and a new course by I Antique Online founder Scott Liscomb, So You Want to Be a Picker? spills secrets from a ten-year veteran of the business. On this Antiques Friday (hashtag #ABAntiquesFri on Twitter) we take a look at the course and see if it might make sense for you.

I've heard the first few lessons of the course (they're in video format), and so far I've learned things that I'm confident will help me make more money in my very next outing. The course costs $99, but if you can afford it and want to branch out from haunting yard sales and estate sales into acquiring more and better inventory, I believe the cost will much more than pay for itself if you apply specific methods from Liscomb's years of knowledge.

Liscomb shares his strategies for finding things to pick, including advertising, but other methods as well. His style is straightforward and affable, and I like that he picks up specific items and demonstrates particular points about each that make them valuable or not. I learned something about watches, for example, that I never knew.

One of the more interesting and valuable resources Liscomb offers with the course is what he calls your "lifeline." This is access to himself when you're out scouting with questions. For example, you could text message him a photo of an old watch, he'd text you back a few questions about it, you'd answer, and he'd say something like "Don't pay more than $25 for it."

(Along with many other "rules of thumb," one is the adage that you should not pay more than about 25-30% of the resell price for an item). The course consists of three parts; "How to Be a Successful Picker" (8 video lectures), "Short Tips" (3 lectures), and "Downloadable Documents," which include a form and letter you can use in your picking business, as well as four more lectures.

The bottom line on this course is I think it's a good investment in your antiques and collectibles education if you're relatively new to the field of picking.

Have questions or feedback? Do you think such a course would help you? Post a comment here!

Liscomb is also the Managing Member of A Family Heirloom, LLC is a 10-year old company based in Connecticut which specializes in matching up buyers and sellers in the Antiques, Collectibles and Fine Art Industry.  Per his bio, "Scott is currently in over 400 houses per year, as well as appraisal events, charity auctions and estate sales.  The business website is www.afamilyheirloom.com  and the blog is the aforementioned www.iantiqueonline.com, with approximately 11,000 people in the contact database and  the web sites getting about  100,000 page views per month.




Comments (13) | Permalink

Readers Comments

So You Want to Be a Picker? Review   So You Want to Be a Picker? Review

This user has validated their user name. by: East Coast Toy Soldier Show
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Fri Jan 11 16:12:09 2013

It appears as if just about everyone is attempting to climb aboard the 'Pickers' and Antiques bandwagon.
While I'm sure Scott's  'course' may share some little known nuggets of information,  there's no substitute for years of full-time experience in the arena of buying and selling Antiques & Collectibles.  

So You Want to Be a Picker? Review   So You Want to Be a Picker? Review

by: nothingnew This user has validated their user name.
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Fri Jan 11 19:19:07 2013

My opinion is you either have it or you don't. To teach someone how to pick that doesn't have the desire ambition or its not in their blood is a hard task. I wish him luck with his course.

So You Want to Be a Picker? Review   So You Want to Be a Picker? Review

This user has validated their user name. by: Ina

Sat Jan 12 10:11:17 2013

Some is learned, some is inherent. David is a much better picker than I am.

How about a course in haggling? :)  

So You Want to Be a Picker? Review   So You Want to Be a Picker? Review

This user has validated their user name. by: Anonymous Annie

Sat Jan 12 12:18:41 2013

Here you go, Ina... a YouTube video demonstrating the finer points of haggling. :-)

http://youtu.be/FGy0N9SW82c

So You Want to Be a Picker? Review   So You Want to Be a Picker? Review

This user has validated their user name. by: Ina

Sat Jan 12 15:37:53 2013

I'll remember that next time I'm on the lam. :)

So You Want to Be a Picker? Review   So You Want to Be a Picker? Review

This user has validated their user name. by: WOODJUNGLE! ON EBAY

Sat Jan 12 18:33:41 2013

i hate the term pickers personally.   but along the same lines, what would be considered a precious antique to someone, is just crap to another.

with having a smartphone at your fingertips, almost anyone can 'pick' successfully. it just may take a few minutes longer. and i agree,  nothing is a substitute for experience.  

in addition,  shows like pickers or storage wars are just not reality.  they are edited to hell to make it look lucrative and easy.  it takes a lot of hard work to make a good go at it.  

So You Want to Be a Picker? Review   So You Want to Be a Picker? Review

by: Harriet This user has validated their user name.

Sat Jan 12 22:47:12 2013

"I buy junk and sell antiques" LOL

So You Want to Be a Picker? Review   So You Want to Be a Picker? Review

by: Bloggo This user has validated their user name.

Sun Jan 13 18:00:28 2013

Amateur pickers with smartphones often look to ebay to determine an items value. A rude awakening comes when they find out the inflated Buy It Now prices often have little basis in reality.

So You Want to Be a Picker? Review   So You Want to Be a Picker? Review

This user has validated their user name. by: WOODJUNGLE! ON EBAY

Sun Jan 13 23:44:50 2013

I was suggesting using smartphones for beginners.  They do have the sold prices readily available. Not just buy it now. Plus, there are other sites than ebay.

So You Want to Be a Picker? Review   So You Want to Be a Picker? Review

by: comet This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jan 14 02:36:33 2013

I DO pick for various venues and have done forever.  And my mother before me!

And I don't think it IS something you can teach per se.  IT is something you can refine tho.  I have a few people who I will happily take with me when doing this and know that they have a good eye even if they are not particularly interested in the item.  Then I "count" on them to point out what they see so I can say yes or no.  

A few things you SHOULD know---

Relative values of retail vs consigning vs ebay (or ebay as it was) vs taking the items to an auction

How to ID metals etc --always carry a magnet and a loupe for example

How to have a poker face when given prices--this works for both the person who is giving away stuff that you feel is worth money and the person who feels that their crap er GREAT STUFF is worth a million bucks---and you do not!!!

Have a MARKET for the stuff you do buy

Don't.  Get.  Carried.  Away.

Of course the more you know the better--and this is where soaking up knowledge of this stuff comes into play. Spend you days getting an education in this sort of stuff--learn what it should look and feel like and even smell like.  How to know if an item has been repaired---and if that makes a huge difference.  How to know if furniture was "married"!  Make friends with people who DON'T buy the things YOU buy--I have a friend who does books.  I buy books for me.  So we often exchange info on what is a good spot for each other to buy knowing we are NOT going to fight over it.  

The ditzier you can act--the better. People pay no attention to the crazies among us.  Haggling is fine as long as you are not insulting--I have seen people take stuff BACK out of a sale because someone insulted them about Great Auntie Berthas ugly china.  Listen to their stories (if you can) and they will almost always give you a better price.  And sometimes those stories can get YOU better money!  

There is a LOT to be said on this topic and I would love to see this guys "take" on it but---I would have to pony up $$$ I would rather use as a bankroll!!!!!!

So You Want to Be a Picker? Review   So You Want to Be a Picker? Review

by: nothingnew This user has validated their user name.
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Mon Jan 14 06:00:53 2013

YEA! If you have An eye and those that have it know  what i mean , buying good stuff is scond nature. I have noticed in the last 10 years of buying im buying more with my gut then my  brain. always trust ur gut it is usuLly right. you can teach the basics but expierence is the best teacher. paying YOUr dues never ends,you will never learn anything If YOUr not making mistakes (paying dues).

So You Want to Be a Picker? Review   So You Want to Be a Picker? Review

by: Carol This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jan 14 09:52:36 2013

Any serious dealer in antiques and collectibles (or any other product) knows that you can only be an ''expert'' in a very narrow field and earning the ''expert'' title takes years of experience.

There's no substitute for seeing and handling thousands of pieces and learning from your buying mistakes.

IF you already have a lot of experience, you can learn something from the shows on TV, books, and get rich quick courses but, if not, you're bound to be disappointed to learn that there's no way to cut corners in this area.

There's lots of free information shared in specific subject-matter oriented online groups that can be very valuable in the learning process.  Just google your area of interest plus something like ''online news group''.

So You Want to Be a Picker? Review   So You Want to Be a Picker? Review

This user has validated their user name. by: Al G

Mon Jan 14 10:28:44 2013

The theme here is that and education costs money and time.

Do I want to pony up $99 for a "picking primer"? No. I'm sure that there is at least one nugget of good information there for me. Can I capitalize on that nugget & how long will it take to get a return on investment. It is much better with people of no or minimal experience to contemplate a purchase.

But, if it is entry level instruction, the price may be a bit too high.

The other alternative is to DVR all of the "picking" & antiques shows & scan them for info. There are some good bits that do surface occasionally (less on the entertainment/reality shows, more on the PBS ones). However, the cost in time is quite high.

Still, the idea is to amass as much useful and accurate information as you can.

Nothing, but nothing substitutes for experience and a general aptitude for the endeavour.



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