Review by Greg Smith, Photos courtesy of CGADA Dealers
ONLINE – An online exhibition of 600 items was organized by 41 dealers of the Genesee Country Antiquaires Association (GCADA) from July 17 to 19 on its website at www.antiquesrochester.com.
The chairman of the shows committee, Gene Pratt, said: “We were supposed to have our annual show in mid-March, which was canceled due to Covid. And then we had another annual show scheduled for mid-June, which was also canceled. During the period of April, we felt that June was not going to happen, so we thought about creating an online show to give the opportunity for some of our dealers to participate and generate sales.
Half of the association’s 82 members participated, the organization being made up of both full-time and part-time dealers. Pratt reported that people from all walks of life have come together to sell in the show. “A lot of the dealerships don’t have websites so it has helped people that way. I think these days you have to get creative.
The results have been mixed, but it’s no different from any show, whether in person or not. “Some people sold half of the items they listed, and others sold none,” Pratt said. “It was a learning experience for people in terms of what you can expect to sell at an online event. Some things you can sell with pictures, while others fall under the kind of merchandise that someone has to pick up, hold, and talk about.
The market itself was organized and managed by William Sherhag of Digital Edge. He said he was aware of at least 60 sales throughout the weekend with 869 digital visitors to the show and more than 1,600 shopping sessions. The average time per visit was ten minutes. “For almost all of this group, this was their first time selling anything online,” Sherhag said. “I thought the results were exceptional.”
By visiting the site, collectors could purchase the show by category (Folk Art, Pottery, Textiles, etc.) or they could purchase it all at once. The contact details were in the listings and any interested buyer could independently contact to purchase through the reseller.
David Zabriskie, of Lake Placid, NY, said: “I’ve heard from a lot of other shows online that the results are going to be poor, but I sold five things and I’m meeting someone tomorrow morning about ‘dresser. . So it was very successful, I was shocked. Zabriskie said everyone he sells to were new customers: buyers from South Dakota, Pennsylvania, Arizona – people he would never have met otherwise.
Paul Polce of Ponzi’s Antiques, Trumansburg, NY, said he had redware and folk art sales to new and old buyers. He said a man reached out about an item he had and was going to make the trip to his store, which he had never visited before.
Christine Martin of Christine C Martin Antiques sold a 12 foot long robins blue painted country store counter to a country store collector in the south. The dealer said that a similar item resides in the Genesee Country Museum and his had come out of a store in Prattsburgh, NY Martin said, “It’s a great way for dealers and collectors to view our wares, given the times. He gets your name there.
Ralph and Lynn Ridolfino of American Antiques, Hammondsport, NY, sold to buyers in Colorado, Pennsylvania and New York – all new to them. Among the sales were a flask of potatoes in yellow with cobalt decoration and the initials TA, a wall box carved from shavings with a lid and divided drawers, and a 3 gallon stoneware jug with a cobalt image of d ‘a butterfly.
“It was a really good show for me,” said Ralph Ridolfino. “We are very satisfied with the results. It was very easy for buyers to navigate, and the fact that it was organized by categories made it easier for collectors to browse through areas of interest first and then go through their secondary interests. Ridolfino congratulated the organizer of the show, Digital Edge.
Jane Langol, Medina, Ohio, hasn’t made any sales, but said she will absolutely return to the show online. “There’s something about this little Genesee group,” she said. “The seriousness with which the planning committee organized this event – the purity of their efforts and their helpfulness. They are quality, experienced dealers and have given their best judgment. It was very dignified and honest. And the items were quite popular, the offers were real.
Duane Watson of Doc’s Crocks was able to walk alongside a 2 gallon New York pitcher that was sold to a dealer on opening day. “Any pitcher over a gallon is hard to find,” he said, “they didn’t survive often. This one was mint too, and it had a bird on it, which is unusual. Watson is a new member of the DCAGG, voted in only last year. The canceled June exhibition in Canandaigua was to be his first exhibition with the association, but he looks forward to next year. that he will likely change his offerings for any future online show as he tries to understand audiences.
Gene Pratt said the ideal selling range is between $ 200 and $ 600, and many dealers we spoke with said that was their experience as well.
Dana Tillou of Buffalo, NY, said she sold a painting, an oil on panel depicting “George Washington on his Charger,” which was sold to a buyer he had never done business with before. “It was good,” Tillou said. “You try to spread the word about these things, the more exposure the better. “
The Genesee Online Show carried with it a guarantee of authenticity on all of its offers. Buyers were free to return any item purchased within one day of receipt if they felt it was not as pictured.
Whether the ADGC will offer another show online in the coming months will be determined by its members. For more information, https://www.antiquesrochester.com.