Copyright Robert Cole 2015 - No copying or distributing

Buying and Selling

There are as many reasons for collecting swords as people collecting. Money, however, asks us for price.

Because swords are expensive, it is important we organize our priorities. Three areas confront a buyer:

ONE: All swords and related materials are antiques and fantastic things from a fantastic past. This intriguing world lies there for us to indulge. There is the whisper of treasure overlooked. All swords fit this world and the price is negotiable.
TWO: A fine-art sword which is in need of the investment of professional Japanese restoration and certificates of authenticity. Purchase price is summed with restoration costs and weighed against the promise of market potential. What will be the value of the "package" in full show-room condition?
THREE: A fully authenticated art sword in full show-room condition.

There are basic truths in the buying and selling of things...


      ______________________ ____________________________ 
                        NO ONE
                          buys in this area
                            |      Highest possible price
                            |    ///////////
               /////////    |
           _________________|______________ lowest possible price
                            |   anyone's pet would buy 
                            |    at this price
The margin that exists between the highest possible price and the lowest possible price is the value that is bought and sold. The sword is just a vehicle that carries this margin. It is this margin that is bought and sold.

It is margin that a seller has to offer. IF A SELLER WANTS IT ALL, he/she brings nothing to the sale. NOTHING. If a seller can't release margin to his sale, he/she is praying for the biggest sucker that ever lived to happen onto his sale. Such sellers should try the lottery.

A buyer has the right to substantial margin

A healthy sale is one where the margin will carry and enhance the trading value of a piece into the future. A healthy sale dictates the seller to allow the buyer to walk away with value tucked under his/her arm.


It is this health in a sale that should be the criteria driving the decisions of a buyer. The worse thing a buyer can do is hold "dirt-cheap" as his/her only real motivater.

The art and history and cultural relevance of a piece, along with a particular collection - and a healthy sale as outlined above, create strong and successful acquisitions.

If one buys only at a steal, there will be a lesser quality in the collection and its "things" than one's constructed frugality was designed to protect. Such play truly cuts off the nose despite the face.

A collector cannot not gain the quality and richness of attributes wished for, and was engaged at market to acquire, unless he or she is willing to support their part in the sale of a quality piece. Rarely will anyone "get" over in a deal. The proposition is either stealing or being stolen from; and of course, it will not become clear until later. Almost invariably, the quality over which such contests are waged is not there in the first place. A long learned fact: somehow, quality pieces keep out of the mud.

SO - pay cheap when possible, but it is never good to think that has any place around quality. Support of quality, after all, is only one's part in acquiring. Supporting quality is the only path to gaining a quality collection. Quality is supported, regardless, and one is either a part of this aspect of collecting or one is designing themselves - out.

Swords are marvelous; rust, GIMEI, the good with bad. History, laying there for exploration - goofing around and learning, and having fun, etc. However, fine-art, the undertaking of polishing and papering, winning and losing, and the acquisition of fine pieces, is something to be taken with measured steps. This joyful sport is married up with one's very intellectual life, it deserves respect. It is a matter of self-respect.

The Two Rules for Riskless Purchase

One: Spend money you can afford to tie up and to which you will have no access.

Two: Buy items that can be sold quickly for your investment.

Virtue of the Quick Sale

Buyers: It is easy to find a validity in ownership. But a dealer owns so that he can wait for that highest possible return. Greed forces the dealer to buy, it is the only way he can hold out for the high return. He can buy and hold or he can broker a piece for less but quick cash. For the buyer, it is far better to entertain the quick sale.

A dealer brokering must make a sale before he loses his access to control of the piece and the right to sell. He must sell low or buy it him/herself, to retain control and an expectation, then, of a value return on investment. This is not evil, a direct owner has every right to full value; but opportunity is found by the buyer who can engage a quick sale.

The fact is: pieces find dealers to broker a sale. The dealer stands in the open. Buyers and sellers can find the dealer easily. Dealers become a funnel for pieces on the move. One of the only opportunities for a good, even cheap buy is when dealers offer pieces in the capacity of a broker.

As soon as anyone gains ownership, the piece stakes its claim to price. This is the reward of investment.

With the quick sale, a low price is taken by the seller in place of investment and risk. Quick sale offers cash to a seller, and to the buyer, a price that cannot be passed.

A quick sale offers the greatest margin of value for the buyer.

Selling and you

When people collect, they are truly enjoying themselves - bringing new things into their life. It's a joy.

I have found that a thing has an intrinsic value, it's history and the art work itself; - and we have a joy in collecting and in exploring the world it came from. In selling a thing, that thing's value - is an entirely a different subject; - attached, but separate. Owning and selling are two different things. 180 degrees apart.

Buying so that we can sell instantly is something that can be done. This almost always involves bigger names and bigger items. It turns out that people show a propensity for physically bigger, longer or more demonstrative things. The bigger and longer, the more easily sold.  (except where rarity makes for higher values, such as tanto or Japanese pistols, which are seen as "more" - more valuable). People are always seem to be chasing for "more".

The actual weapons don't necessary confine themselves to this.

So there are two different sides: One is owning, the other is selling. A successful collection will find things that appeal to you, the owner - and may have nothing to do with things other people would buy quickly.

People confuse these and feel hurt by it. One side is owning, learning, study - intellectual expansion at the beginning, passion, joy.
The other is the opposite. Selling - not owning. Wisdom dictates dispassion - decide on your price and sell it.

About selling and investments generally

A value, of anything, is the following:
-What a thing costs
-What a thing is really worth
-What a thing can be sold for - the present market

Someone sells a swirly painting for $10. However, it is a VanGogh which has a real worth of much more. The present market, unfortunately only has three buyers, each have less than $20.

The following is the overall rule; "Time is Your Friend" - Time heals all wounds. Time finds all buyers. There is only one exception - when buying. If you aren't prepared to buy a piece that fits your criteria for quality and price, someone will beat you to it. You must be prepared to say yes the instant of the right circumstance.

In all other situations, Time s Your Friend.

If you need to sell, time can become your enemy. Generosity is rare for the bleeding warrior.

Buy well and be happy.

On Money: The fact is, these things will always keep ahead of money - whether the economy falls or not. Whether it fails, or not.

The fact is, however, the economy always gets better. The forever reality: - we go in cycles, one minute everything is on the rise, people are giddy - the next, someone says the world is coming to an end and everyone gets dower.

The expression "buy low and sell high" refers exactly to this scenario. When people are going nuts and fretting - they want to sell, -everything is bad, woe is all. THAT is the "low" that signals buy.

Later, inflation rains, turmoil is shouted - and then, oh look, it's spring! Prices are all higher - but people are getting along and prices for one's investments return and go back up. The whole landscape is changed.

In the new landscape, those who bought, have. Those who didn't , don't.

There you are.

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