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Jim Warfield
11-28-2008, 12:21 PM
1/2 a block from here I saw a Victorian sofa auctioned off, it's maybe 6 feet long, has swoping curves up and down in the woodwork across the backrest and the fancy feet, excetra, selling price...can you believe $25.00!?
There were maybe 80 bidders there.
I am still furnishing my Victorian bedroom but being very realistic about it I know such an actual piece of furniture like this would not survive the October crush of customers who like to sit enmass upon furniture or anythig they percieve as possibly being something to sit upon.
My Victorian sofa will be built out of steel, "steel" not tin or thin steel either.
Do you think this might be a sign of the state the economy is in or just an isolated incident? $25.00!???

Greg Chrise
11-28-2008, 03:10 PM
I'm thinking it may have been worth 10 times or in the right shop 20 times that but, not now and not in this economy. As it would have to be stored for about 2 years before that value could be obtained and it is going to be like that for about 2 years.

Anything you want in the world will be very cheap over the next two years but, will anyone have the money for even those cheap items? A very high number of people are passing on any purchases at all. Meanwhile in New Jersey 4 Walmart employees were trampled and one died on the scene as 200 people ripped the doors off the front of the store to get 50% off on black Friday. The one who died was from a temporary service.

Certainly if people do buy all of this stuff because it is cheap, their chance of keeping it for 2 years in good condition to get what it is worth is in danger. People have not been buying things for 6 months now. With my business, I have been through a year of people thinking it would be no big deal to have work done and ordered $4,000 or $6,000 worth of work then had to scurry around for months to be able to pay for it. A few have not paid.

Luckily I have two jobs over the winter where they haven't gotten the message yet. One is coming from a trust fund that wil be reimbursed by insurance, which now that I think about it probably won't go as planned as my part is coming after the insurance wind fall that won't happen for a very long time. Insurance companies are not paying right now. The other is a large subdividion out in the country that should have had this work done years ago. The have a budget and I'm getting some first of the year action ahead of their whole rest of their plan.

People can't finance, can't get paid by insurance companies, for about the last year companies have not landed large contracts and have done little but survival level. New construction has halted, new businesses that were to come in and employ maybe 1500 and 500 are held up. Hundreds of franchise type restaurants and retail outlets have simply closed stores in bankruptcy.

I'm afraid the whole country is going to go through what Pennsylvania went through in 1987. Part of it is the media reporting constantly on what bad financially happened today and the other is that generally people don't care if the mall gets boarded up. They won't care until it happens. Only this time there are no greener pastures to run off to.

The other thing about the 18 to 34 demoraphic is they have no concept of long term savings and so on a positive point it's a great time to buy things for a haunted house and a great escape for people to attend from the trials and tribulations of the world. We will all have a little more free time to do that conceptual art or detailing as there is no where else to go. I'm not used to having time to do anything.

Anyone that actually has skills and works will be able to eat. All the middle managers and telephone sanitizers are going to have problems. People that had large chunks of money just watched it taken away in stock market investments or related to that in various investment funds. It's just gone. This began last winter.

Over the last two years, every material I use has increased in price as much as 20% as every gas price increase or hurricane was an excuse to increase expenses. In big bulk over heads this is really only about a 2% increase but, then their loans all doubled in pay off values and that 20% has magically gone away to prompt any sales what so ever. Things that were made when the materials were high are now selling at no profit just to keep people employed and systems still operating.

I'm actually feeling good about all of this. I haven't had the time to negotiate any prices or find those materials that are slightly damaged. I haven't had the time to haul junk wood away for lunch money prices. I'm going to do as much as I can with out paid helpers. Instead of it being how to keep people employed it has become how do I get some money and I will. It might not be the high classed work I have been doing.

I'm even seeing a few antique and junk shops with for sale signs on them. The only ones that will survive have had their land paid for and can sit for years on an inventory to take advantage of the business cycle. You can't eat a sofa.