Survey Uncovers Habits and Preferences of Antique and Art Buyers

Results from a recent survey undertaken by  Urban Art and Antiques reveals that buyers of antiques and fine art shop often, consider themselves well-versed in what they are buying and seek across a spectrum of delivery channels.

Almost sixty percent of 100 respondents consider themselves informed buyers and more than 43 percent shop for art and antiques on a weekly basis. Another 19 percent go shopping once a month. Seventy of the 100 shop for art and antiques online, and almost as many have bought at auction in the past year. Eighty-four percent, more than those who shop online or at auction, have purchased from a shop or antique mall in the past year, yet only 27 percent have sought the advice of a dealer or decorator in the past two years.

Almost 60 percent of respondents say their entire home is filled with antiques, while slightly more than 27 percent say they use antiques as accent pieces. A little more than 15 percent say they are just starting to learn about antiques and fine art.

On demographics the largest group of respondents, 49 percent, are aged 31-50, followed by 44 percent who are 51 or older. Fifty-four percent have a college education and 32 percent a post-graduate degree. Forty-eight percent are self-employed and more than 34 percent considered themselves to be in a professional occupation.

The survey also had several questions about the categories of antiques and art respondents have interest in. The largest group, 22 percent, report they are interested in furniture, followed by 17 percent who have a primary interest in art. Pottery, jewelry, prints, glass and silver followed in that order.

More than 51 percent are interested in items from America, followed by Europe (31 percent) and Asia (12 percent). Twenty seven percent report their primary interest is in items made between 1900 and 1930, followed by 26 percent between 1851 and 1900, 18 percent between 1801 and 1950, 16 percent after 1931 and 14 percent before 1800. The largest group, 20 percent report they are most interested in antique shows followed by 15 percent antiques and art show, 11 percent art and antiques show, 8 percent folk art show, 7 percent art show, 7 percent Americana show, etc.

The survey link was distributed on Linkedin, Facebook and Twitter, through email lists and linked from several online magazines including Antique Week and Urban Art and Antiques. The survey will remain active through 2010 at in order to attract an even larger sampling.

1. Which types of shows interest you?

Antiques Show 79.00%

Antiques & Art Show 60.00%

Art & Antiques Show 43.00%

Folk Art Show 31.00%

Art Show 28.00%

Americana Show 27.00%

Photography Show 24.00%

Modernism Show 23.00%

Book Show 21.00%

Glass Show 21.00%

Print Show 17.00%

Print and Poster Show 12.00%

Poster Show 9.00%

2. Which best describes you?

I attend a show for an enjoyable experience 61.00%

I attend a show because I am a collector at heart 55.00%

I attend a show because I am looking for a specific item 24.00%

I attend a show when I need something specific 10.00%

3. Which category best describes you?

My entire home is filled with antiques 61.00%

I use antiques for accent pieces 29.00%

I am just starting to learn about antiques 16.00%

4. Which category best describes you?

I consider myself an informed buyer 73.00%

I rely on internet resources and web sites to help make informed decisions 37.00%

I rely on knowledgeable dealers to help me make my buying decisions 16.00%

5. Which category best describes you?

I purchase antiques and art not to make money, but knowing that when its time to sell, they will have some value 49.00%

I purchase antiques and art primarily for their decorative qualities 47.00%

I purchase antiques and art as an investment 25.00%

6. How often do you shop for antiques?

Weekly 44.00%

Several times a year 23.00%

Once a month 19.00%

Only once in a great while 16.00%

7. Which items most interest you?

1. Furniture 72.00%

2. Art 56.00%

6. Pottery 40.00%

7. Books 35.00%

4. Jewelry 32.00%

8. Prints 32.00%

3. Glass 31.00%

5. Silver 28.00%

8. I am most interested in items from

America 80.00%

Europe 49.00%

Asia 18.00%

Other 9.00%

9. I am most interested in items from

1900-1930 51.00%

1851-1900 49.00%

1801-1850 34.00%

1931-Present 32.00%

Before 1800 28.00%

10. Do you travel to attend antique shows? If so, what shows have you attended in the past three years?

Other shows 83.00%

Baltimore Antiques Show 17.00%

Philadelphia Antiques Show 15.00%

Richmond Antiques Show 15.00%

Antiques & Art at the Armory 12.00%

Washington Antiques Show 10.00%

Original Miami Beach Antiques Show 9.00%

Antiques in Charlottesville 8.00%

Winter Antiques Show 8.00%

All Saints’ Antiques Show 6.00%

Antiques & Gardening at Bryn Du 5.00%

11. Do you shop for antiques & art online?

Yes 70.00%

No 30.00%

12. Have you bought anything at auction in the past year?

Yes 69.00%

No 31.00%

13. In regards to your purchases, have you sought the advice of a dealer or decorator in the past two years?

No 73.00%

Yes 27.00%

14. Have you bought anything from a local antique shop or mall in the past year?

Yes 84.00%

No 16.00%

15. Which online publications do your read?

Other 58.00%

Antique Week 36.00%

Antique Trader 32.00%

Maine Antiques Digest 30.00%

The Magazine Antiques 20.00%

NE Antiques Journal 14.00%

Antiques & the Arts Weekly 12.00%

Urban Art and Antiques 9.00%

Rare Victorian 5.00%

16. Which publications do you subscribe to?

Other 60.00%

Antique Week 27.00%

Maine Antiques Digest 20.00%

The Magazine Antiques 18.00%

Antique Trader 14.00%

NE Antiques Journal 9.00%

Antiques & Fine Art 7.00%

Antiques & the Arts Weekly 7.00%

17. Age

31-50 yrs 49.00%

51 or more yrs 44.00%

Under 30 yrs. 7.00%

18. Education

College Graduate 54.00%

Post-Graduate Degree 32.00%

High School Graduate 14.00%

19. Work

Self-employed 54.00%

Professional 39.00%

I am not employed 8.00%

Academic 5.00%

Managerial 3.00%

Skilled Trade 3.00%

About UAA Team

Urban Art and Antiques first published in 2007. If you are interested in becoming a contributor, let us know. Email urbanartantiques (at)


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