What is the difference between Collectibles and Antiques?

The antiques trade has experienced a dramatic change over the last 20 years. Collectibles are taking over from genuine antiques with a passion. There is a good reason for that – they sell and buyers love them.

Collectibles cover a broad spectrum of goods but basically encapsulate virtually anything which people buy in the ‘antiques’ world which are less than 100 years old, from pop memorabilia to limited edition china – there’s a buyer for them all.

Some dealers view collectibles as the ruination of the trade and see them as cheap fashion, not quality, but all antiques started life as new collectibles. Some will last to become antiques whilst others are highly profitable for short-term fads.

Collectibles can command high prices, but many are affordable and a good way of getting into the trade. If you look around your house, it’s virtually guaranteed that you have some collectibles and, if you like them, then chances are that someone else is bound to as well.

There is something about the word ‘antiques’ which is strangely uninviting. It sounds musty or expensive – often the reality, but not always. But what exactly is an antique?

Quite simply, anything which was made in excess of 100 years ago is an antique.

That is a very generic explanation. Antiques are a time-capsule of history, they capture the essence of the era. Admittedly, they can often capture only a certain stratum of society because the poor had poorer quality goods, the pre-Victorian versions of which have rarely withstood the test of time. That said, not all antiques are top quality and not all are worth buying, but some are and they are the ones which will never be out of fashion no matter what fashion dictates. Many of them may have been the height of fashion in their day which appeals to some, but not all, buyers.

You might choose not to deal in antiques and stick to collectibles but don’t overlook them. They have much to teach, no matter what your choice or level of dealing. Good quality pieces will only go up in value. Unlike some of the collectibles.

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