I have yet to write a single review about a book on the antiques and collectibles market. That being said, I get asked all the time what books people who are curious about the antiques and collectibles business should read. Ironically, I despise all those 'make money in...' or 'get rich...' books and guides. In fact they are counter productive. I know of no one in this business (antiques and collectibles) who ever got in the business that way; or even made money from those kind of books. That being said, I wanted to write a book review of one of the BEST books I have ever read about the interworkings of the antiques business. It should be noted that I read this book awhile ago (when it first came out), but now that I downloaded it onto my iPad, I find myself rereading the book over and over again...it truly is that good!
The book was written by Maureen Stanton and its full name is 'Killer Stuff and Tons of Money.' It is available through ibooks (on the iPad), Barnes & Noble, Amazon.com, and right here on eBay! The book centers around a real antique dealer named 'Curt Avery.' Unfortunately, to 'hide' his identity, the author had to use an 'assumed name.' Therefore, don't bother attempting to look up a 'Curt Avery' on your favorite antiques web directory. Ironically, after reading the book, 'Curt Avery' is one of the best and most ethical antique dealers in this business and I would love to contact him; because he is the kind of guy I would want to do business with! It is ashame they could not find a way to reveal his true identity. The author even went as far as to change certain aspects of how she presents 'Curt Avery' in order to possibly prevent someone from figuring out his real identity.
That being said, this book takes the antiques (and even the collectibles) business and allows the reader an unprecedented look inside a world not many outside the business will ever see (this is why I cannot stop recommending this book to my non-collecting friends and associates). We see how antiques are bought and sold, the fundamentals of the business, the ethics and unethical issues that dealers and buyers face, and how hard the business is from those who live it each and every day (just what I have been preaching all along in my other eBay guides). This book is worth the price of admission alone just for showcasing how hard it truly is to make it in this business. There are even 'novice tips' for those interested in learning about antiques as well. Keep in mind though, that this is a 'factual account.' It is not a guide designed to help you buy and sell antiques. There is a definite story and moral to this book that will keep you coming back for more. Much like any book, the book is divided into chapters that deal with the struggles of an ethical antique dealer and what he encounters over the course of a few years. One of my favorite chapters is called 'Captain Antiques.' This chapter deals with the rise in collectibles and how many antique dealers feel that these items can be over valued (and are).
It should be noted that this is not a 'happy upbeat' book. As I have said in my other eBay guides (if you have been taking the time to read them); the antiques business has lost 30% of its value (rough estimate) since its high period in the mid 2000's. In all honesty, this book looks at what many may call the end of an era; the beginning of the end of the antiques trade in America. This should startle a lot of collectors and bring a much more deserved reality check to at home 'arm chair experts' whose only antique and collectible knowledge comes from Pawn Stars, American Pickers, and Storage Wars.
In conclusion, if you are a collector, a dealer, or even an investor of antiques AND collectibles; this book is a MUST READ. You cannot afford to miss this book! Please go out and buy a copy of 'Killer Stuff and Tons of Money' today and while you are at it; help turn someone else into a collector as well!
Thanks for reading and be sure to check out my other eBay guides! Till next time...
DISCLAIMER: As with all my eBay guides; this guide cannot be reproduced, summarized, or copied, without the written consent of myself (the author). I am not responsible for any financial gain or loss you incurr from reading any of my eBay guides. Understand that the antiques and collectibles business is an unregulated secondary market with a LOT of risk. Enter it using a lot of caution and a lot of knowledge.