He posted a photo of the two frames on his page macintoshantiques.co.uk along with a caption reading, in his typically matter-of-fact style: “Pair of English 3ft 6in wide brass beds c.1880 of good heavy quality from a Regency Sherborne townhouse.”
This is followed by nine hashtags which include #forsale, #freshstock and #antiquesdealersofinstagram. In the comment section another line from him later that day (April 24) reads “now sold”.
Such high-speed transactions are nothing new for Macintosh, who started using Instagram, the photo-based social media platform, last summer. He estimates that by now a third of the stock he posts there is snapped up almost immediately, either by a fellow trade member, an interior designer or a member of the public.
“The dealers are always looking for a bargain. There are around 30-40 of them who are regularly on Instagram making quick decisions,” Macintosh tells ATG. He estimates that the pieces posted tend to range in cost from £200-300 up to £3000. But, he adds, “I bought something for up to £10,000 once from another dealer who has also bought from me”.
His 682 followers may be a drop in the ocean compared to dealers such as Drew Pritchard (15,500) or even Godson and Coles (1847), but Macintosh purposefully keeps his circle of contacts concise and undiluted because for him, Instagram is a tool for transactions rather than marketing.
What could derail this burgeoning trade platform? Macintosh says: “I wonder if Instagram will start charging. Some people are now selling more there than they are off their websites.”
He admits that he is almost at that level too, though for now he estimates that his website and Instagram sales are about even.
“Instagram – it’s instant,” he adds. “It does what it says on the packet and it’s very apt for what we do with our lives now. People see things and react quickly. They like the immediacy of trading.”