September 16, 2019
Intercollector: Disruption or Evolution? It is time to embrace the present.
Launching a start-up is a gruelling business. Entrepreneurs must deal with a lot and Intercollector is no exception. I have had recent experiences that reflect people's fear and feelings of intimidation about where the business is going for mid-range art, antiques and collectibles. The reality is this business is going online and this will have a devastating effect on the institutions that support traditional trade models such as provincial auctioneers, antique centres and fairs. But does this make Intercollector disruptive? I say no. A disruptive business model alters the way business is done to the detriment of the current market itself. Think Amazon and how it has affected the high street and book selling. Those businesses that did not embrace online selling went the way of the dinosaurs, but this change was necessary. Technology allowed retailers access to the world instead of the people that walked into the store, it is just a more efficient way of selling and so the business evolved.
"I have had recent experiences that reflect people's fear and feelings of intimidation about where the business is going for mid-range art, antiques and collectibles."
I have always approached Intercollector as a tool to assist the dealers as well as private collectors to trade in collectibles that are well loved but that are in the mid-range price point. These items are plentiful and selling them online makes sense for both the buyer and seller. Therefore, Intercollector is an evolutionary business model. It is necessary and this format will become the standard going forward.
I am a great supporter of the traditional channels for mid-range collectibles – provincial auctioneers, antique centres and fairs. Part of me would love to keep things exactly as they are and indeed working within the traditional framework is what we are striving to do. There is nothing to fear because we are just the way the market is evolving. If it isn’t us, then there will be another company to take our place.
So please take note – we are not anyone’s adversary. If you met us, you would laugh at the thought of anyone being intimidated by us as we are far from being hard-boiled suits. But the fact that we love this business and grew up in the traditional world of antiques and collectibles does not change the fact that we see the future clearly. Those established institutions that have benefited from the sluggish adoption of the online model by the antiques and collectibles trade had best wake up to this reality and embrace it.