With worthpoint.com at the Original Miami antique show, Martin introduces Audra Blevins, Maggie Turnipseed, Jason Robbins, and Will Seippel.
Martin: Will would you consider this show a success?
Will: Absolutely, and a lot of fun, we met a lot of cool people and have seen a lot of wonderful stuff and things did very well with the appraisals.
Martin: There were over 200 people at the appraisal clinic. Tell us some examples of items that were brought to the appraisal clinic.
Maggie: a German Art Nouveau silver liquor set that was figural. There was some fabulous jewelry including a bug shaped costume jewelry pin.
Will: I saw a couple of neat things including, one was a sextant from a German submarine really hard to find, there was also some brandy glasses that was taken out of Hitler’s place in the mountains, Berchtesgaden eagle nest, and there were still in the box wrapped in cardboard, with a letter from a soldier that liberated them from the liar.
Audra I had beautiful Baccarat compote, a lovely Roseville pottery piece, and a naval dress sword, World War I. A Royal Dux figure and my most interesting thing was from the 1980s not that old, it was a Daum chalices, a boxed set designed by Salvador Dali with a nose and lips designed after Mae West’s nose and lips.
Martin: Jason please talk about goantiques.com’s new facelift.
Jason I was with goantiques when Worthpoint acquired them, this site has been around for a long time and needed a lot of updating. There were a lot of tools that they wanted to add to make dealers happy and stay relevant and successful.
Martin Has the site stayed the same since its first launching?
Jason There has been many additions along the way of tools that were useful. But there were a lot of things I could not be done with the technology that they were using, so it needed a complete overhaul. We’re going to give the dealers a lot of flexibility in adding inventory and how to manage it, how they use discount coupons, and were going to make it easier for buyers. It will launch sometime in March, and the site’s name is goantiques.com.
Will It’s not a new overhaul; it’s a new body with the new technology it’s like comparing a sailing ship with the starship. I can’t wait until it launches and I am going to open my own store. This site is designed by dealers, not what a corporate person thinks you need, but dealers designed it and it’s going to be pretty cool.
Martin Someone new has joined us, Mike Wilcox. Maggie please talk about the online appraisals.
Maggie: They are online evaluations for $19.95, it’s a good way to know what type of item you have, and let the people know they need to go further with the evaluation process on certain items. We let them know if they need a specialist in that area especially if it’s fine art of an unknown artist or something they need to get authenticated. We have Worthologists that are very knowledgeable and have resources of all kinds of specialties and they are all over the world, some from Canada some from United States, 14 or so from Europe and one in Japan.
Martin This is the second podcast with Will Seippel, so please give a reminder for people who may not have listened about the success of the worthpoint.com website.
Will: With our multiple Worthpoint websites we are in the top 1000 websites in United States, but aggregated, we have about 3 1/2 million unique visitors a month. Which puts us up in the top 500 website companies in the US.
Martin There is 400 million images on Worthpoint now, right?
Will: Yes and we are adding 50 to 80 million images per month.
Martin What a major undertaking that is and how do you find the manpower to do this?
Will: it’s all about the new technologies. My point when starting Worthpoint is more relevant today, on Google is getting harder and harder to do research and find out about antiques. Google is squeezing out things that are not fitting into the norm. Worthpoint is about things that do not fall into the norm and that were aggregating this information for people like us. Think of the thousands of people came to shop today so they can buy and sell what they want and get the information they need. I was speaking with an older couple today in their 60s and that they both downloaded apps to their iPhone for Worthpoint to use them. As far as memberships, you can try the Worthpoint website for free for seven days; there is a lot of free information on there.. it’s like reading a magazine. The products that we have we offer a free trial period. On our new marksandlibrary.com, we have over 40,000 maker marks with categories of gold, silver, pottery, sword hilts, and even toy marks. Soon we will have over hundred thousand marks in there. There will be marks image recognition soon on that particular website. As far as our apps go, we will be using HTML 5 soon which will replace flash and will be used on apps on android, iPhone, Apple products along with Blackberry and more.
Martin: So Mike you came down from Canada, what did you see at the appraisal clinic that was interesting?
Mike: There was a fake compass from the 1936 German Olympics. It was a fake but it was extremely well done, made as well as anything that was original. It took about 15 or 20 min. to figure out it was fake, and finally he found some information online. We found this through websites that specialize in this type of thing, and whereas it was meant to look like something that came out of the Nazi era. The people who brought it in of all places, bought it in Bulgaria and had it for about 25 years. They had always wondered if it was real or fake now he knows he was not upset at all.
Martin Will tell us about sponsoring the show and how it went.
Will: I support what they’re doing and we checked each other out for three years, kind of like a long meeting ritual. I believe the gang here is very interested in keeping antiques alive, and they put on a great tradeshow and perpetuate antiques. Worthpoint agreed to sponsor the show. We will absolutely be back next year. This is the first marketing Worthpoint is ever done.
Martin Each of you tell me what you thought was interesting at the show.
Jason: it was a 1950s Mickey Mantle bobblehead.
Mike: I saw 10 or 12 Tiffany Lilly Pad Lamps and I am writing an antique mystery novel with that particular lamp in it that was used as a murder weapon.
Maggie The jewelry was overwhelming I had never seen so many diamonds in my life, and the abundance of shoppers a lot of who were young shoppers.
Audra: I have never seen so many Meissen figures in my life and so many Sevres urns!
Will: The breadth of items, every antique or collectible you’ve ever seen in your life is here. You just cannot be prepared for what is in there. People say you can make money buying at this show but that’s not true, as I have bought a lot of items here. There is just so much stuff to see, it surprised me. There was a Lalique clock that was for sale for $90,000. Also a bronze sculpture that sold for $375,000.
People came from all over the world, sales were great and they were great between the dealers as well.
Jason I want to shout out to Audra Blevins, that without tradeshow experience she has signed up more people than anybody else. It was a great time for everyone to meet each other that works with Worthpoint as they are from all over the country.
Martin thanks Worthpoint for being there sponsor and for being their 100th podcast. The end