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In the first of a new opinion series, ATG asks whether the industry should try harder to attract younger buyers.

Q Must the trade attract younger buyers?


John Trory, stamp, coins, model railways and collectables dealer, Hove, Sussex

“I read with amusement the suggestion of needing to encourage young people’s interest in antiques in order to perpetuate the trade (Round table, ATG No 2266).

“I have been through this with the stamp trade and it is a total waste of effort. The stamp trade only resumed a successful path after accepting that collectors will only come into the collecting habit in their late thirties or forties.

“I run the East Sussex Snooker and Billiards Association and struggle to get eight players to compete in our annual under-21 snooker tournament.

“We are wasting our time with under-35s. Be ready to embrace them in their later lives when they have got over teenage fads and grown up a little with more money and time on their hands.”


Iain Byatt- Smith, fine art specialist and valuer, Bonhams Edinburgh

“Clients often tell us, ‘we want to sell because our children don’t want any of it’, illustrating how important it is to encourage the younger generation to take an interest in what we sell. If we fail to engage with this demographic, we risk the trade dying out altogether.

“So we must rethink how we market and brand our products. Those in their late twenties and thirties increasingly favour quality and uniqueness – and this is exactly what we sell. They see no harm mixing items from Ikea or Habitat with one-off pieces.

“Our business simply needs to acknowledge this, displaying antiques alongside mass-produced items.

“This form of rebranding is exactly what craft beer did some five years ago and it is now one of the fastest-growing sectors in the drinks industry, providing us with a template for our own success.”