Question of the week: Should the antiques business be federally regulated?

There’s always been debate in the pursuit of antiques as to whether or not the business should be federally regulated, i.e., official government oversight provided by a dedicated federal agency.

This is obviously too big a discussion to have in this small space. Suffice it to say, there are plenty of people who have plenty top say on both sides of the issue. Antiques is a huge business, all told, at all levels, and there are a lot of bucks changing hands.

In my experience, it has come down to what, exactly, someone deals or collects in. If your business or hobby is dependent upon small items, sold at relatively low prices, at large volumes, then regulation could be a problem.

If you deal, however, in rare and one-of-a-kind pieces of art, furniture and accessories, etc., then some oversight might be good thing for safety back-up and to make sure no false merchandise would get peddled.

Either way, it would probably, hopefully, stop scammers from passing off fake goods – at least that’s my take. I know there is a movement to get some help – see the good work of show promoter Dordy Fontinel, et al. – but I wonder what Trader readers think.

Should the business and/or hobby of antiques be federally regulated? Let me know at noah.fleisher@fwpubs.com, or post a comment here.

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