Public health safety measures essential to flatten the curve and combat COVID-19 (coronavirus) are being implemented across the world. Some of the immediate effects of coronavirus on flea markets and antiques are clear. Given the importance of social distancing and related restrictions on travel, flea markets are among the increasing list of cancelled events. Antique stores and auction houses are closing or limiting in-person sales too. As necessary changes unfold, though, vendors attempt to conduct antique business – even if it’s not business as usual.
The rapid developments indicate possible short- and long-term effects of the coronavirus on flea markets and the antique trading industry. Here’s a rundown of what dealers and customers may anticipate:
Flea market cancellations
Because of bans on travel and social gathering, antique shows and flea markets must close. Monthly flea markets may rebound once restrictions are lifted. But organizers of weekly flea markets or yearly events gathering thousands of vendors and happening during the quarantine might suffer from the current restrictions. Some may even go bankrupt. Other venues attempt to operate while making adjustments. For example, some auction houses remain open. As a precaution, auction houses hold video calls for clients to inspect lots and organize private viewings. Estate sales are switching to online viewing galleriesand purchases too. Even antique shops are accepting phone orders for appointment-only pickup.
Are consumers currently in a shopping mood?
Retail therapy is a coping mechanism. Many consumers are turning to online marketplaces for necessities, but they are also buying comfort items. A Red Points survey found that 46.1 percent of consumers are more likely to purchase clothing and fashion items online rather than in-store because of the coronavirus outbreak. Plus, score some amazing bargains. Vintage and antique dealers provide discounts to boost sales in difficult economic climates. Get a vintage fix with caution, though, as budgets are likely to tighten.
Can online marketplaces stimulate the antique industry during the coronavirus?
Can online antique shopping replace brick-and-mortar antique shops?
When it’s safe within the public interest to resume more regular outings, people may crave social interaction. For vintage lovers, attending flea markets and auctions are ideal settings to mingle. “Society might come out of the pandemic valuing these big spaces even more as an opportunity to be together visually,” says Alexandra Lange, an architecture critic at Curbed. “After this is all over, I would love to see more public investment in open, accessible, all-weather places to gather.”
There was a time when buyers and sellers only had one real online destination for antiques. Today, however, many virtual storefronts fill the internet. Some, like Ruby Lane, vet vendors to ensure higher-end merchandise. Others, like Etsy, host a wide range of vintage merchandise from authentic antiques to affordable kitsch. Exploring the best online vintage shops could be a fun way to spend some of the extra hours at home during shelter-in-place recommendations.
Future effects of coronavirus on flea markets and antiques