Antique dealers are always at the mercy of the markets, but some dealers are afraid time may be running out on their timeworn wares.
Antique sales are just not what they used to be. Dealers in town have seen quite a change over the years.
Bud Sparks, with Attic Antiques in downtown Bryan says, "We've been here in this location nearly 30 years, we've seen a lot of ups and downs. But certainly the last three years have been the worst we've seen and it’s kind of hanging on."
A few years ago, downtown Bryan had 12 antique stores. Many of those stores are no longer around, they've either gone out of business, or moved. Although, antique auctions seem to be doing well, antique stores aren't. Sparks attributes the lack of sales in stores to a generation gap.
"The people in their 30's are buying their first house, they're not furnishing it with antiques as much as they were, say a generation ago." says Sparks.
Downtown Calvert is a well-known hot spot for antique shopping. Most of the store owners have cut back their hours of business, because they've seen a decline in sales. But Sally Anderson, whose store has survived the ups and downs of the market, says the economy isn't to blame. Consumers have become more selective, picky about what they like and don't like.
"You either like antiques and want to use them or you don't and the economy really doesn't have too much to do with that." says Anderson, with Boll Weevil Antiques in Calvert.
Anderson adds antique sales go up and down but it’s this time of year that sales begin to pick back up.
Antique dealers agree the price of antiques is on the rise. The ones who can survive, will wait out what they hope is a temporary lull.