Every decoy show we attend will have those prognosticators whose glass is half empty decoy collecting is doomed they say. I would say decoy collecting has changed but is in no way doomed. During the period decoy collecting was at its peak, the prices were also at their peak. Then 2006-2008 saw a downturn in the economy. Some people lost a lot of money. Some people saw their retirement savings depleted or even lost. It is no wonder decoy values plummeted as well. Decoys lost 40 to 50 percent in value and they never gained it back.
I’ve heard about this all I want to! It’s time to consider our glass half full. More and more decoys are coming to market. The prices are much more manageable. Our economy has improved and with some luck will continue to improve. The auctions I attend or participate in seem to have no shortage of bidders. Some decoys sell for outrageous prices while others sell very low and some sell for what we deem reasonable; which is what has always happened (No Change!). We hear time and again there are no young collectors anymore. When I began attending decoy shows, I was in my mid 50’s; Roxanna is a little younger. We were among the younger ones at the shows. Now we are older and I still see those 50 year olds at the shows (No Change!).
The internet has changed everything including decoy collecting. I don’t know if anyone knows how many decoys are sold on the internet or the ages of those people buying decoys on the internet. How much are those people paying for those decoys on the internet? E-bay and internet auctions may not even come close to being a truthful indicator of the big picture of what is really going on with sales on the internet.
Collect decoys because you enjoy them; not as an investment or a pathway to your retirement and you won’t have any regrets (No Change!). THE GLASS IS HALF FULL!
- Vaughn B. Walters